Culture Shock was Atticus's first known feature. Based upon Vernon Blake's 1923 novella "Jungle Drums," the film relates the gruesome tale of a band of smugglers who blunder into a tribal war between a group of savage pygmies and an even more bloodthirsty tribe of Amazonian women. The hapless gunrunners are picked off one by one; the final two men are forced to fight to the death by the Amazons.
According to contemporary reports, Atticus planned to film some or all of Culture Shock in a remote Louisiana parish adjacent to the location of Vernon Blake's upbringing. This plan was apparently scuttled for reasons which remain vague. Some sources claim that Atticus ran afoul of a local religious sect, while others maintain that the authorities caught wind of the unauthorized production and shut it down. The film was ultimately completed in Maryland.
Produced by "S/A Films," the project was financed by Margaret Atticus (Karl's mother) and T. K. Shelton, a partner of the advertising agency at which Atticus was employed by day. Upon completion the film was screened at Shelton's urging for New York-based promoter Damien Long, who took an interest and booked it as a midnight feature at his East Side theater, where it played for several months. Other East Coast screenings followed, and the film became something of a minor hit for a brief period.
Foreign press materials indicate that the film was definitely released in other countries, and it was actually released on VHS in Japan in the early 1980s, but it seems to have never again been screened theatrically in the United States.