I recently stumbled upon a beautiful big box VHS version of the 1983 gem ‘Raiders of Atlantis’ and it’s easily one of the most entertaining 80’s action/sci-fi genre mash up’s I’ve ever seen. Even more interesting is that we’ve got cult director Ruggero Deodato, most well known for his extreme gore flick ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ at the helm. Well, while ‘Raiders’ doesn’t feature the offensive gross-out gore of ‘Holocaust’ it does have it’s fare share of unexpectedly crazy bloody good moments and then some to spare.
As for the plot, there’s not much to it, basically two hot shot war vets (Mike, who’s a slightly past his prime playboy and his buddy, recently converted to islam, Washington, who desperately wants people to call him Mohammed) and their crew head off by boat to investigate the strange suddenly rising continent of Atlantis that emerges from the depths of the ocean covered in a transparent dome. Well pretty much as soon as our crew of trusty adventurers set foot on Atlantis’ shore they discover a creepy, fully ravaged city with dead people scattered about, leading to a particularly excellently executed chilling scene involving a skipping record. Deodato immediately sets the stage for a full on genre sandwich that’s part action/sci-fi/horror & post apocalyptic adventure.
Of course none of this can really be taken too seriously as the movie opens with Washington & Mike displaying their innate ability to kick major ass and then some within the first few minutes. However the movie shifts gears when it’s revealed that the natives of Atlantis are actually psychotic punk rock post apocalyptic warriors who’re out to kill anyone and everything in sight. Their leader even wears a ridiculous see through plastic skull mask and they all drive around freaky jacked up killer cars and motorcycles like total maniacs. The rest of the movie is really one fucking awesome action sequence after another, ridiculous hi-octane shit that never slows.
There’s not a damn dull moment in this one folks, it’s all killer and no filler. Crazy gun battles, wild chase sequences, witty one liners, severed heads and even some supernatural shit towards the end that switches gears slightly into new territory for the adventure. There’s tons of awesome exotic locations, burning buildings, foggy spooky tunnels and of course our two awesome fully charming lead characters that offer just enough comedic relief in all the right spots. I really can’t say enough about this one as it was a pleasant surprise and something I’d never even heard of before. Clocking in around 90 minutes Raiders is a lean, mean italian adventure flick that’s a full on crowd pleaser. Full of over the top characters, great moments of total cheez and action galore. From what I’ve read the movie is only available on VHS and copies of it can sometimes be a bit spendy, however I’m hoping someone will soon give it a clean up and properly release this beast officially to the people of the world once again in all of it’s glory. Hunt a physical copy down if you’re a fan of rad 80’s action movies cuz it’s a total lost gem of a movie. Or just watch it right here on Youtube!! Yeeeeeah!