Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Raiders of Atlantis, More Schlock from Italy

Atlantis' track record in film is not a good one.  When Patrick Duffy's "Man From Atlantis" is the first work to come to mind at the mention of that mythological island, this tells us that it is a plot device that hasn't met with success.  However, this blog loves Italian horror and science fiction (see this blog's June 15th entry on "Creatures From the Abyss").  Like "Creatures From the Abyss," 1983's "The Raiders of Atlantis" is an Italian film set in and near Miami.  With massive battle scenes and over the top carnage, this film ranks #1 all time in the category of "movies with Atlantis in the title."
The plot:  A scientific team aboard an ocean platform in the waters near Miami is trying to raise a sunken Russian submarine.  These unfortunate scientists commandeer Dr. Cathy Rollins (Gioia Scola) from her dig at Machu Picchu because they have found an inscribed tablet on the sub which dates back before any known civilization.  Rollins is excited at the discovery, but her glee is short lived.  The radiation from the nuclear sub causes the lost City of Atlantis to raise back to the surface, destroying the oil platform and sending all the scientists into the ocean.  A couple of mercenaries who have just finished some mayhem in a third world hell-hole, rescue the scientists and are able to beach on an island community housing old rich guys, their trophy wives, and cute children.  What they don't know is that a homicidal biker gang from Atlantis, looking like cast-offs from the movie "The Warriors," has just murdered everyone in the community.  Cathy, her scientist friends, and the mercenaries arrive to a city full of bloody corpses (see photo below).
Led by a psycho with a crystal skull mask, the gang begins pursuing our protagonists.  Eventually our team, led by Mike (Christopher Connely), and Washington (Tony King, a Fred Williamson look-a-like) find lots of machine guns and Molotov cocktails and engage in an action-packed, bloody war with Crystal Skull's gang. Crystal Skull lets our scientists know that he intends to murder them all except for Cathy....for which Atlantis has special plans for.  The psychos from Atlantis must have been a bit tired after butchering all the trophy wives as our scientific community fares well in battle against them.  After decapitating one of Crystal Skull's henchmen, Mike and Washington puree the spazoids with machine guns, and Molotov cocktails.  During at least three epic war scenes, we see carnage induced from guns, crossbows, gas bombs, swords, darts, booby traps, flame throwers, machetes, bows and arrows, and electrical wire.  As Crystal Skull abducts Cathy, our heroes then must rescue her and come face to face with the true intentions of Atlantis and it's warped inhabitants.  
What do the rulers of Atlantis have planned for the fair Cathy?  What models of machine guns were Mike and Washington using which never run out of ammunition?  Did the xenophobia of the 1980s, rampant in Italy, make war between Atlantis and the modern world inevitable?  This is a heartwarming tale in which people's hearts really do get burned by flame throwers.  See "The Raiders of Atlantis," and have your pre-conceived judgments about Atlantis movies shattered.  

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