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PATRICK WAYNE AND LEIGH CHRISTIAN REACH 'BEYOND ATLANTIS'

Title BEYOND ATLANTIS Year: 1973 Rating: ***1/2
About the only thing remembered about BEYOND ATLANTIS by fans of Philippines-shot exploitation flicks of the early/mid 1970's is that the PG-rating doomed it from succeeding grindhouse-style like THE BIG DOLL HOUSE, WOMEN IN CAGES and THE BIG BIRD CAGE... 

And that star Patrick Wayne, son of John Wayne, wanted this to be a "family-oriented" feature instead of the usual ultra-violent chicks-with-guns R-rated stuff...

Leigh Christian swimming sexy in BEYOND ATLANTIS

That said, ATLANTIS is one of the most bizarre of the lot, and features a prolonged scene of bikini girls swimming underwater led by island queen Leigh Christian, whose sublime blonde beauty is its very own exploitation... 

Meanwhile her native followers wear cheaply-placed bulging bug eyes since they were in-bred from having distant relatives from Atlantis, or something...

Patrick Wayne with John Ashley and Sid Haig in BEYOND ATLANTIS

All the background stuff is too convoluted to matter but what makes BEYOND a decent basic adventure yarn are the eccentric/eclectic anti-heroes, two getting the ball rolling after producer/actor John Ashley, as a kind of all-around get-rich-schemer (and unlucky cockfight promoter), teams up with bonafide pimp Sid Haig...

Haig received inside information from Vic Diaz (who Quentin Tarantino deemed "the Filipino Peter Lorre") and is usually Haig's counterpart in these flicks, also including BLACK MAMA WHITE MAMA and SAVAGE SISTERS...

The beyond beautiful Leigh Christian in BEYOND ATLANTIS

But Haig prefers this particular expedition... to locate said island surrounded with million dollar pearls... to be led by Patrick Wayne, a boat-chartering diver whose handsome, stalwart presence turns the chubby Ashley into a mischievous sidekick, making Haig the sidekick of a sidekick... 

And that leaves perhaps the most technically important character, a scientist researching the island for more than money in Lenore Stevens, whose exotic brunette beauty both contrasts and compliments Leigh Christian's Syrene; the latter eventually forced to attempt mating with Wayne before basically raping him underwater... 

Leigh Christian in BEYOND ATLANTIS with John Ashley & Patrick Wayne

So whatever kind of family this strange treasure-hunting curio was supposedly oriented to, it was more the Manson's than the Cleavers', and with an 11th hour TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE money-yearning frenzy on land coinciding with lovely underwater cinematography, BEYOND ATLANTIS is worth the watch... 

And, finally, to make up for straying from the usual exploitation fare... following am 11th hour bang-em-up bikini-girl cat fight QUIET MAN style... the movie literally ends with a freeze frame of Sid Haig and Vic Diaz, laughing their crooked hearts out as if they'd been teamed-up all along. 

Sid Haig & Vic Argo (the Conway/Knotts of exploitation) in Beyond Atlantis
Leigh Christian in BEYOND ATLANTIS
Leigh Christian in BEYOND ATLANTIS
Leigh Christian in BEYOND ATLANTIS
Leigh Christian in BEYOND ATLANTIS
A lucky Sid Haig in BEYOND ATLANTIS
Producer and actor John Ashley in BEYOND ATLANTIS
Great underwater shots for BEYOND ATLANTIS
Lenore Stevens in BEYOND ATLANTIS
Patrick Wayne, Lenore Stevens, John Ashley & Sid Haig in BEYOND ATLANTIS


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