Action, Crime

Raiders From Beneath The Sea (1964)

0 Comments 21 May 2013

Raiders From Beneath The Sea coverStudio: 20th Century Fox
Theatrical Release: December 12th, 1964
DVD Release: March 1st, 2013
Rating: UnRated!
Directed by Maury Dexter

Review by Craig Sorensen


This has got to be one of the stupidest plots to a crime caper film ever committed.  The script is silly, the acting over the top, the soundtrack mind numbingly repetitive and the direction workman-like at best.  So everything I could ever want from a B-picture I guess.

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Bill Harper (Ken Scott of Psych-Out) is a bored, henpecked husband stuck working as the manager of the apartment building owned by his wife.  Bill is a former scuba diver and salvager who has had to give up his exciting life due to some legal trouble and prison time.  He also lives with his beer swilling, sex maniac brother Buddy (Garth Benton of 13 Frightened Girls!).  So things aren’t going great for Bill.  But he’s got a plan to change his fortunes.  It just so happens that his plan involves robbing a bank with his scuba diving expertise.  To do this Bill will need partners so he calls in his old (and I do mean old) friend Tucker (Russ Bender from The Amazing Colossal Man).  Tucker’s got problems with both booze and a bad ticker so he’s an obvious choice.  Bring in the untrustworthy ex-con Purdy (Booth Colman of World Without End) and Bill’s pervert brother (who would just as soon see his brother dead so he can take his wife) and you’ve got the makings of a great team.  What could possibly go wrong?

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 Raiders from Beneath the Sea is kind of my idea of a perfect late-night movie.  A lot of the actors are familiar faces if you grew up on UHF reruns.  This cast is a who’s who of TV character actors from the ‘60s through the early ‘80s.  They aren’t exactly giving the most subtle and nuanced performances but they are certainly entertaining.  The plot here is really one of the stupidest bank heist plots ever.  Any crime that involves people walking down a crowded street in full scuba gear into a bank probably needs to be rethought.  It’s an unintentionally funny moment that made me like the movie even more.  And the end!  Holy shit is the end hilarious.

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So 20th Century Fox is the latest studio to jump on the Burn-On-Demand band wagon.  I guess I don’t really have a problem with the idea in theory.  I think that Warner Brothers and MGM both did a pretty good job with the idea (most of the time anyway).  Fox on the other hand has taken the lazy route.  My biggest problem with the Burn-On-Demand model is the pricing.  20 bucks for a DVD-R with no special features is a bit steep.  So I’m not buying anything unless there’s a sale (Warner Brothers has them often).  Fox is following suit here with the pricing.  I could probably deal with that if not for the fact that no effort whatsoever has been put into these discs.  They’re just taking whatever old video transfer they have on hand and dumping it onto a disc.  At least Warner Brothers tries to get the film out in it’s original aspect ratio.  Raiders From Beneath The Sea fares better than other films in this series in that it was shot full frame and then masked theatrically.  So you can actually get pretty close to it’s original aspect ratio by zooming in on your television.  It does amplify other problems with the transfer but doesn’t look too bad considering.  I guess we should be happy that a film like this gets released at all.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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- who has written 151 posts on UnRated Film Review Magazine | Movie Reviews, Interviews.

Craig hails from 'Parts Unknown'.

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