Thursday, 11 July 2013

Warlords of Atlantis (UK, 1978)

Holy battenberg Batman! how awesome is the title for this film?! Now this could easily be a contender for the remake leagues surely, you could really have some fun with this. What we have here is pure classic Doug McClure, up to this point he's been to the land that time forgot, he's been deep into the Earth's core and he's discovered the people that time forgot. Now the British fantasy film favourite is going down to the depths of the ocean to Atlantis.

Not only is the films title epic but so is the films poster too, its just a shame that the film is so average. The plot is pretty much you're standard garbage and follows almost along the same lines as 'At the Earth's Core'. In fact this film is virtually the same idea altogether accept this is set in Atlantis. A small group of men, a dandy, a scientist and some rough blue collar sailor types, all end up getting stranded somewhere under the ocean within Atlantis (some sort of underwater world in a massive cave system).

Don't ask me how they got there but it all involves some deep sea diving exploration, a mutiny and a giant octopus, now that should get your attention. Of course along the way old Doug manages to nab himself a nice attractive female to rescue, have fisticuffs with the local Atlanteans, get thrown in prison, escape and lead a daring escape back to our world above. Typical daring deeds of heroism from McClure. Love how the Atlantean guards all wear these sturdy looking helmets yet McClure and company still hit them in the face with ease.

The best thing about this fluff is easily the large monsters, most appear to be men in rubber suits much like Godzilla but are darker in tone. The bluescreen work is quite quite awful here but that just makes it even better frankly, so much fun, and the monsters themselves are a hoot! There is some huge swamp monster thing that looks to have been influenced by the creature from the old Black Lagoon movie. Then there are some giant armour plated turtle-like things, a giant eel thingy, flying piranha-like fish etc...its all hammy as hell but so cool.

What lets the film down is the plot and the fact it makes no real sense and doesn't really go anyway. Still not too sure what exactly the higher class Atlanteans actually wanted to do, not really too sure why the monsters attacked Atlantis, why no one could ever escape, how on earth the goodies steel diving bell actually works or how they control it and why did the giant octopus not eat the sailors and how the hell did they wind up on the shore of Atlantis? the octopus put them there?

The ending is hilariously bad with Michael Gothard in his nice blonde wig and white attire commanding water to explode high into the air for no apparent reason whatsoever. What was that about? what was he even trying to do there? get them so wet they just give up? Then the good guys get back into their steel diving bell and it somehow takes them back the way they arrived...magically.

There are so many plot holes and so many silly moments but its not worth even considering them really, the film doesn't try to be anything other than silly fun. McClure had a small run of fantasy films like this between 75 and 78 and they are all much the same type of thing, complete nonsensical fantasy hokum laden with cheese n ham by the bucket load.