Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hercules in the Haunted World (1961)

Director: Mario Bava & Franco Prosperi

Starring: Reg Park, Christopher Lee, Leonora Ruffo, George Ardisson

More info: IMDb

Tagline: An All New Height in Fright and Might!

Plot: Hercules must journey in Hades itself to retrieve the magic stone that will free his love from the powers of darkness.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Man, that's a tough one.


This sounds like it would be a fantasy masterpiece and if sleep is goal, it just might be. I don't mean to be harsh but despite the good things this picture's got, it's almost ruined by the bad.

Christopher Lee is great as the villain...except someone else dubbed his voice. It's not exactly a bad dub and, unless you didn't know what his real voice sounded like, you probably wouldn't even notice. Whoever it was did a good job of inflecting Lee's mannerisms. Reg Park makes a good Hercules and his few action scenes are most welcome. Mario Bava's photography is WOW!

And then you've got the bad. Slow scenes, long stretches of jaw flapping, most of the picture takes place indoors which gives it that stagy vibe. The sets and lighting are spectacular but after a half hour you'd kill for someone to go outside even if to take out the garbage or something. I almost paused the DVD and walked outside my own damn self. Still, Bava's horror touch is very nice and gives the Sword & Sandal genre a bit of style you don't see in other films of its ilk. At an hour and twenty minutes, it sure does feel like two hours but it's one of the best looking Sword & Sandal movies made.

No comments:

Post a Comment