It's almost hard to believe, but there was a point in Renny Harlin's career when he was one of the leading directors in Hollywood. Not leading in a sense of critical acclaim, but more like the Michael Bay aspect where his films brought in truckloads of money. He got his big break with 1988's A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Master, which was the highest grossing entry of the series at the time, and then went on to direct the second Die Hard, which actually outperformed the beloved original. His next film was 1993's Cliffhanger, which also set the world on fire and earned nearly a quarter of a billion dollars.
It seemed he was the Next Big Thing, so famed movie studio Carolco gave him somewhere in the area of $100 million dollars to direct a larger than life adventure about pirates Cutthroat Island. I'll get into MUCH greater detail about this film when I get around to reviewing it, needless to say the film bombed as hard as humanly possible to the point it was THE biggest box office dud of all time for many years to follow. This effectively killed Harlin's A-list status, and his career has steadily slid downhill ever since.
This brings us to today's film, the Legend of Hercules. Not only did Harlin direct it, but he co-wrote it with the relatively unknown Daniel Giat, who only has two made for TV credits on his resume. Helping out on the script were Giulio Steve and Sean Hood, a name you should recognize if you read my thoughts on the second Cube movie. Hercules... did not do well. It was made for 70 million dollars, and didn't even make 20 million domestically. Factoring in the all important foreign box office receipts, it barely cleared 60 million dollars total. It didn't fare any well critically, earning a dreadful THREE PERCECT on Rotten Tomatoes and racking up a Michael Bay-esque six Razzie Award nominations. What was SO terrible about it? How could a movie starring the big guy from Twilight perform so horribly? It's time to find out, so break out your gladiator gear, cue up the slow motion, and get ready for A Ghoul Versus The Legend of Hercules!