Forgotten Action Cinema: Raiders of Atlantis

Infamous “Cannibal Holocaust” director Ruggero Deodato’s silly 1983 action knock-off “Raiders of Atlantis” (aka “Atlantis Interceptors”) is quite possibly one of the most unintentionally confusing movies ever to grace my highly perplexed television screen. Working from a script that was clearly written while binging on big-budget Hollywood drivel, Deodato assaults the viewer with a large number of quasi-interesting ideas — then suddenly abandons all of them once he’s painted himself directly into the nearest corner. What could have been a sly sci-fi actioner about the sudden, unexpected return of Atlantis quickly spirals into a nonsensical hodge-podge of generic shoot-outs, cheap helicopter sequences, and oh-so memorable one-liners, the latter of which are mostly delivered by “Cannibal Apocalypse” veteran Tony King. Also entrenched in this cinematic madness is “Peyton Place” star Christopher Connelly, who often appears to be just as genuinely muddle-headed as everyone else. Attempting to solve any of the puzzles presented by the filmmakers is a lost cause; try as you might, nothing adds up, leaving you with more questions than you started with. Does all of this tomfoolery detract from the picture’s ability to satisfy your insatiable need for action? Not in the least. Say what you will about the overall quality of the film, but “Raiders of Atlantis” is pure entertainment. The body count is high, lots of innocent people bite the dust in a handful of inventive ways, and the theme song will lodge itself awkwardly in your brain for weeks on end. I don’t recommend going out of your way to locate this turkey, but if you happen to stumble across a copy, definitely snatch it up.