Above-average Image DVD of crude, enjoyable dinosaur flick
Surfink | Racine, WI | 01/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not the greatest Sid Melton science fiction movie (that would be The Atomic Submarine), Lost Continent is still lots of cheesy fun, one of those "cross-genre" flicks that should appeal to pretty much any B-movie fan. You get SF, war movie, and jungle adventure cliches neatly combined with some of the most pitiful stop-motion dinosaurs ever. The quintessential B-cast includes Cesar Romero (TV's Joker, Week-end in Havana, Captain from Castile), John Hoyt (When Worlds Collide, Attack of the Puppet People), Whit Bissell (Teenage Werewolf & Frankenstein, Time Tunnel), Hugh Beaumont (Ward Cleaver, Michael Shayne), Chick Chandler (Music Man, Blondie), and Sid Melton (Make Room for Daddy, Green Acres), with Acquanetta (Captive Wild Woman, Tarzan & the Leopard Woman) and second-billed Hillary Brooke (Ministry of Fear, Invaders from Mars) in cameos. To the movie's credit, the plot moves at a brisk pace (except during the seemingly interminable 'climbing scenes'), Romero and Chandler execute some great flyboy banter, and the earthquake stock footage from One Million B.C. is actually pretty well integrated into the movie, particularly during the surprisingly exciting (if rather implausible) climax. The script by Richard Landau (Girl in Black Stockings, TV's Wild Wild West) and direction by veteran PRC schlockmeister Sam Newfield (Nabonga, White Pongo, Flying Serpent) are also slightly above-average for this type of thing. Unfortunately, when we eventually encounter the extremely lame stop-motion brontosaurus, pterodactyl, and triceratops (and one live lizard for laughs), any semblance of credibility generated up to that point is completely destroyed, leaving the movie dangling on the edge of "so-bad-it's-good" rather than "really-not-half-bad". Still a great Saturday-afternoon time-waster for the low-budget cinema set. Serious stop-motion fans beware.
Image upgrades their typical DVD package a bit with this release (perhaps feeling the heat from Anchor Bay?). The disc comes in the superior 'keep case' box and the main menu is animated (not that I really care that much). Twelve chapter stops, five trailers in an Easter egg, and a very good-to-excellent if rather scratchy LC trailer are the usual extras, plus you get informative Tom Weaver liner notes, and an isolated music and effects track so you can listen to Paul Dunlap's rousing score minus the wisecracks. Source print quality is generally excellent with terrific grayscale, brightness, contrast, sharpness, and detail. There is some light speckling and blemishing (some sporadic horizontal 'banding' toward the beginning of the movie), but otherwise there is no major damage. The plateau scenes are tinted green as in the original release. While I commend Image for presenting the movie in its original format, these scenes are not as easy on the eyes as the crisp B&W of the rest of the movie. The only sour note in the whole shebang is the extremely hyperbolic commentary ("beautifully crafted," "excellent production values") by Wade Williams on the box. Pity the fool who purchases based on his glowing review. Overall a step up from Image's usual offerings and as close to a definitive release as this film is likely to see. Three stars for the movie, 4 or 5 for the DVD. Cheese-lovers, go for it."
Buster49 | Utica, NY | 05/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Image dvd release, with the cover that shows Cesar Romero, Hugh Beaumont and the triceratops, against a green background, DOES have the moving Sid Melton scene at the end. I had a vhs copy that cut it, so I ordered this Image dvd release, when it became available, and the scene IS included.
As for the movie, it's an excellent B movie with snappy clever dialogue and dinosaurs that look more cute than menacing. It was a perennioal favorite of mine as a youth and remains so. It's not King Kong but it's very enjoyable."
Lost in the Fifties
Robert S. Clay Jr. | St. Louis, MO., USA | 02/17/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Primitive but effective sci-fi/dinosaur movie. An experimental rocket (as if in 1951 it could be any other kind) gets lost somewhere over the ocean, and the military hones in on a remote island. Major Joe Nolan (Cesar Romero) is ordered to guide a search party of scientist types to retrieve the critical scientific data in the missing rocket. The simple, fast paced story holds the viewers' attention. There are a few tiresome interludes while Nolan argues with Rostov (John Hoyt) to get on the "right" political side. Evidently in 1951 it was smart for moviemakers to be openly anti-communist. The expedition finds the rocket on a great plateau of a tropical island. A primitive jungle covers the plateau, tinted in green (an unusual visual gimmick in a B&W film), and inhabited by antisocial, stop motion animated dinosaurs. This Grade B movie is fun for 11 year olds of all ages. The anti-communist moralizing of the script makes the film a curious relic of a bygone era. Lovable Sid Melton's comedy relief provides chuckles in distress. Until the triceratops attacks, but we won't go there in this review. Cesar Romero is curiously cast as a career military type. Hugh Beaumont (you know, Wally and the Beaver's dad) is one of the scientists. The special effects are almost as primitive as the dinosaurs, but serve the purpose. Bottom line, this is a basic sci-fi/dinosaur adventure film that doesn't pretend to be more than it is. Take it for what it's worth, and enjoy it."
Lost Continent - Sid Melton gored by Triceratop is in DVD
Julian Janik | Ontario, Canada | 08/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just got my Lost Continent DVD today from Amazon. I saw this movie in a theater when I was young. It was good to see it again after some 50-years for the first time in a long time.
I had my concerns, by other reviews about the scene with Sid Melton being gored by the Triceratop would be cut out from the DVD version.
Well! the scene is in! The DVD shows Sid Melton behind a rock and a Triceratop coming in from behind him. The others tried to warn him, but too late. He gets gored.
The entire movie is as I remember seeing it back then, especially the tinted green scenery. I remember my brother coming home telling me about it which prompted me to go see the movie.An interesting item that is inside the DVD case is the information sheet that gives a detailed account of how the movie was made, Sid Melton's role, and some disappointments that faced the directors and actors.
The stop-motion dinosaur sequence were not the best, it explains, but they didn't have the technology like they have now.
The movie was done in 11-days.
But they got a lot of praise for their efforts in making this movie when it was released in theaters.Enjoy!"