Good grief, after years of trying to remember which film it was I?d seen as a kid on TV that involved a Bathysphere, a boat being attacked by a giant octopus and a whole heap of underwater shenanigans, what turns up in the reviewing post-box?only ?Warlords of Atlantis? from Amicus, staring the ever-popular Doug McClure (father of Troy McClure, perchance?!)
Amicus made some truly zany adventure films, and four of them have been brought back to life on DVD. ?Warlords of Atlantis? is one of those over-the-top, doesn?t-make-sense movies that we all saw as kids on a Sunday afternoon, and which we all have a fondness for because they are pure boys-own adventure and sci-fi.
So, the story: aboard the Texas Rose, a professor of archaeology, his scientist son, and an engineer are on a quest to find the lost city of Atlantis. When a giant octopus attacks their ship, they awaken within a mysterious under water realm. A deep-sea kingdom has been colonised by an advanced alien race with immense psychic powers and a dark secret? A perilous, nautical tale of mutiny, murder, hidden treasure, giant sea monsters and lost worlds.
The film does all this, and more, with added sexy legs, silly hair-do?s and many a matte-painting. It is a perfect example of the old-school of adventure film-making, when the men were one-dimensional and beefy, the girls were one-dimensional and tasty and the monsters were one-dimensional and made out of rubber. There?s nothing to dislike about this film. It has a sailing boat, a beautifully built bathysphere, some tremendously dodgy underwater scenes, random monster attacks, men ripping their shirts off, women?OK, one woman?making good use of her natural assets, a thin John Ratzenberger (you won?t believe how different he looked back then to his days on Cheers), much salty-dog speak, treachery and mutiny, strange alien goings-on, levitation and brain-manipulation. And on top of all that they even manage to squeeze in a killer octopus, flying bitey-fish things and a NAZI sub-plot. This is a masterpiece of old-school B movie brilliance and I loved every second of it.
The new transfer to DVD looks splendid, with strong colours and a wonderful soundtrack. It is fantastic to see a classic getting the DVD treatment. If you love a bit of cheese and B movie silliness, if you appreciate the lost-art of the rubber-suited monster and the 5 minute romance (seriously, one of the scientists and the strange beautiful lady fall in deepest love in a matter of moments?who needs plot development?!) then ?Warlords of Atlantis? is for you. Amicus emerges from the depths of history with a winning film and a killer octopus?superb!