The Death of Hercules

Wow, I did not realize that Reg Park had died until I stumbled upon this obituary written by Tim Lucas over at VideoWatchblog. Park played Hercules in a couple of fantasy-oriented sword-and-sandal epics back in the early ’60s, HERCULS CONQUERS ATLANTIS and HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD. The later retains a certain cult appeal because was directed by genre expert Mario Bava, and it co-stars Christopher Lee (Dracula for a generation of movie-goers, before playing Count Dooku in ATTACK OF THE CLONES and Saruman in LORD OF THE RINGS.
Lucas’s obit is a heart-felt piece that makes you appreciate Park’s contribution to the role, even if you are not a big fan of Italian muscleman epics. If you want a quick introduction to the genre, check out the video below, which I shot at an exhibition of photographs and posters called “Beefcake Babylon: the Iconography of Sword & Sandal Epics.” Park shows up in some of the photos, along with his predecessor in the role of Hercules, Steve Reeves.