September 18, 1978 12:00 PM

A band of explorers and greedy central casting cutthroats drop in on a bunch of rubbery beasts who inhabit the fabled underwater continent. The film is set in the late 19th century, but Doug McClure, the designated hero, wisecracks with a kind of disco posturing and surf’s-up accent that are 80 years out of synch. That’s hardly the worst of it, though. Maybe it’s the stock footage of herky-jerky monster fights. Or Cyd Charisse showing up in a teased wig as the high priestess of Atlantis, No, it’s hard to beat the climactic scene, where the inevitable giant octopus—battered enough to be the very beast that gave Jon Hall a hard time in South of Pago Pago (1940)—begins whacking the explorers’ ship with the gold totem they were trying to steal. Nothing here will win any awards from the Atlantis Chamber of Commerce. (PG)

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