Blu-ray Review: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea/Fantastic Voyage

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Irwin Allen fans hit the jackpot with the new Blu-ray releases of two science fiction classics from the 1960’s.

First, there’s “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea:” The movie, not the show.  Walter Pidgeon stars as Admiral Nelson, the inventor of a special nuclear-powered submarine.  He wants to use the “Seaview” to save the world from the inflamed Van Allen Radiation Belt.  It seems the only way to keep the world from burning to a crisp is to blast the belt into space with a Seaview-launched nuclear warhead.

The science in the movie is crazy bad.  The special effects are cheesy and laughable.  The Seaview sets are not too bad.  And, the screenplay is earnest, but unintentionally hilarious.  The cast includes Pidgeon, Barbara Eden, Peter Lorre, Frankie Avalon and other recognizable faces from decades past.

The other Irwin Allen-produced film new to Blu-ray is “Fantastic Voyage,” a film that thrilled me as a kid.  Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch and Donald Pleasence star in this sci-fi adventure to inner space.  They are placed on a submarine and miniaturized for a mission to save the life of a wounded politician.  They are charged with making their way to the man’s brain so they can fire a special laser at a blood clot caused by an assassin’s bullet.  But, someone in the five-person crew may be trying to sabotage the voyage.

“Fantastic Voyage” is a fun adventure with some incredible sets representing the inside of the human body.  What they lack in reality is made up by the beauty and skill applied by the filmmakers.  The sets are amazing, including the huge-to-scale overall set that includes a life-size working model of the submarine.

Don’t miss the audio commentary by a film historian that runs the length.  He has some fascinating insights and facts on the making of the film.  I listened to every minute of his comments.  They were extremely entertaining and informative.

Bottom line:  If you collect classic films on Blu-ray, you can hardly stand to miss owning these two cheesy, but fun adventures from the past.  Grade: B.

Fantastic Voyage