Heracles (Mike Lane) is in love with Helen (Alessandra Panaro) but she has been promised to another man. Before he can do anything about it he is called by his father Jupiter to run an errand. Ulysses (Georges Marchal) is returning to Ithaca after the battle of Troy. He had been wandering around having adventures and battling monsters. In one of his adventures he blinded Neptune’s son, the Cyclops Polyphemus. To make restitution Jupiter has decreed that Ulysses must be enslaved and serve Polyphemus. Heracles must deliver him to the Cyclops.
Heracles hires a pirate and his ship to overtake Ulysses’ ship. Not far from land the pirates board Ulysses’ ship. After a small sword fight Ulysses is captured and brought aboard the pirate ship. Ulysses manages to make a fire to break his bindings and sets the ship on fire. In the confusion he jumps ship and starts swimming for shore. Everyone else does too. Ulysses and Heracles are the only ones strong enough to make it to land. They are both exhausted but the chase is on.
They don’t get far when they are surrounded by a tribe of bird people. The queen of the bird people (Dominique Boschero) decides that they will be sacrificed to the vulture god. Between Ulysses’ silver tongue and Heracles’ muscles the queen is impressed and flattered. The two men work in tandem to flirt with her to try to get released. It doesn’t work. While tied to a tree a lightning bolt sets the tree on fire and a thunder shower rains down. During the confusion Heracles breaks their bonds and they escape.
Ulysses ends up still being Heracles’ prisoner until the wily Ulysses manages to escape. Heracles makes it back to Ircania and Helen but Ulysses is captured by the insane ruler of the cave dwellers, Lagos (Gianni Santuccio). Ulysses must use his intelligence to try to outwit the mad ruler while Heracles prepares to defend Ircania against the evil tyrant.
“Ulysses Against the Son of Hercules” AKA “Ulisse contro Ercole” AKA “Ulysses Against Hercules” was released in 1962 and was directed by Mario Caiano. It is an Italian adventure fantasy and a sword and sandal film. This is one of the random peplum movies that was packaged with a bunch of others and re-titled as a “Son of Hercules” movie for distribution to the American television market. As with a lot of the sword and sandal films the names of the characters are different and spelled different depending on who is doing the dubbing and how it is repackaged.
For the most part it is your standard sword and sandal film. It’s also a buddy-buddy movie. The two stars start out as enemies but end up friends in the end. It was a little different from the normal peplum in that Ulysses is played by someone not normally in a he-man role. He’s much smaller than bodybuilder Lane but his personality is bigger than life.
I do have to say that Santuccio as King Lagos is funny as hell. He’s quite insane and evil but the way he is manipulated by Ulysses is a hoot. Santuccio does a great job at being both ruthless and clueless at the same time. Likewise George Marchal as the mischievous and disarming Ulysses is also fun to watch. Seeing him outwit both Heracles and Lagos was very entertaining.