Oct 21, 2013

Alan Steel: Hercules' Boyfriend

Sergio Ciani knew how to fill the audiences in a sword-and-sandal epic.  Born in 1935, the hefty bodybuilder got his start as the body double of Steve Reeves, then, under the stage name Walter Reeves, played Macigno, which means "Millstone," in Samson (1961).  Most foreign editions dubbed him as "Hercules," and called the film Samson vs. Hercules, even though the two characters were allies.

Renamed Alan Steel and given blond hair, Sergio spent seven years playing the Muscle Guy in the Toga. The names were all interchangeable, so he might be Goliath in the credits, Maciste in the dialogue, Samson in the subtitles, and Hercules on the movie posters.

His movies with the biggest gay subtexts are:

1. The Fury of Hercules (1962), aka The Fury of Samson and The Son of Samson, where he plays the buddy of Hercules/Samson (Brad Harris).

2. Hercules and the Masked Rider (1963), where he hangs out with the legendary 17th century lover Don Juan (Mimmo Palmera), and gets a cute gypsy boyfriend.

By the way, it's double-billed with Hercules against the Mongols (1963), where Mark Forest as Hercules/Maciste buddy-bonds with the bulgeworthy Ken Clark.

You should also see Hercules and the Moon Men (1964), because it received the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment from Joel and the Bots.  The Queen of Samar agrees to help Moon Men conquer the world, and it's up to Maciste/Hercules to stop them.  He rescues Prince Darix a few times, but then they both get girlfriends.  Go figure.

When the peplum fad ended, Sergio tried his hand at spaghetti Westerns. In Un colpo da re, which means "Rim Shot" (1967), he plays someone named The Swede, who rams heads with Moulin Rouge.

In Sapevano solo uccidere ("I Only Knew How to Kill," 1971), playing Pedro, an evil Mexican outlaw who rams heads with Boomer Smart (Kirk Morris).  He also did some dramas and comedies before retiring at the end of the 1970s.

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