Film ID:
YFA 2591

UNDERWATER FANTASY

1964

Visitor Tabs

Description

A well shot film made with marionette puppets and a made up set. It tells a story of a deep sea diver on the hunt for sunken treasure who has to fight a giant squid before he can recover the casket of gold and gems. Both the filmmakers and puppeteer lived in York.

Titles: 'Olsens Tivoli Marionettes Present' 'Underwater Fantasy' 'Puppeteers Patrick Olsen, Joan Lawson' 'Settings and Puppets Patrick Olsen' 'Photography Frank Webb' 'Directed by May Webb'

The film opens with a shot of this underwater world, with a blue painted background, a sandy bottom and colourful sea plants. A shoal of black and silver fishes - painted onto transparent cellophane - swim past, followed by a larger fish with strings clearly showing moving its mouth. There are other fish too before a deep sea diver (puppet) in a 19th Century style suit is lowered to the sea bed. He is carrying a lamp and an axe. As he slowly makes his way to his object, a mermaid in the foreground awakes and, seeing the diver, swims over to the treasure chest. She is followed by a brightly coloured fish with a large moving fin. The fish approaches the mermaid as she sits in front of the chest and appears to communicate something to her, before it swims away. The mermaid opens the chest to reveal the treasure within.

The diver lands near the chest (the mermaid has gone), and a group of fish swim past before the diver examines the contents of the chest. More fish swim past. A large green octopus with pink spots and black eyes appears and attacks the diver. The diver hacks with his axe at one of the tentacles that is wrapped around his left arm. The octopus lets go and jumps on him as he tries to fend the octopus off with his axe. Eventually the octopus lets go and dies. The diver ties a rope around the casket and ascends with the mermaid looking on.