It may be small change compared with today’s CGI monster movies, but this is still a decent romp from director Kevin Connor, and it’s far better paced than The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
While on a nautical archaeological expedition off Bermuda in 1896, Professor Aitken (Donald Bisset), his son Charles (Peter Gilmore) and Greg Collinson (clean-cut Hollywood hero Doug McClure who’s about as Victorian as skateboards) discover the fabled city of Atlantis (ruled, would you believe, by the very leggy Cyd Charisse and Daniel Massey) and its monstrous menagerie of sundry sea beasties – including a giant octopus.
The inhabitants of the lost continent are, in fact, an advance alien race of underwater fascists who want to conquer the planet and enslave the human race to create a pseudo-nazi state. There are also hundreds of earthlings down there who have previously disappeared under mysterious circumstances, such as the captain of the Mary Celeste and his attractive daughter, Delphine (Lea Brodie).
This was the fourth in the series of adventures from the team of producer John Dark, director Kevin Connor and star McClure, after The Land that Time Forgot (1975), At the Earth’s Core (1976), and The People that Time Forgot (1977), and the only one not based on a story by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Warlords of Atlantis was scripted by former Doctor Who writer Brian Hayles, and has a similar strain of British idiosyncrasy about it, despite being an American co-production.
Filmed on location in Malta and at Pinewood Studios, the sets and the creatures are as wobbly as the script and the performances, but that’s just part of the charm of this cheesy romp. Rest assured, the rubber monsters familiar from the first three films are present and correct.
And where else can you get to see Doug McClure beat up Cliff from Cheers?
Released as Warlords of the Deep in the US.