Story: Mike (Christopher Connelly) and Mohammed (Tony King) are close friends that served in Vietnam together and these days, the two put their combat skills to use to make ends meet, working as elite level mercenaries. Their efforts in the field have been impressive, as the pair has pulled off jobs that few others could, though their latest assignment is an odd one. Mike and Mohammed are tasked to rescue a team of scientists after an underwater expedition hit some serious snags. As if the mission isn’t dangerous enough, the scientists believe they have discovered Atlantis and that the submerged city’s descendants are terrorizing the streets. With the potential prize of Atlantis itself in the balance, can the mercenaries see this unhinged mission through to the end?
Entertainment Value: Raiders of Atlantis is a coked out action overload, tinged with surreal and inexplicable touches that really put things over the top, even by 80s action movie standards. The premise here is wild, but the way it all unfolds is even wilder and by the time the finale rolls into motion, this one is fully off the rails. I appreciate that the movie never tries to make sense, focusing instead of a blend of nearly nonstop action, 80s visual vibes, and some over the top melodrama, all of which combines for a potent, nonsensical, and fun mixture. As you’d expect, there are some nods to other, more famous movies wedged in, but by and large, Raiders of the Atlantis is content to just go bananas and let the action and wackiness take the wheel. The cast has some familiar faces for exploitation fans, with Ivan Rassimov, George Hilton, and Christopher Connelly in prime roles, while genre legend Ruggero Deodato serves in the director’s chair. The performances in general are enthusiastic if nothing else, running with the tone of mania and melodrama. Anyone who appreciates action, b movie mayhem, or big 80s vibes would be well served to pick up Raiders of Atlantis.
No nakedness in this one, no time for romance with all the action, craziness, and gratuitous grappling hook going on. There is some bloodshed, though not as much as you might expect. One of the battle scenes has some highlights, such as bloody gunshot wounds, a few full body burns, an arrow to the face, and more. There is also a humorous moment when the old “decapitate a biker” routine comes up, a spike trap claims a victim, and there’s various other bits of blood whenever the gun battles kick in, which is quite often. There is ample violence, despite the general lack of the red stuff, with better, more creative set pieces than some might anticipate. I made note of the Molotov mania sequence, the wealth of street warfare that is waged, and tons of wild, over the top shootouts. The dialogue can be humorous, thanks to the melodramatic writing involved and the general wackiness of the material, not to mention the actors, who range from stilted to ham handed. There are some one lines, but its the serious, awkward lines that stood out to me and there are many of those. Perhaps not quotable stuff, but humorous and entertaining exchanges or bursts of dialogue. As for general insanity, how about an opening credits sequence with amazing vibes, a tour bus vs. a helicopter, miniature scale destruction, a bad ass in a Member’s Only jacket, elder abuse, and the most 80s street gang ever? Oh, and the whole finale, which is honestly too off the wall to even describe here.
Overall Insanity: 7/10
The Disc: This cult classic finally graces a Blu-ray disc thanks to Severin Films, who released the movie with a brand new 4k scan. The movie looks excellent, beyond my expectations and easily the best the film has looked on home video. The print is clean, detail is sharp, and colors and contrast are on the mark, just another top tier treatment from Severin Films. I think fans are going to really appreciate how good the movie looks, as this is a substantial upgrade. The extras include a twenty minute interview with director Ruggero Deodato, a twelve minute interview with cinematographer Roberto D’Ettore Piazzoli, an audio commentary track with star Tony King, who is interviewed by Vinegar Syndrome’s Brad Henderson, and the film’s trailer.