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LOST CONTINENT - 1968
Hammer Films / 20th Century Fox / Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated: Finland: BANNED / UK: X / USA: G
(For the life of me I cannot understand why such a insipid movie is banned in Finland -Feo)
No, it's not about dinosaurs. The title makes you think of dinosaurs but there
aren't any dinosaurs. Instead, there's really mean, scary, nasty seaweed.
LOST CONTINENT was directed by Michael Carreras (BLOOD FROM THE
MUMMIES TOMB) and written by Michael Nash (his only credit), based on the book by Dennis Wheatley (THE
DEVIL RIDES OUT, TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER). It opens with a rust
bucket of a cargo ship out running a customs boat off the coast of Africa.
Everyone on board seems surprised that Captain Lansen (Eric
Porter: THE DAY OF THE JACKAL, HANDS OF THE RIPPER) won't
stop for customs but theyre too intimidated to press the issue.
The ship also contains an assortment of passengers who were too damned to qualify
for the Flying Dutchmen. There's mean drunk and insistent piano player
Harry Tyler (Tony Beckley: THE FIEND), the very German Eva Peters (Hidegard Knef: WITCHERY,
DUMMY OF DEATH), the uncaring physician Dr. Webster (Nigel Stock) and his nymphomaniac daughter Unity (Suzanna
Leigh: LUST FOR A VAMPIRE, SON OF DRACULA), and the mysterious
Ricaldi (Benito Carruthers), all served by cheerful bartender Patrick (Jimmy Hanley: THE RADIO CAB MURDER).
alert comes in, warning of a hurricane directly in their path, but the
Captain still insists on full steam ahead, much to the terror of the gutless
first officer (Neil McCallum). The tension
increases when the crew discovers a store room loaded with what turns
out to be high explosive (if the crew didn't put it in the store room, then who did?). This volatile chemical has
the amusing property of exploding on contact with water.
first officer finds out about the explosive he insists on turning the
ship around. The Captain suggests they put it to a vote among the passengers,
knowing full well that all of these ne'er-do-wells for one reason or another
cant go back. Their reaction to the approaching storm is a non-reaction.
In fact, this decadent bunch doesn't react to much of anything. When a
crewman comes running in to the bar to tell them the ship is sinking,
they just stare at him. Shortly afterwards, when they're told the hole
in the ship is in the storage room with all the water-sensitive explosives,
they order another round from the bar. What does it take to get to these
A mutiny results in most of the crew abandoning ship. The Captain finally manages
to rouse his passengers to action and gets them to help him move the explosives
out of the flooded compartment, but then he too decides to head for the
lifeboats. The movie spends the next 20 minutes or so following the hardships
of the passengers and the few remaining crew members as they float aimlessly
around the ocean in the lifeboat. We're more than halfway in to this waste
of time and no one has said, "Hey! Is that a Lost Continent?".
Okay, time for a
When you want to make a movie about a weird place where interesting weird
stuff happens to topless natives, they're gonna have to be topless alien
natives, because even in 1968 when this movie was made, the entire surface
of the Earth was extremely well mapped. There are no uncharted islands
or hidden valleys or, especially, lost continents ("Now
where did I put that continent? It was here a minute ago . . . ?").
Finally we get to the weird part. The lifeboat drifts into the Sargasso Sea, a
real area of the Atlantic known for lots of seaweed. I never saw this
kind of seaweed on the Discovery Channel, however, because it reaches
up to get you and its touch draws blood. Shortly after drifting into the
seaweed they drift into their ship! The one they abandoned because they
were sure it was going to sink or blow up or something. Patrick the bartender
is still on board, drunk and happy.
The seaweed pulls the ship deeper into the misty Sargasso and finally we see it: the
mountainous coast of the Lost Continent. The only frustrating part is THEY NEVER GO THERE! The rest of this very bad movie takes place
slogging through the seaweed as they meet giant rubber monsters, fanatical
descendants of the Spanish Conquistadors and a big-breasted local girl
who walks across the seaweed by using snow-shoes and two balloons strapped
to her shoulders. Big, round, firm balloons.
have made it into the so-bad-its-good category if they hadn't taken forever
to get to the weird part.
I give THE
LOST CONTINENT one Negative Shriek Girl.
This review copyright 2000 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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