The Lost Continent (1968)

THE LOST CONTINENT (1968)
Article 2736 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-2-2008
Posting Date: 2-8-2009
Directed by Michael Carreras and Leslie Norman
Featuring Eric Porter, Hildegard Knef, Suzanna Leigh
Country: UK

When a boat carrying a deadly load of explosives is caught in the fury of a hurricane, the crew and passengers must abandon it. Their lifeboat is trapped in the Sargasso Sea, where they have to deal with monsters and Spanish conquistadors who have been trapped there for ages.

This must have been an ambitious undertaking for Hammer studios, what with the challenge of portraying the world of the Sargasso Sea on what must have been a small budget. Certainly, some of the monsters that appear are less than convincing; a battle between a giant crab and a giant scorpion in particular is laughable in this regard. Still, these sequences could have been forgiven had the story been compelling, but, unfortunately, the story is a mess. The movie should have gotten to the Sargasso Sea a lot earlier in the movie than it does, and then focused on the storyline about the Spanish conquistadors; unfortunately, the first half of the movie gets mired in the various problems of the passengers and crew aboard the ship, most of which aren’t particularly interesting in the first place, and we know most of them will be solved by having a character die at a certain part of the story, or be left forgotten at the end of the movie. When it finally does get to the conquistador storyline, it is rushed and poorly developed, and after a while, the whole movie feels like a series of random events than a story. On the plus side, the acting is decent, the women are attractive, and the movie is quite colorful; the score, however (which seems to emphasize cheesy organ music) is just too odd. The most memorable thing about the movie is its sheer strangeness, especially with the visions of men walking on the Sargasso sea with giant inflated shoes and balloons to buoy them up. All it really needed was a strong story told well.

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