Well, folks, it’s finally here;lands in theaters everywhere today and you can be sure the seats will be filled with just as many greasy, pimply faced boys with too much peach-fuzz facial hair as juice-monkey jocks secretly (or not so secretly) checking out the buff man flesh on the big screen like they were Greek Gods… ah, wait… they are Greek Gods.
Immortals (starring Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt, Stephen Dorff, and Freida Pinto) tells the story of Hyperion declaring war on humanity and in a quest for the legendary Epirus Bow so that he can free the rest of the Titans. The Gods can’t interfere with the fate of the humans, which leaves Hyperion free to do what he wants, until…
Anyway, in the spirit of this Greek tale, we thought we’d put together a collaborative list of some of our favorite forms of entertainment based, at least somewhat, on Greek Mythology. Ranging from film to TV togames, we’re telling you about it. Naturally, this is what each of us here at likes, so such things as Spartacus are missing. Besides, there’s not a whole lot of material out there to choose from.
The Odyssey (1997)
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve devoured mythology-based movies. I was first introduced to the character of Hercules with Lou Ferrigno’s classic 1983 schlockfest. I moved on to Ray Harryhausen-fueled epics such as Jason And The Argonauts and the original Clash Of The Titans. In short, I totally love watching burly Greek men in togas doing sweaty things to other sweaty men in togas. (I reserve the right to rephrase that at a later occasion.) With my Yell! Magazine cohorts having already chosen the best of the crop as their picks, I’m left with very few classics to discuss. Luckily, I have an ace up my sleeve!
The Odyssey, a 1997 mini-series starring Armand Assante as Odysseus, is filled to the brim with mythological goodness. Charting Odysseus’ journey from war-torn Troy, where he battles alongside such figures as Achilles, Agamemnon and Hector, to his many misadventures on his way home with the likes of Calypso, the Cyclops, and the witch Circe, The Odyssey is the full version of Homer’s ancient epic.
For a television mini, the effects are top-notch. A surprisingly scary sequence involving an encounter with the monster Scylla is very effective and the violence found throughout the series pulls no punches, especially during the final slaughter of Penelope’s suitors at the hand of her returned husband.
The cast is a who’s who of Hollywood: Assante is terrific as Odysseus, Greta Scacchi is Penelope, his long suffering wife, Isabella Rossellini is the Goddess Athena, Eric Roberts is one the suitors, Vanessa Williams shows up as the wily Calypso, and even Christopher Lee turns up to steal a scene of two as the blind seer Tiresias.
All in all, this is one fine piece of filmmaking and I recommend looking it up if you’ve never seen it.
Evil Argento might have gotten a bit pussyfied. See his pick is next…