The mythological character of Hercules was among the most popular heroes of the peplum (sword-and-sandal) genre within Italian cinema; in fact, its heyday was largely heralded by the unprecedented success of HERCULES (1957), with Steve Reeves – on which the director of this one had actually served as cinematographer! Having watched (and suffered through) quite a few of these low-brow entries over the years, it transpires that only a handful were truly worthy of attention; the film under review being certainly one of them, with another being Vittorio Cottafavi's HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961), both of which just happened to feature the same leading man (Reg Park). At his best an unparalleled purveyor of atmosphere, Bava was ideal for helming the muscle-bound demi-God's adventures in the Netherworld, letting rip his imagination to conceive a color scheme and special effects that would transcend budgetary constraints – and, at the same time, make up for narrative shortcomings (notably such obligatory conventions as youthful romance and comedy relief); however, another definitive trump-card here is the presence of an imposing villain in Christopher Lee (his first of two satisfying collaborations with Bava). To get back to the film's fantasy elements, Hercules consults with a masked clairvoyant throughout (to determine the fate of his beloved, held for the longest time under the spell of Lee's malevolent influence) and combats a flying legion of the undead at the climax (their 'costume' would actually be borrowed by Bava himself for a later sci-fi effort, the equally fine PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES !); as expected, the action is plentiful, if a bit overly vigorous and obviously artificial: however, instead of destroying the illusion, this rather lends the whole added charm (at one point, Hercules amusingly disarms a throng of pursuers by effortlessly hurling a cart at them - just as he would dispatch the undead with an array of flying boulders)! Despite being best-known in the English-speaking world with the title at the top of this review, the opening credits of the print I watched (presumably culled from the Fantoma DVD) sports a literal translation of the original Italian one i.e. HERCULES IN THE CENTER OF THE EARTH!
Hercules in the Haunted World (1961) 720p YIFY Movie
Hercules in the Haunted World (1961)
Ercole al centro della Terra is a movie starring Reg Park, Christopher Lee, and Leonora Ruffo. Hercules must journey in Hades itself to retrieve the magic stone that will free his love from the powers of darkness.
IMDB: 6.41 Likes
The Synopsis for Hercules in the Haunted World (1961) 720p
Upon his return from battle in the previous film, the great warrior Hercules learns that his lover, Daianara, has lost her senses. Acording of the oracle Medea, Dianara'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.
The Director and Players for Hercules in the Haunted World (1961) 720p
The Reviews for Hercules in the Haunted World (1961) 720p
Hercules In The Haunted World (Mario Bava, 1961) ***Reviewed byBunuel1976Vote: 7/10
This is a cute little Italian movie about Hercules, the strongest man on the earth. Actually Hercules is not so much a man but rather half a god. I won't go into Greek mythology to discuss the origins of Hercules though, but rather look at this film.
Hercules' beloved it dying and the only way to save her is to travel into Hades and get a rock. So he gets his friend Theseus, who is young, rash, and a lover of women, to come with him. Along with Theseus comes Telemachus, a man whose fiancé Theseus stole. They then travel into Hades, kill a rock man, avoid a half-naked woman, and cross a river of lava. As Des Mangan says: all in a day's work for the son of a God.
The movie has a bad guy – Leco, though it is difficult to understand what he actually wants to do. It seems that Leco wants to kill Hercules' beloved to make himself a God and to destroy Hercules, but Hercules manages to succeed in the end. But would you expect any other ending? Hercules in the Center of the Earth is nothing more than pulp fiction. There is little in the way of thought provoking ideas here. But still, this movie is not meant to be such a type. The thing I did notice is Hercules, the strong man, is actually the wise one. In myth Hercules is far from wise, but here he is. It is Theseus who is the foolish one, the one who thinks with his groin rather than his brain.
It is not a bad movie, though it is one that you watch just to watch. The effects are not the best, but what does one expect from a movie made in 1961. Des Mangan called it a cult movie: I personally don't know because I am that knowledgeable in such areas.
Definitely one of the better Hercules films with British born bodybuilder Reg Park (the man who trained Arnold Schwarzenegger) a better Hercules than most. Another thing that puts this one above most of the rest is the presence of British villain Christopher Lee, who's about three inches taller than Reg Park.
In this one Hercules literally goes to Hell so that he can retrieve a magical rock thing that will save his girlfriend. From there he battles the usual assortment of monsters against a backdrop of atmospheric sets. This one's good for Halloween or any dark, misty night by the fireplace.