Warlords of Atlantis (1978)
directed by Kevin Connor aka: Warlords of the Deep
We follow the underwater expedition of a British crew on the ship, Texas Rose, aiming to explore the deep sea in a diving bell. Attended by the scientist and the technician/creator, the bell lowers thru a deep crevasse where it’s attacked by a sea monster, a plesiosaur, that threatens to rip the vessel apart. The wide shots of this creature are decent but the close ups of this beast reveal it to be a bit Muppet-looking. Naturally when they find the secret entrance to Atlantis, the Atlantians aren’t happy. They send a giant Kraken out to attack and bring the whole crew down to the underwater city. The men wash ashore upon an inner-world where they are taken prisoner. The Atlantians plan to enslave them, as they have enslaved seafarers for eons. There are giant creatures resembling a Glyptodont that periodically attack the Atlantis city and its during one of those attacks that our band of adventurers make their escape.
The film is pure schlock and I can’t help laughing at some of the events and dialogue. Doug McClure is supposed to be American so he mangles his American accent delivering his lines like a Bowery Boy with a bad attitude. Peter Gilmore does a decent job with his part as the scientist, though he’s stiff in the beginning and it takes him most of the film to warm up to his character. Lea Brody plays the slave girl who helps the crew escape. There are massive sets depicting the city of Atlantis, but clearly the film should have used more of its budget on rehearsing the actors.
The crew are attacked by jumping piranhas during the escape. The first few are choreographed well, but it devolves into a jumbled mess of rubber fish being hurled at the actors. Eventually they get to the end of the river and the diving bell gets flushed down a toilet (that’s what it looks like) and returns to the ship. Sad to say but the best actor in the film is the Giant Octopus. In the finale it attacks the boat delivering a fine action sequence for the monster fan. The monster FX were done be Roger Dicken who had created the dinosaurs for The Land That Time Forgot. This film was the 4th Fantasy adventure film by Connor, the first 3 being Amicus Films.
The film is worth a watch for fans of old style monster flicks and fantasy adventure for its pure schlock and unintended humorous aspects.
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