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The film did not do well financially, something John Ashley chiefly attributed to the PG rating. "Had we done it a little harder it probably would have done better," said Ashley later. "At least we'd have had a picture that was a little more exploitable." He also thought that the extensive underwater footage slowed down the action, saying, "It's gorgeous. But watching it is like watching slow motion." See more »
A Pimp, A Hustler, A Diver And A Scientist Walk onto an Island....And It Is Lightweight,Trashy, Drive In Fun
A fisherman (the always amusing Vic Diaz) heads to the big city to sell some rare pearls to the local pimp/dealer/criminal of all trades East Eddie(trash cinema king Sid Haig). Smelling more money where that came from, Eddie rounds up a crew for an expedition to the source of the gems. Fence Logan (John Ashley), scuba diver Vic (Patrick Wayne) and a lovely lady scientist Katherine (Lenore Stevens, who is quite beautiful) head off in search of this island for fame, career advancement(Katherine) and a small fortune in pearls (everyone else).
The island is populated by some laughably bug eyed villagers(their "eyes" are masks/headdresses that look like they belong in a primary school Halloween parade) ruled over by the slinky blonde Syrene (Leigh Christian)who spends the entire film amply filling a brief bikini. They are accommodating of the outsiders initially, because they need Syrene to mate with one of them to insure the survival of the fish/half mer people/whatever.
Folks get greedy, natives get suspicious and betrayal, mayhem and general silliness ensues.
The underwater photography is of better quality than you'd expect, both female leads are attractive in skimpy sunwear, John Ashley is kept to a minimum of stinking up the joint, and Sid Haig gives us his usual delightful scene stealing.
In addition, for a PG film, "Beyond Atlantis" manages to hit a lot of exploitation touch points ( abundant skin showing, a Syrene vs. Katherine catfight, some piranha action, explosions, a giggle inducing underwater "mating" scene and Sig Haig's sleazy heavy delivering goofy machismo camp with style).
Lightweight and by no means a classic with a rather unsatisfying ending, "Beyond Atlantis" is still a fun little trifle of the drive in era, and worth watch if you have a few hours to spare.
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