Bullet Points: Hercules in New York
I am about to make Bulletproof Action history as I review our first (and potentially last) G Rated movie.
And while Hercules in New York may not be the typical action movie we’d cover here on Bulletproof Action, it does have a character that Hollywood has turned to time and time again and it stars a man that would go on to become one of the biggest action stars of all-time, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold was billed as Arnold Strong “Mr. Universe” in this one. I guess America wasn’t quite ready to pronounce or spell Schwarzenegger back in 1969.
It doesn’t get any more Throwback Thursday than this for Arnold as Hercules in New York was his very first film. So now let me share with you my review of a movie that takes us to a place where mythology and history meet to make mystery…
- The Premise: Hercules (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is bored on Mount Olympus and he wants to go down to earth to have some fun. But his father, Zeus (Not Tiny Lister) refuses his son’s request, not wanting him to get into trouble. Well Hercules pisses off Zeus to the point that Zeus throws one of his patented thunderbolts knocking Hercules off Mount Olympus to the earth below. After being picked up by a ship at sea, Hercules finds himself in New York City and the fun begins…
- On The Waterfront: When Hercules jumps ship he is quickly befriended by Pretzie. Pretzie earned his name because he sells pretzels on the waterfront… you have to respect a practical nickname like that. Pretzie is played by Arnold Stang, who is famous for some of his voice work including that of Top Cat. When Hercules and his new friend Pretzie end up in Central Park, Hercules shows up some college track and field athletes and catches the attention of Professor Camden (James Karen) and his daughter, Helen. The Professor invites Pretzie and Hercules over for tea… because that’s what strangers did in New York City in the late 60’s?!
- The Dating Game: It isn’t until Hercules and Helen go on a date that business really picks up. While the two enjoy a nice carriage ride in the park they are confronted by a bear that escaped the zoo. Hercules jumps out of the carriage and battles the bear. As you might imagine, this not being a typical thing, it becomes front page news and wouldn’t you know the New York City wrestling promoter comes knocking on Herc’s door… unfortunately so does the mob.
- Meanwhile Back on Mount Olympus: Zeus’ wife Juno decides she’s going to teach Hercules a lesson. Juno has hated Hercules since his birth since he is Zeus’ love child. She orders Nemesis to go to NYC and slip Hercules a mickey, making him a mortal man at least temporarily.
- Timing is Everything: As bad luck would have it, the potion that causes Hercules to lose his super human strength kicks in right as he’s competing in a strong man competition on TV. The mobster dudes have a lot of money riding on Hercules winning the contest against a circus strong man Monstro (played by “Mr. World” Tony Carroll), so when Hercules loses they suspect a double cross. What comes next is one of the most unique chase scenes in movie history.
What Hercules in New York lacks in quality acting, special effects that are actually special and continuity with Greek mythology it more than makes up for with heart. Not every movie in the world has to be dark and gritty, some movies are allowed to be light hearted and fun.
Hercules in New York is far from a great movie, but it is a movie that I absolutely enjoy. And if I ever made an Arnold Schwarzenegger Essentials list, you better believe Hercules in New York would be on it.