There are several groovy 60’s pop music songs, the costumes and haircuts are extremely 60’s, and the 60’s slang is so silly I wonder if they made up half of it. Merv Griffin appears in a cameo as himself. Tony Randall even sings one song!
You will probably enjoy seeing it once but you probably won’t want to buy a copy. See it sometime when you are in the mood for a large dose of the 1960’s.
This 60s family comedy has a couple of things going for it — a solid cast of game, familiar faces; and a memorably colorful home set, somewhat reminiscent of “The Jetsons”.
* The soundtrack, which underlines the never-funny gags in VERY broad strokes. Something allegedly amusing happens; then, like a “comedy alert” signal, the squawk goes out: “Kwaah-KWAAH!”
* The songs, which are not only very terrible — they are also very catchy. And they remain catchy when they are replayed. And replayed! With immortal, un-killable lyrics like, “G;ub, glub, glub! / I’m floating on a sea of love!” and “Hey, little goldfish, we could have a whale of a time. / So put your fin in mine.”
* Perhaps the most insipid overuse of “groovy” slang ever committed to celluloid. Listen closely to hear Richard Dreyfuss ejaculate, “It’s the berries!”
* The wide range of communication techniques with the underwater house. At the other is the plucky, tippling housekeeper (Charlotte Rae), who must take a solo motorboat to somewhere well offshore, and then hope for the arrival of some homing dolphins to carry her handwritten message.
* The washing machine, which apparently has an ejector cycle that repeatedly and violently regurgitates sopping-wet clothing, mainly in the direction of (ha, ha) people’s backsides!
At one end of the convenience scale is Jim Backus’s one-button microphone, which is piped, on a two-way hookup, directly into Tony Randall’s bedroom
There are at least four plots, none of which make any sense. First, there is Janet Leigh’s reaction to living underwater. Then something goes wrong, and she’s out of there! Or as she memorably puts it, “No glub glub glub!” (I could make a joke — but let’s not go down there.) Quick, if the four teens can just pin her down for just a second, maybe Tony could inject the lithium!
Second, there is the plot of the rival undersea project, headed by the scheming. Ken Berry?? It aims to dredge the sea floor for the vast quantities of “gold, uranium, and magnesium” that must surely lie there. (Did he really say ‘magnesium’?) This is all just a setup for some very weak gags, and one of the most unconvincing “special effects” this side of an Ed Wood film — a torrent of water and sand cascading down, and sometimes diagonally, onto poor Ken Berry. We have been shown this machine in action — a well controlled conveyor belt, carrying maybe two inches worth of sand at something near waist level. So how is it that all this sand is suddenly streaming down from overhead? And sometimes diagonally? Tony manages to heroically save Ken’s life, and nobody ever asks about what became of Ken’s little nebbishy sidekick.
One minute she is adamant she will never ever do it; the next, she’s a purring bundle of sexy-compliant middle-aged domestic bliss
Third , there is the underwater-Archies rock-and-roll band plot, about which the less said, the better. This leads inexorably to the fourth plot: The Navy’s sonar keeps picking up the sound of the kids as they jam. Then, suddenly, inexplicably — the noise stops! As the news of this marvel — machines that make sound, that can be turned off! — spreads up the Naval chain of command, the same “joke” scene is repeated, maybe six or seven times. “We don’t have anything like this in OUR arsenal!” Finally the Navy gets so exercised about this phenomenon that it launches a full-scale invasion fleet, complete with battleships, aircraft carriers, and a handful of paratroopers (huh?) jumping into the water. With what result? Who can say? For here the film ends, or rather stops. Mercifully, the screenwriters chose to omit the final confrontation: the American Armada vs. the tag-team of Merv Griffin and Roddy McDowell (as Nate Ashbury, which rhymes with Haight-Ashbury — get it?).