Hercules in the Haunted World (1961)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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Critic Reviews for Hercules in the Haunted World
Typical Hercules/Machiste nonsense not made better by the overrated Bava direction.
Bava's innovative color cinematography sparkles in its own right, but becomes even more impressive when you realize what a limited budget the director had.
Audience Reviews for Hercules in the Haunted World
I found this movie a lot of fun, it's much better than other Hercules movies from the 60s, maybe because Bava directs, so it has a bit of a horror feeling to it? It does have a classical epic story, though, which is really cool. It was better than I expected.
The usual fun Bava fare. This time he sends Hercules to Hades (or Hell for those of you who've never read Bulfinch's Mythology) to save the woman he loves. One of Bava's more impressive features from a style standpoint with the lighting and camera tricks, even if the story is something you've seen before. Christopher Lee is the villain and the last ten minutes are creepy and amazing all at the same time. Hercules in the Haunted World also shows Bava's influence on future filmmakers such as Sam Raimi and Don Coscarelli. The Comic Relief Guy was too much, but overall this one's worth the time.
Update: I recently saw the great Fantoma DVD version with it's full aspect ratio and great colors.
The dialogue is pretty wooden at times, like all Peplum. Luckily Lyco and Hercules avoid the worst of it.
Many of the sets and lighting give the movie a psychedelic, horror feeling at times that makes this movie fun. There's still quite a few cheesy laughs here and there, such as the goofy rock golem scene, but overall it's a good film.
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