APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Beyond Atlantis (1973)

April 19: Weird Wednesday — Write about a movie that played on a Weird Wednesday, as collected in the book Warped & Faded: Weird Wednesday and the Birth of the American Genre Film Archive. Here’s a list.

I was loud while watching this movie that my wife had to come to check on me. The sheer delight had overtaken me when East Eddie (Sid Haig) appeared in a movie where gigantic-eyed Atlantean people attempted to keep their undersea world alive thanks to a new queen named Syrene (Leigh Christian), who must constantly sire new children, as decreed by her adopted father Nereus (George Nader).

Eddie is part of a group trying to farm pearls for money which includes what could be the exploitation movies made in the Philippines version of The Avengers: Manuel the Barracuda (Vic Díaz), Logan (John Ashley) and Vic Mathias (Patrick Wayne).

Producer Ashley had the idea that this would be a science fiction version of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which is a big idea, while Wayne would only be in the film if it was a family-friendly movie, but it’s also about rebuilding the DNA of a dying world of interbred bug-eyed merpeople, which is a fun juxtaposition.

The underwater scenes are gorgeous and this has way better production values than many movies made in the Philippines. Yet if it had more exploitation — a fact that Ashley believed — I think it would be a more exciting movie.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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