Thursday, October 23, 2014

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA starring Ken Scott and Merry Anders! (Lippert, 1964)

Yikes! Bill sends me yet another mad heist flick in the tradition of DAYTON'S DEVILS which makes me wonder...does Bill want me to get involved with some sorta devious criminal plan to do a li'l robbin' himself, and this is his way of getting me interested? Can't believe it, unless Bill has his eye on the ATM machine around the corner and he wants me to yell "Chickee The Cop!" while he picks at it with a hairpin!

Of course that wouldn't make an exciting moving unless I did a nude scene in it 'r somethin', but I will say that RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA is a really good pull off that unbelievable heist kinda flick that kept me wide 'n awake, or was it the ten bottles of Dr. Pepper I just downed?

In this 'un, terminally unemployed skin-diver Bill Harper (failed leading man Ken Scott) works out what seems like the most perfect-o plan to rob a Catalina Island bank and get away with it by scuba-ing his way under a ferryboat and attaching loot to the the bottom of said ship which thus takes said moolah straight to land. Seems simple enough, but then again Harper's got quite a Herculean task ahead of him...first he reels a reluctant old friend into the scheme and along the way this cornpone-y Texan type who would be more in place on GREEN ACRES somehow wiggles his way into the plot. So does Harper's horny kid brother who just happens to have his eyes fixated on Harper's wife's nookie, and of course along the way the four of 'em are at each other's throats to the point where you think that the whole thing's gonna fall apart before it even starts but...

Well, let's just say that they at least proceed with their dastardly plans, and the way they work up to it really does keep my mind from wandering about like these mooms sometimes tend to do. In fact I was downright enthralled by the boffo early-sixties look 'n feel as well as the wobbly if strong enough plot, not to mention that MONDO CANE-inspired music that weaves in and out of the entire production.

The only thing that really bugged me about RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA was the fact that the juicy actual crime pull off part just goes by too fanabla fast for me. No teasing, fake outs or outright surprises are in store for you like they are in DAYTON'S DEVILS and yeah, ya already know that the bad boys are gonna get caught and the heisted loot splattered across the sea, but at least they shoulda strung everything out a whole lot more'n they actually did because if you blink you'll miss it. I almost did, even though I watched the last few minutes at least five times to let what actually happened digest in my brain.

But fortunately this is not the turkey film the dolts at the imdb make it out to be, and I gotta admit that even with the huge gaping holes in the plot and the whys and wherefores that'll pop into any conscious viewer's bean it's a fun one for sure. And if you doubt me just remember, it was only a few years from fun movies like this to Marlo Thomas in JENNY and YOU tell me which one was the real turdburger!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of viewers would watch the last five minutes of this over a few times just because they don't believe what they saw. "Did they REALLY just do on screen what I THOUGHT I saw them do?" This was NOT a film made for multiple watching on DVD. The "climax" was not just absurd....but abrupt.
Had Ed Wood kept on working in B-movies and not descended into nudie films, I could see him as having directed this, and he would have been rightly proud of his creation! This has the wonderful pulpy feel of a men's magazine story with characters who exist only in the world of bottom-of-the-doublebill B-movies, and I would not have it any other way. The image of the squad of guys in frogmen outfits walking down the street toward the bank on Catalina Island is one I won't soon forget. I'm glad you reviewed this. BILL S.