HERCULES AND THE HIDDEN VALLEY
Hercules and Iolaus, looking rather worn out and dirty, come walking into a poor, rocky, mountainside town called TALOS. Iolaus complains that Hercules keeps getting them into silly, dangerous adventures, and maybe he ought to think twice before accepting the next one. Hercules can't belive his ears. If Iolaus would just stop getting mixed up with the wrong women, like in the last case, the chief's wife, their adventures might not be quite so dangerous. Iolaus shrugs, "I thought she was the chief's daughter."
Meanwhile, someone in town hears Hercules' name (or recognizes him), and quickly passes the word -- Hercules is in town. This information makes its way to the this town's CHIEF. His eyes light up. "The Gods have answered our prayers. Hercules is exactly the man we need to solve our problem."
1. Hercules and Iolaus are approached by the town elders and the town's problem is explained: The ground is infertile and rocky. The crops won't grow, and the cattle and sheep are starving. They are having a very difficult time of it here. However, in the valley just beyond them, there is rich, fertile ground just waiting to be used. All of the rain clouds, it is explained, get caught in the mountains and drop their rain into that valley, never making it to this impoverished land. There is only one problem -- the only way into the valley is blocked by a gigantic rock; a rock so big that they have never been able to move it an inch. Now, who could possibly be a more appropriate person to help them than Hercules, the strongest man in the world? "And his friend, Iolaus," adds Iolaus, "the smartest man in the world."
2. Iolaus, meanwhile has spotted a lovely girl, HELLE, lurking among the crowd. Without further ado, Ioloaus moves in.
3. Hercules and Iolaus are shown the giant rock blocking the path into the valley -- it's a massive boulder fifteen feet high and eight feet across, obviously weighing hundreds of tons. As Hercules and Iolaus check it out, Iolaus says, "That's a big rock." Hercules agrees. He turns to the townspeople and nods his head. "I can move it." Ioluas is surprised, "You can?" "Sure, " says Hercules, "with the help of the smartest man in the world." Iolaus nods and smiles. "However," continues Hercules to Iolaus, "since Zeus is unavailable, I'll have to use your help." The people crowd in, wanting to know if Hercules will move the rock right now? "Not this minute," replies Hercules, "I've got to think about it a little bit." This baffles the onlookers.
4. Iolaus and Helle spend a hot, steamy night together. Iolaus is really getting hooked on Helle, and fast.
5. Hercules and Iolaus, to the utter stupification of the townsfolk, rig up a series of levers, fulcrums, pullies, and gears. No one has ever seen anything like this.
Meanwhile, in the tiny space between the top of the giant rock and the side of the mountain, we can see something move inside the hidden valley . . .
END OF ACT ONE
1. With a big fanfare and a lot of suspense, Iolaus pulls levers and yanks ropes. A huge mechanical device made of wood, with rocks as counter-weights attached to ropes that swing down, pullies turn, levers drop, and miraculously, the gigantic rock is tipped on its edge. Hercules gets his fingers underneath the rock and with all of his might moves the rock a few inches. The crowd's hopeful gasp becomes a moan. Iolaus and Hercules are undetered. They repeat the process several more times and finally, gaining mere inches each time, they reveal daylight through the rock fissure. Soon, a narrow passage is revealed leading into the fertile, empty valley. All that can be seen is endless green grass and emptiness. A huge cheer goes up among the townsfolk for Hercules and Iolaus. Helle runs to Iolaus' side snuggling up. Hercules is carried into town as a wild, bacchanalian festival ensues.
2. Meanwhile, through the newly formed passage leading into the valley, we find a timid group of people watching the festivities from afar, hidden behind rocks. They are the VALLEY PEOPLE, and they realize that they can only hide for so long -- there is no way out of the valley other than through this new passage. Either they will have to flee their age old valley home, or stay and fight. And not having had a fight in hundreds of years, their chances don't look very good.
3. The next day, Hercules prepares to leave. Iolaus comes to him and says he's not going. Hercules is surprised. Iolaus says he's got a good thing going here with Helle and he doesn't want to give it up right away. Hercules nods. "You know best. If you change your mind I'm sure you can catch up with me on the road for home." Iolaus nods. He and Hercules shake hands.
Hercules leaves town to a lot of waving and goodbyes from the grateful townsfolk. They tell him they are going to name the valley after him -- The Valley of Hercules. Iolaus holds his new, admiring woman while watching Hercules go. Iolaus exchanges a final look with Hercules, then he's gone.
4. Later, Iolaus and Helle make their way to the center of town and find all the men sharpening swords and putting on armor. Iolaus is confused and asks what's going on? The Chief, wearing a full armor, explains that now that the valley is open to them, they have to go take it. "From who?" asks lolaus. "The valley people," states the Chief. Iolaus says, "Hercules and I didn't know that there were people living in there." "If you had," asks the Chief, "would you have opened it?" Iolaus shakes his head adamantly, "No." The Chief nods, "That's what we thought." Iolaus turns to Helle just in time to see her bring a big stick down across his skull, knocking him out cold.
The Chief climbs up on his horse, pulls his sword and hollers, "Our time is now! Victory will be ours!" A deafening war cry goes up as the the raiding party moves out of town. Iolaus' unconscious body lies motionless in the dust.
