LORDS opens with a scrawl about how the year is 2020 and the human race – having depleted all natural resources above ground – is looking to colonize underwater. Makes sense, right? We enter a submerged station run by the Martel Corporation just as the entire crew (whose outfits look like they were made out of old blankets) finds out they are being replaced. Scientist Claire (Priscilla Barnes of THREE’S COMPANY “You’re not Suzanne Somers” fame) has discovered some jelly type substance (we don’t even see her find it) and, being the genius she is, decides the best course of action is to stick her hand into it. The result is some kind of trippy visuals that make you think her head got invaded by Ken Russell circa 1982.
Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, damn it!
To back up the weak environmentally friendly screenplay, we have some truly bad acting. It says something when Roger Corman gives the best performance in a cameo as a corporate exec. Barnes is the worst of the lot, constantly having this look on her face that can only be described as a cross between a smile and slack-jawed “duh” face. It ends up making her look like Jack Nicholson’s Joker most of the time. Dillman looks to only be picking up a check. Even worse is the level of cheapness on display in this movie. I think there are a total of three sets and they all look shoddy. I slapped down ENDLESS DESCENT for having only one true underwater scene, but at least they had some seaweed and a floating corpse. Here, director Mary Ann Fisher has one real underwater shot (miniatures excluded) and it is a close up of the diver working on an electrical box that was surely shot in a pool. See that awesome poster at the top of this review? Don't get your hopes up. Fisher even includes a bit where characters get scared by a rat…in a unit 20,000ft. deep in the ocean! What makes it hurt so bad is Corman and co. damn well knew how to properly exploit this “bottom of the sea” fad and still opted to go the softie route. It should have been a low-budget THE THING (1982) underwater. Instead we got E.T. (1982) minus the Reese’s Pieces but plus some ecological mumbo jumbo. To quote Bill Duke from MENACE II SOCIETY, “you know you done fucked up, don’t you? You know it, don’t you? You know you done fucked up.”