Hideyuki Kikuchi "Talk Live" Event in Tokyo, February 2003 The talk live event for this wintry evening was certainly the place to be if you like your men like you like your fast food--oily and super-sized. On the program this evening was an assortment of loin-clothed musclemen hurling paper mache boulders all over the Mediterranean. Back before Kevin Sorbo was knee-high to a centaur, Italian production companies were cranking out sword-and-sandal flicks using beefy body-builders like Steve Reeves as Hercules, Son of Hercules, Lifelong Companion of Hercules, and so on. We were to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear, to shamelessly swipe the Lone Ranger's copy, when men were men and women were plot devices! Unlike most talk live events, the topic for this evening hadn't been announced until the last minute. That may have had some impact on the turnout, which was lower than normal. Of course, coming off the monster "bonenkai" party in December, any crowd would be small by comparison. Well, the non-attendees loss was my gain, and I took a comfortable seat at a table of my own to enjoy the show. Kikuchi-sensei began by asking how many of the ladies, or the guys, got excited by well-oiled macho men. What the two groups lacked in numbers, they more than made up for with sheer exuberance. We then saw a number of films that were incredibly similar, with the general plot going something like this: Herc leaves the room for 30 seconds at most, during which time thugs make off with his lady. As he travels the land searching for her and working on his savage tan, he meets up with other oily, near-naked he-men. They're set upon by an army of soldiers/monsters/aliens (see "Hercules vs. the Moon Men" if you don't believe me) and dragged before some domineering queen. The dom then attempts to break Herc's ba... er, his "spirit" with a test of strength, but he perseveres and leaves the normally frigid queen moist. For all the good it does her. In the end, there's no problem the sebaceous demi-god can't handle with a skillfully toppled Ionic column. Herc is reunited with his lady and returns home to bulk up on gainer's fuel. Somehow, Kikuchi-sensei even managed to work his idol Christopher Lee into the program. "Hercules in the Haunted World" featured Lee as a heavy who sends Herc traipsing all over--and under--the world in an attempt to save his significant hostage... um, I mean "other." As with all the other films, this tape was a public domain copy from somewhere in the States, so it lacked any Japanese subtitles--not that it had the quality banter of "It Happened One Night" to begin with. However, I told Kikuchi-sensei over coffee that Direct TV's horror and sci-fi channel had shown the film with subtitles almost daily before they went out of business. Other than that, there's not much to tell, unless you want to hear about the transvestite bar "girl" Kikuchi-sensei's friend Ms. Toya brought up on stage. Suffice to say in the Wicked City, anything can happen. If all this talk about rippling thews has got you all hot and bothered, you should keep this in mind when trying to track these films down--each of them has several alternate titles (and if you were them, you'd want an alias, too). I think I can safely say I had more fun writing about them than I did watching them, but if you have some wine to wash down all that cheese it's not too bad. Now could someone tell me if this loincloth makes my butt look big?
Back to the Text Archives
VHD Archives Home