BAVA WEEK: Hercules in the Haunted World (1961)

“Hercules movie” and “Mario Bava” – two phrases I did NOT expect to see in the same sentence.

B&S About Movies

Using some of the same sets from Hercules and the Conquest of Atlantis, Mario Bava (Blood and Black LaceBlack Sunday) created a masterpiece with this film. Featuring Reg Park (who appeared in four Hercules films and was considered a mentor to Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Christopher Lee (The Satanic Rites of DraculaThe Wicker Man, everything good and right about horror movies), this would influence every sword and sandal movie that would follow, as well as films like Flash Gordon.

Despite the size of the budget and the cheapness of the sets, Bava crafts a totally unique world, filled with rich colors and billowing smoke. And with Lee as King Lico, there’s finally a villain that feels worthy of Hercules’ bold heroics.

As Hercules returns from many adventures, he discovers that the love of his life,  Princess Deianira, has lost her memory. Unbeknowst…

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