Raiders of Atlantis - Raiders of Atlantis( Blu Ray) [Severin - 2021]
During the post-apocalyptic/action sci-fi cycle of the 1980s, there were more than a few wacky ideas/concepts for films- but I think it’s fair to say that Raiders of Atlantis has one of the more ridiculous/ improbable. Basically, it features a gang of punked-up warriors on spiked ‘n’ razor-tipped vehicles travelling from a recently raised part of Atlantis to invade a Caribbean Island. It features a disco theme tune, some fairly brutal kills, tons of dumb action ‘n’ explosions, and enough 80’s camp to float a boat. Here from the guys at Severin is a Blu Ray release of the film, featuring a commentary track and a few other things.
Released in the year 1983 Raiders of Atlantis (aka Atlantis Interceptors, The Last Warriors, Atlantis Inferno) was an Italian/ Filipino production, which was filmed mainly in the Philippines, with some of it in Rome & Miami. It was directed by Ruggero Deodato, who I’m sure won’t need any introduction to genre fans- as he helmed the like of harrowing/ proto-found footage film Cannibal Holocaust, and nasty home invasion picture House by The Edge of The Park.
The film kicks off, in Miami, Florida, where two Vietnam vets-turned-mercenary buddies Mike (Christopher Connelly) and Mohammed/ Washington (Tony King) are just dropping off a kidnapped crim. After this job, they decide to chart a boat & head for the Caribbean. Meanwhile, on a secretive oil tanker off the coast, a group of scientists are getting ready to rise on down nuclear sub- as around it has been found tablets relating to the lost city of Atlantis. As the sub is raised, they somehow, manage to rise a part of the lost city, which is encased in a huge watertight dome!.
From here a few of the scientists, and the mercenary duo land up on a Caribbean Island (Milina) that has been invaded by a group of warrior punks from Atlantis, which are led up the glass skull wearing and cane tapping leader. As the film unfolds, we get a selection of gun battles, explosions, chopper action, and cheesy one lines. With along the way some fairly gory kills- there is a motorcycle decapitation, brutal arrow in the head kill, all manner of shoot-ups, and more than a few flaming deaths. The film remains pacy, action crammed, and often highly silly.
Cast wise Connelly is serviceable as the moving towards middle age happy-go-lucky & quipping action hero, his buddy King is rather giving a stereotypical African American sidekick role. Otherwise, we have Italian exploitation star Ivan Rassimov as the chopper pilot, and rather bizarrely he’s dubbed by the same person who normally did the dubbing for another Italian exploitation name Al Cliver (Zombie Flesh Eaters, Endgame). With the rest of the cast doing a good to passable job.
The region A locked Blu ray takes in a new 4k scan- and this looks nicely bright/ clear. Moving onto the extras and first up we get a commentary track from Vinegar Syndrome’s Brad Henderson and Actor Tony King. And this, unfortunately, is rather disappointing, as King spends most of the track just watching the film- Henderson does his best to bring out comment/ content from him, but it’s very thin on the ground. We do get some interesting observations/ comments on the film’s production/ effects/ miniatures from Henderson, but it’s all rather piecemeal. So, a real letdown. Otherwise, on the extras side, we get a new onscreen interview with Ruggero Deodato- this runs around the twenty-minute mark, and he goes from talking about the initial issues with the crew Manila, and how the first lady step in to help. Moving on he talks about the locations, cast and on set stories- it’s an interesting if at times rather jumping around interview. We get a twelve-minute interview with the films Cinematographer Roberto D’Ettore Piazzoli. Lastly, we have an original trailer
On the whole Raiders of Atlantis is a prime slice of 80’s sci-fi action silliness- with a great pulsing pace, tons of explosive action, corny dialogue, and some neat touches of brutal gore. Certainly, one of the better, and rewatchable post-apocalyptic/ action sci-fi cycle- and it’s great to have this recent Blu Ray release from Severin.Roger Batty