• Raiders Of Atlantis (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: June 25th, 2021.
    Director: Ruggero Deodato
    Cast: Christopher Connelly, Gioia Scola, Tony King, Ivan Rassimov, George Hilton, Stefano Mingardo, George Hilton, Michele Soavi
    Year: 1983
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    Raiders Of Atlantis – Movie Review:

    Also known as Atlantic Interceptors, Ruggero Deodato 1983 film, Raiders Of Atlantis starts with a scene where former military men Mike Ross (Christopher Connelly) and his pal Washington (Tony King), who has recently converted to Islam and is trying to get everyone to call him Mohammad, establish themselves as tough guys by handing over a body for a stack of cash. From there, they hop into their boat and head out from Miami to find somewhere fun to spend the money.

    At the same time, a research team, led by Professor Peter Saunders (George Hilton) and archeologist Dr. Cathy Rollins (Gioa Scola) are trying to ascertain the origins of a mysterious tablet that they've brought back to their mid-ocean base (which looks a lot like an oil rig). Catty thinks it has something to do with the lost city of Atlantis. Anyway, when a freak tidal wave obliterates their base, they and a few others, including tough guy Bill Cook (Ivan Rassimov), wind up being rescued by Mike and Washington. It turns out Bill and Mike go way back and everyone gets along - but that freak storm wreaks havoc with the boat's controls and they wind up washing ashore San Pedro Island. Here they learn that the place has recently been taken over by some rad post-apocalyptic punks intent on trashing the place so that Atlantis can reclaim its former glory – this involves travelling to a weird island with a dome around it, but of course, there are a few weird twists and turns to deal with along the way, including a strange alliance with a random German guy named Klaus (Stefano Mingardo) and a dude in a leisure suit named…. Larry Stoddard (Maurizio Fardo). Don’t get too attached to Larry.

    Raiders Of Atlantis doesn’t always make a whole lot of sense but that diminishes not one iota of its awesomeness. Once we get through the initial fifteen-minutes or so of setup, the film offers plenty of action and cartoonish violence. You know right away once the punks show up that this is a movie where someone will get their head cut off – you can just feel it – and sure enough, a few minutes later the old ‘wire across the road’ trick is pulled out and some poor bastard loses his noggin. Not enough? We get some awesome scenes with flamethrowers, some Molotov cocktail action, shotgun and machine gun blasts aplenty and even an exploding helicopter! On top of that, the Atlantean punks drive around in awesome, tricked out Mad Max-styled vehicles wearing ridiculous costumes led by a nameless guy in a crystal skull-shaped mask. There’s a lot going on here.

    The cast are game. Christopher Connelly handles himself well in the action scenes and while he may look twice Gioa Scola’s age, you know she’s going to fall for him. And of course she does. They have no chemistry together but who cares, she’s hot and he’s handy with a grenade launcher, that’s all that matters. Tony King steals a few scenes, offering some comic relief with his insistence that everyone call him Mohammad, his character often making strange observations – “WE’VE BOTH BECOME IMMOBILIZED!” Georg Hilton and Ivan Rassimov aren’t given as much to do but they handle themselves just fine here. Also watch out for a small role for Michele Soavi. Oh, and watch out for Deodato himself as one of the guys on the oil rig research station thing that gets wiped out early in the film.

    Raiders Of Atlantis – Blu-ray Review:

    Severin brings Raiders Of Atlantis to Region A Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.85:1 widescreen and taking up 25.2GBs on a 50GB disc. This transfer would appear to use an older, existing master supplied by Studio Canal (the SC logo precedes the feature) and the picture quality is less than perfect. There’s some obvious noise reduction here and things can look a little bit smeary at times. Portions of the movie, especially early on, also have a yellowish hue to them. Some scenes can and do look very nice, primarily in the latter half of the film, but the picture quality here leaves room for improvement.

    24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono tracks are available in Italian and English with optional English SDH subtitles included that translate the English track, no the Italian one. Aside from the fact that the Italian track isn’t really subtitled, the audio quality here is fine. Both tracks are properly balanced and pretty clean and that awesome Black Inferno disco song that opens and closes the movie sounds appropriately bouncy. No problem with any hiss or distortion here, and the dialogue is clean, clear and easy to follow.

    Extras start off with an audio commentary with actor Tony King moderated by Vinegar Syndrome's Brad Henderson. There's lots of talk here about King's background, his time in the NFL, his work as a stuntman and how he wound up acting in Raiders Of Atlantis. King is a blast to listen to, he's clearly having a lot of fun going down memory lane, even if he sometimes needs some prodding from Henderson (in fact, Henderson talks more than King here, but he's done his research and keeps the conversation going). He talks about shooting in Miami and Los Angeles, what the shooting schedule was like, shooting the apocalyptic sequences in The Philippines and how he wound up appearing in a few different Italian films. King speaks very kindly about pretty much everyone that he worked with, working with a lot of local Filipino actors, some of the props and effects work used in the movie, befriending Chris Connelly, working with Deodato and more.

    Ruggero And The Fate Of Atlantis is a new interview with director Ruggero Deodato that lasts twenty-minutes. Here Deodato talks about how he was known in France as Monsieur Cannibal, his relationship with producer Amati, how he came to start making movies in The Philippines where he was impressed with the resources available to filmmakers there and working with many of the locals, many of whom didn't speak the same language as him. He also talks about meeting The First Lady, Imelda Marcos, casting the film in Rome, shooting in Florida and California, what it was like on set and getting along with many of the actors, his friendship with George Hilton, Tito Capri's script and plenty more. Deodato looks back on this making this movie with plenty of fondness and he remembers a lot from the shoot.

    Quest For Atlantis interviews cinematographer Roberto D’Ettore Piazzoli for twelve-minutes. He talks about meeting Deodato in and how they started working togehter on different projects. He also notes that they got along immediately and developed a friendship as well as a professional relationship. He then goes on to talk about working on a few different projects before landing the job on Raiders Of Atlantis but not before he and Deodato had a falling out. They set aside their differences and he wound up doing quite a bit of work on Raiders and he talks about trying to give the film a more dramatic look and making it look tougher, how he had no issues working with Deodato and the impact that a soccer game had on the shoot!

    Rounding out the extras are a trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection.

    Raiders Of Atlantis – The Final Word:

    Raiders Of Atlantis is a blast, a deliriously entertaining mix of weird eighties fantasy tropes, punksploitation and action movie nonsense all set to a killer soundtrack and loaded with awesome performances. Severin’s presentation leaves something to be desired but the extras are really solid and the movie is great.

    Click on the images below for full sized Raiders Of Atlantis Blu-ray screen caps!