HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
   
 
Newest Articles
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
   
 
  Captain Nemo and the Underwater City Darling it's better down where it's wetterBuy this film here.
Year: 1969
Director: James Hill
Stars: Robert Ryan, Chuck Connors, Nanette Newman, John Turner, Luciana Paluzzi, Bill Fraser, Kenneth Connor, Allan Cuthbertson, Christopher Hartstone, Vincent Harding, Ralph Nossek
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Following 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) and Mysterious Island (1961), seafaring antihero Captain Nemo returned to the screen in this colourful British fantasy, inspired by Jules Verne but not adapted from his novels. A violent storm casts Senator Robert Fraser (Chuck Connors) and five other voyagers into the sea, where they are rescued by the legendary Captain Nemo (Robert Ryan) and transported aboard his submarine the Nautilus to his latest creation, a fabulous underwater city called Temple-Mere.

Nemo grants the new arrivals freedom to enjoy their utopian surroundings, but warns they can never leave. For fear they’ll alert outsiders. This proves a problem for Fraser, who is on a vaguely defined mission to stop international arms-dealers. He clashes initially with the authoritarian Nemo, but the men slowly earn each other’s respect. Fraser also falls for lovely Mala (former Bond girl Luciana Paluzzi), after she saves him from a shark attack and performs a weird avant-garde musical number on her Victorian era Theremin, while Nemo warms to plucky single mum, Helena (Nanette Newman). But shifty Barnaby (Bill Fraser) and his brother Swallow (Kenneth Connor) are more taken with the miraculous machines that provide Temple-Mere with oxygen and drinking water, since their by-product is pure gold, and claustrophobic Lomax (Allan Cuthbertson) imperils everybody when he tries to escape.

While the special effects can’t compare to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, this is a fairly lavish production, whose sets and costumes have that charmingly ornate, pastel hued look common to Sixties fantasy fare. Beneath that glistening golden dome, Temple-Mere is a rather appealing paradise with a Sergeant Pepper-style marching band, seals and penguins roaming freely, happy children playing amidst colourful rock pools and giant plants, and loads of dolly-birds in sexy mini-togas. Plus everyone merrily quaffs free alcohol, brewed from shark’s liver, and dispensed from the nipples of Hindu idols. Groovy, baby.

The extravagance extends to the characters’ rather kitsch, glittery diving suits with silver fins attached (macho western star Chuck Connors gets canary yellow - hah!), and the striking lighting effects used by cinematographer Alan Hume, whose diverse credits include Kiss of the Vampire (1962) and Return of the Jedi (1983). However, for all its camp splendour there is little meat to the story concocted by R. Wright Campbell, with husband and wife team Pip and Jane Baker - who later wrote for Space: 1999 and the Colin Baker era of Doctor Who.

Panicky idiot Lomax gets himself killed, there is a mild love triangle between Fraser, Mala and Nemo’s right-hand man Joab (John Turner) - a decent sort, who gets a rather excessive comeuppance - and occasional debates that pay lip service to Verne’s themes of idealism clashing with despair for humanity’s foibles, without seeming particularly profound. Haggard-looking Robert Ryan makes a particularly surly Captain Nemo and lacks the charisma to embroider his world-weariness with mystique. He finds a new family in feminist Helena and her son Philip (Christopher Hartstone), whose presence - along with his comedy kitten - is otherwise pointless. Elsewhere, ’Allo ’Allo/Carry On stalwart Kenneth Connor mostly falls over or bumps his head, and even does a Laurel and Hardy routine beside the drinks dispenser. Later he shows admirable moral fibre with a mildly moving speech about wanting to live happily in Temple-Mere “rather than die in the gutter”, but still inexplicably tries to escape.

If the human drama falls flat, the sea life footage is lively and beautifully photographed, with a documentary feel akin to James Hill’s more celebrated animal movies: Born Free (1966), Black Beauty (1971), The Bellstone Fox (1973), etc. Monster fans might also enjoy the presence of Mobula, the roaring (!), giant manta-ray that attacks the underwater city.

Click here to watch a clip
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4184 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: