I’d be willing to bet that even the most hardcore Arnold Schwarzenneger (billed as Arnold Strong) fan will tap out after thirty minutes of “Hercules in New York.” It’s a brutally awful attempt to cash in on the Hercules logo, while also failing to turn Schwarzenneger in to a star. It also doesn’t help that whether it’s Arnold with an English dub, or Arnold in his original voice, “Hercules in New York” is impossible to sit through. It’s almost kind of fun to see Arnold try to enunciate English, though, as he plays Hercules, a young demi-God who lives in paradise with women at his feet, and is still bored.
Basically Arnold Strong is Hercules, a spoiled gap toothed son of Hercules, who follows his dad around in a garden complaining that he’s bored. Meanwhile, his dad wags his finger at him warning him not to talk back. Hercules wants to go to New York to experience the world, but Zeus won’t let him. Even in spite of a bunch of buxom Greek babes falling at Hercules’ feet begging for mercy for Hercules, Zeus simply will not budge. After arguing with his father, Zeus punishes Hercules for wanting to go to New York by—uh—zapping him to Earth. Where he travels to New York, Point: Hercules. Director Arthur Allan Seidelman doesn’t really know how to unfold a story (I use that term loosely), so he really just focuses on Arnold Strong’s body, almost obsessively.
He flexes, twitches, contorts, and even pulses in some moments, while he struggles to speak English to his co-stars. Most of the movie is just Hercules getting in to wacky situations, as he is a classic fish out of water, and solves every problem by destroying something. Meanwhile, Arnold Stang is a painfully obnoxious comedic sidekick, playing Pretzie, a pretzel salesman who inexplicably takes an interest in Hercules. He follows him around for most of the movie, guiding him on social etiquette, and gawking at his great feats f strength. Despite every person in the movie annoying Hercules to the point of physical harm, shockingly Hercules never breaks Pretzie’s spine with one hand, as I’d hoped. In either case, while “Hercules in New York” is awful, its at least fun to watch Arnold shamble around like a confused three year old in a hulking body. Plus, you just can’t beat his tussle with a man in a grizzly beat suit. Oops, I mean, a horrific man eating Bear!