An African army attacks the kingdom of Telbia. They are aided by Antarus (Massimo Serato) who wants to marry the King’s daughter Ecuba (Linda Sini), overthrow the King and become ruler of Telbia. The King offers a prayer to Jupiter for help. Jupiter’s son Mars (Roger Browne) appears and defeats the African army. After the battle Mars saves the life of Daphne (Jackie Lane), the daughter of the King’s slain emissary. They fall in love.
Antarus also desires Daphne. Ecuba is aware of Antarus’ duplicity against the King and of his desire for Daphne. She tells Antarus that she will not marry him or keep his traitorousness from the King unless he stays away from Daphne. To ensure that he does Ecuba suggests to her father the King that they sacrifice a maiden to Venus. She recommends Daphne be given to Venus as a vestal virgin and remain in Venus’ temple as a priestess. Her father thinks that is a great idea. Daphne is sent to the island where Venus’ temple is situated. She is expected to live there the rest of her life as a virgin.
Mars has a talk with his father Jupiter. He has fallen in love with Daphne and wants to remain on Earth with her. Jupiter thinks it’s a bad idea but he makes him mortal. Just in case he gives him three thunder bolts that he can use to temporarily become a god again. All he has to do is break a thunderbolt and he will be a god again for a short time. After he breaks and uses the third thunderbolt Mars will permanently be mortal. Mars finds Daphne’s friend Frixos (Dante DiPaolo) and asks where Daphne is. Frixos explains the situation to him. Mars decides to enter the forbidden temple and escape with Daphne. Things don’t go well.
Normally Daphne is to be killed for being with a man in the sacred temple but the King interferes. Daphne is brought back to the castle but she is still threatened with death for not revealing Mars’ name. Antarus is still hot for Daphne but is not above threatening her himself. Mars ends up in the clutches of Venus (Michele Bailly) who seduces him. While he is in la la land all kinds of nastiness is going on at the King’s palace and Antarus is in the middle of it all.
“Venus Against the Son of Hercules” AKA "Venus Meets the Son of Hercules" AKA “Mars, God of War” was released in 1962 and was directed by Marcello Baldi. It is an Italian sword and sandal film. This is one of the repackaged “Sons of Hercules” films that were Americanized for American television syndication.
The name of the film has almost nothing to do with the movie. The original name wasn’t much better but at least the character in the movie matches the name. Mars was not a son of Hercules and Venus has very little to do with the film. Repackaging doesn’t always accurately describe what’s in it.
The plot of the film is very busy. There are quite a few threads woven in and keeping track may be a little iffy, especially in the boring parts. The battle in the beginning of the film is quite good. There’s lots of action and some burning oil being tossed down on the African Army. Then is gets kind of dull for awhile. Later it starts to get really strange. The film has the weirdest torture devise I’ve ever seen. It involves two closing walls of spikes, boiling water and fire. It’s three tortures in one. There’s also a man eating plant sequence that is a little gross.
The acting is all over the board. Dante DiPaolo as Frixos, the comic relief, is only a little annoying. At least some of the time he’s not a total coward. Roger Browne as Mars is wooden and uninteresting. Massimo Serato as Antarus is really good and evil. Daphne is decent.
Altogether it’s mostly good.