ERCOLE AL CENTRO DELLA TERRA (1961) was one of Mario Bava's most fantasmagorical attempts at retelling the myths and legends of ancient times. Reg Park portrays the muscle-bound hero who is sent to the Underworld of Pluto to recover a magic apple to cure his love, the flaxen-haired Dianeira. Christopher Lee is the villainous Lyco, a sort of vampire/evil force in one of his best performances of the Sixties. Mario Bava's cinematography is dazzling with the entire spectrum of colors, fog and atmosphere that made him famous. Lee's resurrection of vampires in this film is bone-chilling and top-notch in terror. There is some annoying comedy relief involving Hercules' partners and some living stone creatures but overall this is second only to the two Steve Reeves films HERCULES and HERCULES UNCHAINED (Bava also worked behind-the-scenes on these). A cinematic treat for lovers of peplum, Bava and Sixties spectacle.