Hercules in the Haunted World
|Hercules in the Haunted World|
|File:Ercole al centro della terra film poster.jpg
Italian film poster for Hercules in the Haunted World
|Directed by||Mario Bava|
|Produced by||Achille Piazzi|
|Screenplay by||Mario Bava
|Story by||Mario Bava|
|Music by||Armando Trovajoli|
|Edited by||Mario Serandrei|
|16 November 1961|
|Box office||ITL 398,000,000 (Italy)|
Hercules in the Haunted World (Italian: Ercole al centro della terra) is a 1961 Italian sword-and-sandal film directed by Mario Bava. British bodybuilder Reg Park incorporates Hercules while legendary British actor Christopher Lee performs as Hercules' nemesis Lico. Shooting at Cinecittà director Mario Bava used some of the same sets from his earlier Hercules and the Conquest of Atlantis which had already starred Reg Park.
Upon his return to Italy from his many adventures, the great warrior Hercules learns that his lover, Princess Deianira (Daianara), has lost her senses. According to the oracle Medea (Gaia Germani), Daianara's only hope is the Stone of Forgetfulness which lies deep in the realm of Hades. Hercules, with two companions, Theseus and Telemachus, embarks on a dangerous quest for the stone, while he is unaware that Dianara's guardian, King Lico, is the one responsible for her condition and plots to have the girl for himself as his bride upon her revival. Lico is in fact in league with the dark forces of the underworld, and it is up to Hercules to stop him.
The climax has Hercules smashing Lico with a giant boulder and throwing similarly large rocks at an army of zombies.
- Reg Park: Hercules
- Christopher Lee: King Lico
- Leonora Ruffo: Deianira
- George Ardisson: Theseus
- Marisa Belli: Aretusa
- Ida Galli: Persephone
- Mino Doro: Keros
- Gaia Germani: Medea
- Franco Giacobini: Telemachus
- Monica Neri (wrongly credited as Rosalba Neri): Helena
In a contemporary review, The Globe & Mail referred to the film as a "particularly awful Italian movie", specifying Reg Parks' acting and the film plays "havoc with the mythology". The review also noted the English dub which was described as "corny almost beyond belief"
Allmovie wrote "Hercules in the Haunted World is about as good a film as could be made on a budget in the 'mythic hero' subgenre of action films. If that sounds like faint praise, it isn't intended to be, for while overall Hercules can't totally rise above the many limitations of its genre (and budget), it nevertheless will thrill fans of such movies and even give non-devotees a number of very worthwhile elements to ponder."
The Opera Theater Oregon commissioned composer Patrick Morganelli to write a companion piece to the film, Hercules vs. Vampires, which premiered in Portland in 2010. In April 2015 the work was staged by the Los Angeles Opera.
- Hughes, Howard (2011). Cinema Italiano - The Complete Guide From Classics To Cult. London - New York: I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84885-608-0.
- Hughes, p.8f
- Hughes, p.8f
- Morriss, Frank (September 10, 1964). "Castle of Blood Fraying To Nerves". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. p. 11.
- Craig Butler. "Hercules in the Haunted World (1961)". Allmovie. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- James McQuillen (May 17, 2010). "Opera review: 'Hercules vs. Vampires' shines light on link to low-budget film genre". The Oregonian.
- Simon Williams (April 25, 2015). "Hercules vs. Vampires: Los Angeles Opera". Opera News.
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