Hercules Returns

Film buff Brad McBain (Argue), a frustrated employee of Australia’s largest cinema chain, The Kent Corporation, quits his job and decides to set up and re-open the Picture Palace, a palatial disused cinema in St Kilda, Melbourne, to show classic old films in the old-fashioned style.

As a gimmick he chooses the last picture that the cinema featured, Samson and His Mighty Challenge (an Italian film, originally released in 1964 as Ercole, Sansone, Maciste e Ursus: gli invincibili). When the print arrives at the grand gala opening they discover that it is in unsubtitled Italian, and Brad suspects that his old boss, Sir Michael Kent (Carman), has in some way sabotaged the delivery so that McBain can fail at his achievement and keep Kent’s business running successfully.

This calls for desperate measures and McBain, his projectionist Sprocket (Spence) and his publicist Lisa (Coustas) are forced to improvise voice-overs for the entire film with hilarious results. Kent (Carman) also attends the screening, hoping to see it fail. As he realises that the crowd is enjoying the film, he storms up to the projection box. He and McBain fight just as the film reaches its climax; McBain breaks the fourth wall several times so that the fight in the projection box corresponds with the fight on the screen. Kent is knocked out, and the film is a huge success.

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