Ranging from a few to several times a year I get what I like to refer to as ‘completely burned out’. It’s a particularly daunting feeling that hits me hard and when it does I don’t want to read, listen to music, watch movies, communicate with friends, work or honestly even get out of bed. To snap myself out of these particularly dreadful moods I have several things I do, most of which I am not going to go into here, including watching a certain number of films that for whatever reason help to bring me back to normalcy.
There isn’t any rhyme or reason to the films that help me out…what exactly the common ground is between Clive Donner’s What’s New Pussycat, Stuart Rosenberg’s The April Fools, Francois Truffaut’s The Man Who Loved Women and George P. Cosmatos’ Cobra is I just couldn’t say but it doesn’t matter as there is something in each that brings a feeling of relief to my dragging spirit.
I love nothing more than stumbling onto a film that promises to be one I can turn to in these dark moments and they typically turn up in the most unlikely places at the most unlikely times. Recently I discovered a new one for me that I can safely add to my list of films that will no doubt bring a little sunshine to my darkest and dreariest of days.
Now I am not going to sit here and write that Ruggero Deodato’s 1983 film L’Predatori di Atlantide (The Raiders of Atlantis or, as I prefer, The Atlantis Interceptors) is what you might call a ‘good’ film but Deodato’s delightfully goofy follow up to the grueling one-two knockout punch Cannibal Holocaust and House on the Edge of the Park goes way beyond the definition of ‘good’ into a whole other realm of greatness. This is the kind of gloriously off the wall movie that people simply don’t make anymore…it’s the kind of film the recent Doomsday wanted to be but you simply can’t recapture this kind of magic with a lot of money, a big cast and CGI effects.
The Atlantis Interceptors (currently wearing a solid 2.9 rating at IMDB proudly on its sleeve) concerns the lost city of Atlantis suddenly re-appearing off the coast of Miami after some goofball scientists go and spill some nuclear waste into the ocean waters surrounding it. Arriving with the legendary lost city is a group of crazed motorcycle riding tattooed Road Warrior rejects (the kind that populated so many of these early eighties spectacles) who are fought off by our ready for action heroes struggling to save the world from total disaster. It is awesome.
Our heroes are led by Christopher Connelly, the late and beloved genre favorite who brought so much to many Italian horror and action films in the eighties. Joining Connelly is everyone from Cannibal Apocalypse’s Tony King to future directorial giant Michele Soavi to the badass team to beat of Ivan Rassimov and George Hilton. In other words, The Atlantis Interceptors is an Italian film fanatic’s wet dream.
Scored by the mighty Guido and Maurizio De Angelis (under the great pseudonym of Oliver Onions!!!) and directed with the kind of ‘go for broke even though I have no budget’ inspired mania that Ruggero Deodato thrived at, The Atlantis Interceptors is just an absolute blast and more than any other ‘great’ film I have watched recently reminded me of why I love cinema so much. Add on one of the most simultaneously irritating and catchy theme songs in cinema history and some truly insane stunt work (I was struck watching this film just how boring and safe modern action films typically are) and you’ve got all the ingredients for a real camp classic…forget The Rocky Horror Picture Show, let me dress up for a midnight showing of The Atlantis Interceptors and I’m online!
By the end of its 89 minute running time (my copy was cut which made me feel like I had rented it back in the day) I was totally refreshed and ready to take on the world again (in an albeit illogical and badly dubbed kind of way).
The Atlantis Interceptors can be seen on the budget box set The Grindhouse Experience Volume Two in a decent enough print ported over from an old British VHS tape that is missing 3-4 minutes of gore including an unforgettable decapitation that can be seen in the trailer I have attached. I would sell a couple of pints of blood in a New York minute to buy a special edition re-mastered copy of this monster as it’s that amazing.
Even the most narcotic coated and hazy mind couldn’t even begin to dream The Atlantis Interceptors and if I ever get to the point where I don’t enjoy a movie like this then I will hang it all up for good and surrender myself to a cinematic world obsessed with logic and ‘good’ taste…what a horrifyingly dull place that must be.