I was loaned this DVD by a friend who described it as truly awful. Now having watched "At the Earth's Core" and "The People that Time Forgot", I was happy to watch it not just for the sake of politeness. I admit I am just a big kid at heart, because I actually really enjoyed this film. It did not take itself too seriously and gave me a good laugh. The acting was pleasantly tongue in cheek, and the imaginative world that producer John Dark and director Kevin Connor create is a highly original one. No, they didn't have CGI at their disposal, but the large models were creative and good fun. There was that fantastic rubber octopus, the bizarre creature that jumped out of the mud, and those huge armour plated Ankliosaurus looking monsters. Not to mention some funny jumping fish with big gnashers. One of the actors says in a very droll moment "I've got a mortal fear of monsters". Not surprising after what he is put through.
The film itself concerns an inventor played by Doug McClure and a scientist played by Peter Gilmore, of Oneiden Line fame, who take a diving bell to the seabed where they discover the lost world of Atlantis. I won't be giving too much of the plot away in mentioning this! They are joined by most of the ships crew who are kidnapped by a large octopus who kindly drops them off in Atlantis. This begins the excuse to unleash a whole world of weird and wonderful monsters. The warlords have plans to use Gilmore's brain for sinister motives, and turn the others into something nasty. Escape does not appear to be an option, or is it? The alternative of remaining and becoming a goldfish is not an attractive option.
There are a number of funny scenes including a "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid" style jump into frothing water, accompanied to some startling sound effects. One character captured by the warlords, complains when given food that `it doesn't have enough salt', which gave me a chuckle. Cyd Charisse strangely appears as a lady from Atlantis. You normally associate her in dance films with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. Cyd has just enough screen time to show that she still has the shapely dancer's legs of old. I recall those screen legends Henry Fonda and director John Huston also oddly appearing in the film "Tentacles", about another giant octopus. The things folk do to earn a crust! Doug McClure is from the Mount Rushmore school of acting. Not so much wooden, more like Purbeck marble. But so what, he was never going to get an Oscar, but at least old Trampas does have screen presence. The film has the same sort of charm that old episodes of "Doctor Who" and "Blakes Seven" had. Innovation and imagination triumph over a poverty of resources. Surely that deserves 3.7 rounded up to 4 stars.