Movie Review: 1313: Hercules Unbound! (2012)

October 1, 2012

1313 Week is a week dedicated to reviewing David DeCoteau’s homoerotic franchise. Partly an experiment to see if I can survive an entire week of the films, and partly because I’m fascinated by the fact that these movies are made, I hope that you enjoy this week.

@MGLeet Please don’t kill yourself this week. #1313craziness

@nategarvison

In the words of Hercules: This is the beginning, let me tell you.

All knowledge I have of Hercules comes from the Disney movie, so I’m not sure I’m allowed to question 1313: Hercules Unbound!‘s historical accuracy. However I’m guessing that jet stream hot tubs didn’t exist in Ancient Greece.

So what is there to say about Hercules Unbound!?

Directed by David DeCoteau and written by Charlie Meadows, Hercules Unbound! follows Hercules (Geoff Ward) and his friends as they exercise in a near-naked fashion. Athena (Chelsea Rae Bernier) makes a very cute few appearances, while Zeus (Louis Ferrigno Jr.) and Hera (Laurene Landon) turn up as clouds. A genuine plot about love, revenge, and shenanigans wants to exist — but in the end this is a movie about Ancient Greek men and their thong rags.

Hercules Unbound! is effectively gay porn without intercourse. There are scenes where the male characters — whom are 95% naked — wrestle, giggling the entire time. The battles are supposed to be epic and the characters are supposed to hate each other, but the actors are seemingly overjoyed by hugging it out, foreplay style.

If we were to ignore the fact that this movie is 70 minutes of muscular guys and their sexual tension, Hercules Unbound! becomes a movie which takes place during a training session with Hercules and other warriors. Campaneous (Brendan Lamb), feeling overshadowed by Hercules asks Hera to help kill him. This movie is supposed to work as build up to Hercules’ and Campaneous’ epic battle to the death.

I appreciate that DeCoteau and Meadows try to work a genuine story into Hercules Unbound!, which would be interesting if not overshadowed by the near-gay pornness of it all. Otherwise there’s no reason to beat around the bush, so to speak: Hercules Unbound! has a deficit of positive qualities to any reasonable straight male.

Being a straight male myself, I was wishing for this movie to turn into Athena Unbound!, but I digress, as obviously this movie isn’t for me. I’m guessing it’s not for many of you either. But ignoring sexual preference for a minute, Hercules Unbound! is rife with problems and surprisingly they aren’t ignorable.

This movie features some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen. Every horribly written line is gagged out of every actor’s mouth, and it’s cringe-worthy — actually, not every actor. As previously mentioned, Louis Ferrigno Jr. and Laurene Landon voice over God-clouds. While I’m sure that those two had as much trouble reciting their lines, it isn’t verifiable.

The score for Hercules Unbound! is okay until minute five. Epic battle music is played from start to finish, even when there are no epic battles on screen. I swear to every Greek deity, this movie came close to making me deaf. Every bit of audio, be it dialogue or musical score, is horrible. I don’t want to check to see if my ears are bleeding.

And don’t get me started with the jet stream hot tubs which Hercules and co. relaxed in. I’m no expert on Ancient Greece, but I would bet every cent to my name that that invention came to pass in recent centuries. I get that historical accuracy wouldn’t prop this movie up much, but honestly, the hot tub oversight is just dumb.

In other words, Hercules Unbound! is disaster on top of disaster!

So do I need to say it? I guess, if hot, almost naked guys wrestling each other is your thing, Hercules Unbound! can be found on Netflix USA as of this writing. If you aren’t into that stuff, avoid at all costs.

Edit 10/2/2012: Moved around a paragraph that I felt was wrongly placed

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