King Lotar (Nando Tamberlani) is the ruler of a tribe of fire worshipers and rules a land that borders a lake. On the other side of the lake is a peaceful clan of shepherds living a simple life. When Lotar’s daughter Princess Diana (Luciana Gilli) is thrown into the lake by her horse, Ursus (Ed Fury), from the side of the shepherds, saves her. He brings her to Lotar’s side of the lake. Watching on shore is Diana’s jealous cousin Mila (Claudia Mori). She and her escort are soon joined by the evil General Hamilan (Adriano Micantoni).

Hamilan accuses Ursus of invading their territory by crossing the lake and defiling Diana by putting his hands on her even though he saved her life while everyone else just watched. When Hamilan tries to arrest him Ursus jumps into the lake and swims away.

Diana doesn’t remember anything after falling into the water. Hamilan tells her that Ursus tried to kidnap her. She doesn’t really believe him but back at the palace Hamilan manages to get King Lotar to believe his tale. Mila backs him up. Hamilan is a cruel and ambitious man. He wants to attack the shepherds and kill them all so that Lotar can rule the entire lake. Lotar only allows for the capture of Ursus so he can stand trial. Hamilan tries to trick Ursus using Diana as bait. When an earthquake buries Ursus everyone thinks he is dead.

This gives Hamilan his opportunity. He kills the women and children of the shepherd clan and enslaves the men. He then kills Lotar and tries to kill Diana. When Diana tries to escape she ends up jumping into the lake and swiming to the other side. Everyone thinks she drowned. Hamilan marries Mila and they both rule the kingdom. The people, however, hate Hamilan. To appease them he calls for a tournament of games. Ursus secretly enters the games and wins. He then challenge’s Hamilan’s authority to rule and is made a slave. When Mila sees Diana in the crowd disguised she has her arrested and tortures her. When Hamilan finds out that Diana is alive he decides to get rid of Mila and marry Diana.

“Son of Hercules in the Land of Fire” AKA “Ursus in the Land of Fire” AKA “Ursus nella terra di fuoco” was released in 1963 and was directed by Giorgio Simonelli. It is an Italian adventure fantasy film and part of the subgenre sword and sandal. It is also one of the fourteen films that were repackaged and sold to American television as the “Sons of Hercules” films. Unlike many of the “Sons of” films the hero’s name, Ursus, was kept. Usually the hero’s name was changed to something Americans could relate to better such as Samson or Ulysses.

Unlike most of the “Sons of” films this one has a lot of torture in it. Hamilan is really sadistic and does everything he can think of to break and humiliate anyone in his way. He even cheats to get what he wants. Mila is not too much different. She also has an evil streak in her that she vents on Diana. They make a good pair and although Mila is the smarter of the two Hamilan is the more devious. It’s easy to hate both of them. The action is hit or miss at the beginning but the further the film goes the more it picks up. It’s a decent addition to the sword and sandal genre.

The hero du jour is Ed Fury. Ed was born in Long Island, New York. His birth name was Rupert Edmund Holovchik. He was a bodybuilder and an actor. He had bit parts in many films uncredited and did several sword and sandal films in Italy. This was his third and last film playing Ursus.