END OF ACT TWO
1. Enslaved and shackled, the defeated Valley People are led out of the valley through the passageway. Iolaus is added to the group, also in chains. Iolaus turns to Helle with a look of betrayal in his eyes. Helle points at Iolaus and asks the Chief, "Can't we let him go? He did help us move the rock." The Chief shakes his head, "He'll just go get Hercules. No, he decided to stay and he's staying!"
2. That night Helle sneaks out of her hut, over to where the prisoners are kept. She tries to talk to Iolaus, but he's not interested. She tells Iolaus that she's very sorry for what she's done, but it was her duty to the town. Ioluas shakes his head, "Hercules always said I had bad taste in women. He's right." Iolaus turns away. In tears, Helle sneaks out of town and runs away.
3. Hercules goes is into the pub in the next town. He stands at the bar and orders an ale. The MAN beside Hercules gives him a look, then does a double-take. "You're Hercules, aren't you?" Hercules nods, "Yes, I am." The man turns to everybody in the pub. "Hey, everybody! This is Hercules!" The name Hercules is repeated many times, then they all push in toward him. "What're you doing out here in the middle of nowhere?" Hercules shrugs, "Just helping a little town near here named Talos." The man nods, "I've been there. Poor little town on the side of a mountain. Mean people. I wouldn't send my worst enemy to live there. What did you do for them?" Hercules shrugs again, "I just moved a rock that was blocking their way into the valley. It's no big deal." Strangely, everyone grows silent and looks at each other. "What about the Valley People?" they all ask. Hercules looks confused, "What Valley People?" "The ones that live in that valley. Everyone knows there's people in there, it was the big rock that kept them safe all these years. The people of Talos have probably already gone in and rounded them all up as slaves." Now Hercules looks veryconfused. "Oh, I'm sure that's not what happened. They'll probably all farm that land together now." Hercules takes a sip of his foamy ale.
At that moment Helle comes running in. "Oh, thank goodness it's you, Hercules. The people of Talos have enslaved all of the people of the valley, and taken your friend Iolaus slave, too." Hercules spits the head of his beer across the room.
4. Hercules and Helle return to Talos. They make their way to the chained prisoners. Iolaus sees Hercules and looks relieved. He also sees Helle and turns away in disgust, rubbing the lump on his head. Word spreads among the chained Valley People that this is Hercules, come to save them. "But why did you move the rock in the first place?" ask the Valley People. "We were tricked," replies Hercules. "If we'd have known you were in there, we wouldn't have done it."
"That's right," says the Chief, stepping up behind Hercules. Hercules turns to find all of the men of Talos massing behind him, in full armor, swords in hand. "We're actually quite sorry we had to fool you, Hercules," says the Chief, "but we need that land."
"And what about them?" asks Hercules indicating the chained Valley People.
The Chief shrugs. "They don't need it anymore, they're our slaves."
"Not while I'm around!" states Hercules flatly.
The Chief shakes his head. "Then we'll have to make sure you don't stay around." All of the armed men of Talos move menacingly in on Hercules . . .
END OF ACT THREE
1. Hercules has a big fight scene with all of the armed men of Talos. Iolaus joins him, still in chains. Iolaus uses the chains in various inventive ways during the fight. When it looks like Hercules and Iolaus will be overcome due to the sheer number of opponenets, the timid Valley People join in the fight as well. Hercules, Iolaus, and the Valley People kick the hell out of the people of Talos.
2. The fight won, the chains are removed from all of the prisoners. The Valley People say, "Hercules, once you leave this will all start over again. It will be war from now on. The only thing that kept us safe was the rock blocking the path." Hercules shrugs, "Iolaus and I moved the rock out of the way, we'll put it back.
3. Meanwhile, Helle doesn't know which way to go. The people of Talos feel that she betrayed them by going and getting Hercules. Iolaus also feels like he's been betrayed by her. The people of Talos don't want anything to do wth her. Iolaus isn't interested in her coming with him.
4. Hercules and Iolaus have their mechanical device set up around the big rock. The Valley People all move through the passegeway back into the valley. The people of Talos unhappily watch the proceedings from afar. Helle doesn't know which way to go, or what she will do. The Valley People confer among themselves and say to Helle, "If you'd like, you can live in the valley with us." Seeing no other choice, Helle steps through the passageway and joins the Valley People. Iolaus pulls on the levers and pullies, rocks swing down as counter weights, the big rock tips and Hercules pushes it back into its old position. Iolaus looks into Helle's sad eyes. He looks like he might go to her, or pull her out of there. Instead, Iolaus does neither. The rock moves back into place blocking Iolaus' view of Helle. The Valley People, along with Helle, are now safe within the valley.
5. Hercules and Iolaus tear down their device and burn the pieces. As they work, Hercules can see that tears are running down Iolaus' cheeks.
Hercules turns to the people of Talos. "If I ever hear that you've even tried to move this rock again, you're in big trouble. Got it?" The people of Talos nod.
Hercules and Iolaus leave town.
Hercules and Iolaus, looking rather dirty and worn-out, walking away from Talos. Iolaus says, "Well, that was another silly adventure you got us into." Hercules says, "And your taste in women isn't all it could be, either." Hercules and Iolaus look at each other quizically -- this is like Deja Vu. They both shrug and continue on their way.