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Beyond Atlantis

USA/Philippines 1973
produced by
Eddie Romero, John Ashley for Dimension Pictures
directed by Eddie Romero
starring Patrick Wayne, John Ashley, Leigh Christian, Sid Haig, Lenore Stevens, George Nader, Vic Diaz, Eddie Garcia, Andres Centenera, Ken Warrem, Gil Arceo, Kim Ramos, Angelo Ventura
story by Stephanie Rothman, screenplay by Charles Johnson, music by Ed Norton

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A (very) motley crew - consisting of down-on-his-luck diver Logan (John Ashley), all-American hero/diver/skipper Mathias (Patrick Wayne), scientist Kathy (Lenore Stevens) and gangster Eddie (Sid Haig) and his men - sails to a remote island because they believe the reefs around the island littered with shells containing the biggest pearls there are. What they didn't expect (all but Kathy) is that the island is inhabitated by a tribe of fishlike men, probably descendants of the inhabitants of Atlantis, who can stay underwater for hours on end. At first the natives react hostile towards the newcomers, even kill one of them, but eventually Syrene (Leigh Christian), the daughter of the elder Pereus (George Nader) agrees to even show them where the pearls are hidden ... but she has her own motives: you see, Syrene has to mate with an outsider, and she has picked Mathias to do the job. But when she asks Mathias nicely, he refuses her advances, and rather has sex with Kathy, as Syrene has to witness eventually.

So Syrene comes up with another plan to make him shag her: She tells the men of another yet unexploited pearl-field ... but it's dangerous. And really, when she goes down with Mathias and Logan, Logan can#t stand the water pressure and passes out (but is saved from drowning). So now it's only Mathias who is down there with Syrene, and she uses all her female charm to makehim her mate ... and only after a good shag does he pass out as well, but she gets him ashore with a bag full of pearls and a faint memory of what had happened.

Soon enough, Mathias wants to leave, but by that point, Logan has grown way too greedy and wants to exploit the area for good. But then the natives grow hostile and sink their ship ... just a good thing that Manuel the Barracuda (Vic Diaz) happens to come by on a boat and offer them safe passage off the island - for a price.

But first Eddie figures he has to blow up the natives' temple (don't ask why this was such a good idea) and then everybody has to engage in a battle with the natives - including Kathy, who has to take on Syrene ... and eventually she has to kill her in self defense. Seeing Syrene die takes the fight out of the natives (don't ask why) and they lay down their weapons just like that. Then they go on to give Syrene a sea-burial, but when Logan sees dead Syrene covered with a net made of pearls, he, right during the burial ceremony, robs the net at gunpoint - which Pereus freely gives, because withthe loss of his daughter it has lost all its value ...

However, when they are safely aboard the boat back home, a fight over the pearls erupts between our gang of heroes and Manuel the Barracuda and his men ... and in the end, the box filled with pearls falls overboard and sinksdown into the deepest sea, never to be seen again ...


Of course, this is a trashy, cheapish adventure movie with sci-fi-/fantasy-elements thrown in for good measure as well as some underwater scenes looking like cheap imitations of similar scenes in Esther Williams films (really). So no, this film is not a genre classic, but of course, if you like mindless B-adventure films you might find this one amusing. And of course, at least Sid Haig and Vic Diaz turn in performances as entertaining as could be expected from them.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD