Monday, November 5, 2012
Raiders of Atlantis (1983)
Ah, you gotta love the Italian film industry in the 80's. This gem is set in the far-flung future of 1994 where based on the cheesy theme song it would seem disco is alive and well, and concerns an invasion by a gang of cultists descended from the lost continent of Atlantis who want to kill everyone in order to reclaim their rightful place in the world after the continent surfaces in the Caribbean. Actually, I think the idea is that the rising of Atlantis triggers the souls of the descendants in random people, which is just insanely odd.
With such a daffy yet awesome premise you would expect the movie to be 90 minutes of sheer cheesy joy. Happily, this is exactly the case for the most part as director Ruggero Deodato of Cannibal Holocaust fame manages to create a stunningly entertaining piece of crap.
Our heroes are two mercenaries, Mike and Washington (Christopher Connelly and Tony King respectively) and Dr. Cathy Rollins (Gioia Scola) and our villains are led by a guy known only as Crystal Skull (Bruce Baron), thanks to the alleged crystal skull mask he sports. I say alleged because to be brutally frank, it looks like plastic.
The majority of the film takes place on a small island our heroes end up on and while it takes a while to get to the good stuff, the film has plenty of hilariously bad dialogue and acting to tide a person over. The cheese flows think once we get to the island though with the Atlantean biker gang; some decent gore shots (as one would expect from a trashy 80's Italian movie), stunt work that probably is less than safe-I especially like the bit where a flaming arrow gets about an inch from an actor's face, made even better that he stays in character to put out the fire-and best of all, a really great decapitation.
Eventually, Cathy is captured and taken to Atlantis and Mike has to go after her, using an artifact from Atlantis she was brought in to study to lead the way. After more mayhem, we get a baffling conclusion having to do with the souls of trapped Atlanteans being released or something. All I know is that the bad guys lose.
Raiders of Atlantis is not a good movie. It really isn't, but it is a hell of a lot of fun. Cheesy, mindless entertainment with tons of action, bad acting, bad dialogue, bad set design and general strangeness. Love the VHS sleeve too, just great.