War-Gods of the Deep Reviews
The plot is so flipping stupid, it really does feel like they are stretching the boundaries of artistic license within the realms of fantasy with this one. On the coast of Cornwall (a county on the far south west tip of the United Kingdom) stands a mansion, a mansion which has stood for along time, but when an American turns up he conveniently discovers some secret passages that eventually lead to a whole under the sea city...as you do.
Within this city/world of undersea caves, lives Vincent Price and his scurvy crew of shipmates. They have all been down there for centuries because somehow there is some kind of oxygen/gas imbalance down there caused by the volcano or something. So basically they are all stuck down there because if they reemerge they will age rapidly and die.
So basically the whole film is about the two main male characters delving deep into this undersea world to try and rescue the damsel in distress. Yep she was kidnapped by the dastardly Price because he thinks she is his long lost wife or something, oh and Price also controls these humanoid 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' type errr...creatures, somehow. Oh! and I almost forgot, the whole undersea world is gonna be destroyed by a big undersea volcano which is due to erupt, there's always a volcano due to erupt in these films.
The plot makes no sense whatsoever, we don't know why Price's character believes this woman is his long lost wife or why he wants her. No explanation for the gillmen, no real clue about Price's character accept he used to be some captain from centuries ago who smuggled stuff. We know how they got trapped in the undersea city but odd how no one else managed to find it also. I might add we only see this city from a distance, Price, his men and the heroes seem to be in some caves overlooking the city, we never actually venture into it or see any of its inhabitants, if any are left.
Almost the entire film is spent down in these undersea caves watching Price pace around in his natty sea captain attire whilst he explains tonnes of plot exposition. Nothing else actually happens! we do eventually get a battle sequence in the sea when everybody dons '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' diving suits. Dunno how they got away with that, its so obviously copyright infringement.
But this sequence must go down as one of the most dull uninteresting 'action' sequences ever. Watching people lumber around very very slowly on the seafloor, obviously no dialog, no clue who is who, no clue what's going on, the odd mug shot of the actors in their diving helmets all accompanied by an uninspiring musical score. This went on for about ten minutes!! talk about filler!.
This film really does feel badly written and badly executed. Clearly trying to capitalize on the Nemo adventure from Disney with that traditional period look and virtually copying every other idea. The stella cast can't save the film at all, its nice listening to Price talk but even that isn't enough. David Tomlinson has obviously been stuck in there again to try and capitalize on his past Disney fame.
It sounds awesome but that's far from the truth I'm afraid, very disappointing adventure film with absolutely no adventure in it!. The best part of the entire film is the brief sequence where Price's character reaches the surface and instantly begins to age and wither away, reduced to a prune-like mummy as his words echo and fade one last time.
Starring: Tab Hunter, Vincent Price, David Tomlinson, and Susan Hart
Director: Jacques Tourneur
When beautiful Jill (Hart) is abducted by a strange creature, the odd trio of a dashing young geologist (Hunter) and an eccentric artist (Tomlinson) and his pet chicken set out to rescue her. In the process, they find themselves in the remnants of a long-lost civilization where The Captain (Price) rules over a band of cut-throats and an army of monstrous gill-men.
This is another one of American-International's loose adaptations of an Edgar Allen Poe work, and it's one of the better ones. The steam-punk vibes of the ancient pumps and the diving suits left by whoever originally built the city are very cool looking. Price and his immortal pirates make for interesting foils to the heroic, square-jawed good-guy of Hunter, and Tomlinson does a fine turn as the comic relief. And Hart... well, Hart looks great in a low-cut dress, and one certainly understands why everyone wants her.
This film is a fun "lost civilization" yarn that presents all the standards of that genre. It might have rated a 7 if not for an protracted, muddled and very, very boring underwater "chase scene", where our heroes stumble around in dive suits as the bad guys and gill-men give chase. It's a scene that goes on and on and on, and I doubt it was even all that thrilling in 1965. If the film was trimmed by three or four minutes (all taken from there), it would be vastly improved.