The Raiders of Atlantis (1983)

Director: Ruggero Deodato

So after the kerfuffle surrounding Cannibal Holocaust, Deodato found himself unable to make films for three years for a few years (I presume House on the Edge of the Park, which appeared in the same year as CH, was already in the can before Deodato was barred from going behind a camera again). This was his return to the world… and oh dear, three years away from filmmaking doesn’t appear to have been good for him. Or maybe there wasn’t much that could’ve been done anyway? I don’t know. Basically, as the title may indicate, Atlantis turns out to not only have been real, it’s still real and making its own return to the world, having been “revived” somehow by radiation from a Soviet nuclear submarine that’s gone astray. The story takes place for no discernible reason in 1994, which looks remarkably like 1983; the cast, headed by a couple of apparent career criminals, find a small island town basically laid waste by some gang of Atlantean invaders with new wave hairstyles, three-wheeled choppers, tricked out convertibles, and a disconcerting amount of echo on their voices when you kill them. The whole thing makes astoundingly little sense, from the putative “futuristic” setting to the Atlanteans’ inexplicable need for one of the human party—a historian specialising in pre-Columbian writing—to assist their return to the surface; it’s so mind-bogglingly stupid I’m actually kind of angry at it. Don’t think I need or want to say any more about it.

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