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. – Wikipedia
Mario Bava was born in Sanremo, Liguria, Italy. The son of Eugenio Bava, a sculptor who became a pioneer of special effects photography and subsequently one of the great cameramen of Italian silent pictures, Mario Bava’s first ambition was to become a painter. Unable to turn out paintings at a profitable rate, he went into his father’s business, working as an assistant to other Italian cinematographers like Massimo Terzano, while also offering assistance to his father who headed the special effects department at Benito Mussolini’s film factory, the Instituto LUCE.
Bava became a cinematographer in his own right in 1939, shooting two short films with Roberto Rossellini. He made his feature debut in the early 1940s. Bava’s camerawork was an instrumental factor in developing the screen personas of such stars of the period as Gina Lollobrigida, Steve Reeves and Aldo Fabrizi.
Bava co-directed his first genre film in 1958: Le morte viene dallo spazio (The Day the Sky Exploded… read more
Bava's surreal sets and eye-popping, dazzling displays of color elevate this film into the pantheon of the most psychedelic films ever made. My favorite fantasy film (alongside The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.)
Despite its low-budget, Bava manages a surreal visual spectacle with some fun vintage special effects and his trademark atmospheric color photography. The plot is silly, but also fast-paced and full of memorably bizarre set pieces - a battle between Hercules and a gang of the undead is particularly impressive. Bava would go on to make much better films, but his visual style is firmly in place in this early effort.