Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Continuing with the series of best PEPLUM villains here is HERCULES UNCHAINED which is a virtual cornucopia of bad folks. Unlike the first HERCULES film which was more like a twisted family drama in which Hercules was willing to fix or bring justice to those in need, the story in HERCULES UNCHAINED is more propelled by the actions of the plethora of villains than the good guys. Here's a quick overview:

Eteocles (Sergio Fantoni)

Eteocles is the crazed ruler who fights with his brother Polinices over who should reign in Thebes, once ruled over by their tragic father Oedipus. Wonderfully played by Sergio Fantoni, Eteocles agrees with Hercules over some peace agreement which is thwarted when Hercules falls prey to Queen Omphale. Fantoni gives the best performance is this colourful PEPLUM directed by Pietro Francisci.

Polinices (Mimmo Palmara)

Like Eteocles, Polinices is the son of Oedipus and he's shown as a merciless bad fella who wants to rule at any cost. Of all the villains in HERCULES UNCHAINED Polinices was probably the weakest which is a shame because his role culminated with a climax of a duel between brothers.

Omphale (Sylvia Lopez)

Even though she kills her lovers in some strange ritual to preserve their 'essence' for eternity, and her soldiers are cruel and vicious, Omphale is mostly portrayed as some sort of tragic character more than an all out villainess. Still there's no denying the statuesque Queen had deadly plans for Hercules so of course I included her on this list.

Amphiaraus (Daniele Vargas)

Amphiaraus is yet another villain who plots with Polinices over the control of Thebes. Once the tragic end of the two brothers takes place at the climax Amphiaraus tries, unsuccessfully, to overthrow Hercules and his forces.

Anteus (Primo Carnera)

Anteus is the son of a goddess and his powers are formidable. He almost knocks out Hercules until Hercules figures out, thanks to Ulysses, how to combat the mean giant.


Steven Lester said...

And I've been impressed with the fact that Steve actually carries Primo overhead up that little rise (obviously feeling the weight since he staggers a little on camera) to the cliff and throws him over (probably onto a mattress or something). I've often wondered what would have happened if, toward the end of the movie, Hercules, instead of finding tigers in the pit, had found Antaeus instead, how long he could have held out against the giant. Of course, we will never know.

orsh549 said...

Sergio Fantoni has always been a favorite of mine. I think he's an excellent character actor, and can play any type of role. I've seen him in Peplums and several other movies and got to hear his own voice in English and his native Italian.

Richard Svensson said...

Primo Carnera's Anteus is my absolute favourite peplum villain, and his showdown with Reeves is one of my favourite fights. It's perfectly staged, and has just enough mystery and myth-ery about it.