The Lost Continent (1968) Eric Porter, Hildegard Knef, Suzanna Leigh, Tony Beckley Movie Review

The Lost Continent (1968)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Hildegard Knef and Eric Porter in The Lost Continent (1968)

Another Mysterious Island

With passengers desperate to get away from the trouble they are in and a boat laden with the highly volatile Phos B, Capt. Lansen (Eric Porter) rather stupidly ignores the pleas of the coast guard to turn back and tries to navigate his old ship through a huge storm. But when the hull springs a leak and the majority of the crew abandon ship Lansen and the passengers have little choice but to follow suit and climb into a small lifeboat which drifts towards an island where they not only come across monsters and deadly seaweed but also some Spanish conquistadors who think the Inquisition is still going on and that they are still in the 1500s.

One of the re-occurring themes I have found when watching the Hammer movies of the 60s and 70s is that many who praise them do so having watched them when they were first released and still feel some sort of love for them. It makes me wonder whether it is really the movie they love or the nostalgic feeling that re-watching them gives as I have found that very few of these Hammer movies have really worked well for me having experienced them for the first time now some 40 years after their release. It is the same with "The Lost Continent" because there are many who have enjoyed this mysterious island movie but for me found not only the styling a bit dull but also the storyline.

Now in a way "The Lost Continent" feels like two story ideas shoe horned together to try and create a 90 minute movie. As such we get a first half which is all bout the goings on aboard Capt. Lansen's not so sea going vessel and we have the mystery of not only who these passengers are and what they are running from but also the hull of the ship full of canisters containing Phos B which when wet becomes volatile. The thing is that what seems like a typical start to a disaster movie where we meet the various characters not only doesn't do a very good job of introducing them but then ends up drawing the whole thing out.

But this first half leads in to the slightly more entertaining side of "The Lost Continent" where are survivors end up on an island of strange things; from people from another era to deadly man eating seaweed and monsters. There is a lot more creativity to this half of the movie as we not only get some 60s monster fun with model monsters to the creativity of how people walk across water. But whilst there is some creativity alongside some stereotypical representation of women with tight tops and deep cleavage it doesn't get to the level of excitement needed.

What "The Lost Continent" does have is at times a great look; yes the monster side of things is typical of the era and now for those not accustomed to the monsters of the 60s and 70s it could be cheesy. But it is the haunting visuals of a boat graveyard as are survivors are drawn to the island through this ethereal fog which in truth is the best part of the movie and the bit you are likely to remember more than anything else.

What this all boils down to is that "The Lost Continent" is an okay movie and now days it will pass the time if you enjoy older movies. But it doesn't really grab you with anything which you won't have come across before and other than some great visuals it is pretty forgettable.