I’ve reviewed about a dozen films from the 20th Century-Fox Archive Collection (and have about 40 to go) and thus far “Raiders from Beneath the Sea” has been the only real stinker. Is it the worst move ever made? No, that distinction goes to “Transformers 2.” But “Raiders” is in that league.
The shame of it is that the concept is a good one. A down-on-his-luck Los Angeles apartment manager and scuba enthusiast (Ken Scott) hatches a scheme to rob $250,000 from a bank on Catalina Island, which is about 20 miles off the coast. The script is structured well enough, everything happens when it should in a heist film, but the execution is breathtakingly inept, especially for a film that won distribution from a major studio like Fox.
The acting, dialogue, direction, and cinematography are all third-rate, but nothing tops what is undoubtedly the worst film score I have ever come across. It’s not only intrusive and inappropriate, it is just lame — a mix of organ music and bongos that would make Ed Wood wonder, “What the hell?”
Not to pile on, but a subplot involving the protagonist’s younger brother is really off-putting, there is absolutely no suspense, and film’s finally moments are laughably bad.
If you don’t believe me, “Raiders from Beneath Sea” is available for sale here.
Cool poster, though!