In the far and distant future of 1968, many ships and planes are crossing the North pole to transport passengers and cargo. However lately more than eight ships and seven submarines have vanished mysteriously. The Tigershark is sent out to investigate their whereabouts and - if possible - remove the cause of their disappearance. But the life form Commander Vandover and his crew encounter may be too powerful even for their weapons of newest technology...Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Low-budget thriller with some interesting concepts
Something about this movie makes me believe it was inspired by some article in an old Popular Science magazine about giant atomic-powered cargo subs of the near future plying the short route to the Pacific under the polar ice cap. (I must have missed that development while I was commuting by hovercar to my all-plastic cabin in the mountains, where a home breeder reactor supplies me with power too cheap to meter.)
The actors are (mostly) competent, with B-movie stalwart Arthur Franz in the lead. The script is serviceable, containing some creepy moments as well as an occasionally interesting clash of ideologies between military tough guy Franz and the peacenik scientist son (Brett Halsey) of his revered mentor. Though they despise each other at first, they find they can agree on the need to kick some alien booty.
The fx team of Jack Rabin, Irving Block and Louis DeWitt collaborated on quite a few low-budget sci-fi's in the 50's -- the most notable example being "Kronos", with its bizarre, energy-sucking giant cubist robot -- and manage to achieve a few interesting effects in this one, too.
The most unusual thing about this film is that I believe it's the first sci-fi movie to use the concept of a "living" spaceship. And I'm willing to bet money that the film's slime-dripping, tentacled alien Cyclops is the direct inspiration for The Simpsons' Kang and Kodos. Even the voice is similar.
If you're willing to forgive its obvious limitations, "Atomic Submarine" is an entertaining little low-budget romp.
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