Saturday, 26 March 2016

Atlantis Interceptors (1983)

During it’s heyday in the 70s and 80s, Italian exploitation cinema tapped into the success of any number of successful films and genres, such as zombies, maverick cops and Mad Max style post-apocalyptic worlds. Atlantis Interceptors adds a new twist to the latter by splicing it with the well-known but untapped mythology of the lost undersea kingdom of Atlantis.

When radioactive material leaks from a Russian nuclear submarine sunk in the Caribbean, it causes the legendary city of Atlantis to rise from the sea. A group of scientists led by Dr. Cathy Rollins (Gioia Scola) team up with two mercenaries, Mike Ross (Christopher Connolly) and his sidekick Mohammed (Tony King), in a battle for survival after descendants of the original Atlanteans decide to reclaim the world for themselves by destroying everything and everyone already here. 

The script is a jaw dropping mix of fairly well constructed action and adventure, and baffling lapses in anything approaching logic. Well constructed in as much as it takes time to introduce Ross and his mercenaries in a way that pays off when needed, and also drops in twists and turns, and ups the stakes and the threat at the right time. Illogical as in where the hell did the Mad Max band of bikers come from, and why are they smashing up Miami, leaving a trail of bloody corpses and burnt out buildings in their wake? Unless I blacked out during a vital scene, no explanation is ever given as to how or why they suddenly appear.

Director Ruggero Deodato is perhaps best known for notorious pseudo snuff video nasty Cannibal Holocaust but this is a million miles away from the grim depressing feel of that. The model work and special effects are about what you would expect for something made cheaply and quickly, the action scenes are competently handled and the production design of a burnt out looted city is well executed. 

The human star of the show is definitely Christopher Connolly, who became a regular in the Italian film industry. Here he throws himself into the role with obvious relish and is great fun to watch.

Like any of these sort of films, please don't think about it too much, just enjoy the action, gore, cheesy dialogue and brain hurting plot twists. Oh and the disco theme tune.