Saturday, January 22, 2022

The Warlords of Atlantis ( 1978 )

An incredible tale of terror and suspense .....above and below the sea! 

So reads the tagline to Warlords of Atlantis, another one of director Kevin Connor's sci-fi adventure films of the 1970s. In this story, American inventor Greg Collinson ( Doug McClure ) and British scientist Charles Aitken ( Peter Gilmore ) set out under the sea in a diving bell to search for the lost city of Atlantis. They not only find the city still thriving underwater but find themselves trapped in it and unable to escape from the warlords who rule it!

Warlords of Atlantis aka Warlords of the Deep starts off with a bang and ends with an exciting finale but - like most of Kevin Connor's films - it is very tiresome in the middle segments. Nevertheless, it is a fun adventure film to watch ( especially if you leave the tele to take a sandwich break midway through ) and features some good stop-motion monsters by Roger Dicken. 

Connor loved working with Doug McClure ( this was their fourth film together ) so naturally, the all-American hero had the starring role, but Connor also cast that wonderful English actor Peter Gilmore ( The Onedin Line ) in a really strong supporting role. Gilmore portrays Charles Aitken, a brainy spectacled scientist who is fascinated with the creatures and culture of Atlantis and couldn't care less for their golden treasure. The warlords of Atlantis, Atraxon ( Daniel Massey ) and Atsil ( Cyd Charisse ) want to use Aitken's mental powers to expand their conquest. Why they need him and how they plan to use him is never really explained but, when Greg finds out their plan, he sets out to rescue his friend and return to the calm waters away from Atlantis. Gilmore's character reminds me of the engaging Dr. Perry ( Peter Cushing ) from At the Earth's Core ( 1974 ) and could have been his younger self. 

The screenplay to Warlords of Atlantis was penned by Brian Hayles, who is best known for writing several Doctor Who scripts but also wrote the children's miniseries The Moon Stallion ( 1978 ) and Arabian Adventure ( another Kevin Connor production ). Hayles included a good plot twist in Warlords of Atlantis involving Captain Daniels ( Shane Rimmer ) and his suspicious crew of sailors. 

Also in the cast is Lea Brodie as Greg's love interest, John Ratzenberger, and the striking Michael Gothard. While the film is not worth hunting feverishly for, if you happen to catch it on television then grab yourself some popcorn and sit back and enjoy it. Personally, I love cheesy adventure films and Warlords of Atlantis is a great example of that genre. 

1 comment:

  1. It is indeed a "cheesy adventure film", but if you catch it in the right frame of mind on a Saturday afternoon, it can be an entertaining way to spend 95 minutes. I always think that Doug McClure seems miscast in these movies as the stalwart hero, but he was a "name actor" at the time. This one also has the added bonus of Cyd Charisse, who made any movie better even when she wasn't dancing.