The Lost Continent (1968) Poster

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Two movies in one!
nelsmonsterx23 February 2003
Perhaps the strangest film to come out of Hammer Studios, The Lost Continent is literally like watching two movies in one. Similar in format to Tarantino's From Dusk 'til Dawn, the film shifts from a taut "mutiny on the bounty" type nautical drama play (with a little funky late sixties weirdness thrown in) to a whacked out sci-fi freak show complete with corny monsters, strange & hostile plants, an unnaturally large breasted woman, a child King, an oddball religious cult, and balloon-type thingies to keep the characters afloat on the marshy alien wetlands! Whew! Talk about your shift in gears! A must see for fans of oddball cinema. And to think it came out of Great Britain . . .
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Bizarrely superb - but where's missing scene?
lucy-1911 October 1999
First time I saw it, there was a scene where Porter hears Neff's life story (she was mistress of a banana republic dictator and has a son somewhere). He (I think) says he'll impound her passport unless she sleeps with him. He goes to her cabin to find Ricaldi (played by Benito Carruthers and whatever happened to him?) emerging and buttoning his jacket in a lewd way. Porter opens Neff's door to find her naked on the bunk. He throws her passport at her and exits. I watch this movie every time it's screened and have never seen this scene again. In a scene that's still present, Neff agreed to give Carruthers sexual favours if he'll let her keep the securities she's stolen from the dictator. But the absence of this key scene makes nonsense of the conversation between the three of them in the lifeboat... See this film anyway, it's a gem. xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx
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Weird but mildly intriguing fantasy adventure
barnabyrudge8 January 2003
The Lost Continent belongs in the same category as films like The Island (1980) and Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959). It's scientifically implausible, childish but fairly inventive in plotting, and surprisingly enjoyable if you allow yourself to be drawn into the story without clinging too stubbornly to reality.

In this one, a ship is fleeing from African customs officials when it runs into heavy weather in uncharted waters. The passengers and crew abandon ship, but later they rediscover it, trapped in a peculiar section of sea infested with weeds. This same seaweed world turns out to be the home of a long-lost community of sailors, ruled (somewhat tyranically) by descendants of the Spanish Inquisition.

Eric Porter plays the lead role with a commendably straight face, getting over a convincing reading the ship's captain. Other members of the cast take things less seriously and seem to have their tongues pretty firmly in their cheeks, but they still give interesting enough performances. The script is a real piece of lunacy, with loads of obvious plot holes and unlikely situations - in many ways you wonder if they wrote it over a drunken weekend - but again there is sufficient imagination to carry the picture through.

This is undoubtedly a wild, wacky and downright infantile adventure film. But, in spite of its many faults, I like it to a certain degree because it has the courage to ignore its own daftness and run along at an entertaining and lively pace.
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Alternate Versions...
morpheusatloppers13 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I've given this film 9/10 based on its ENJOYMENT FACTOR - not its quality. Undoubtedly, the piece is laughably inept. The stationary backdrop to the scenes on the bridge - with a harbour marker being obviously wheeled past by a grip! The battle of the rubber monsters. Those balloons, which would barely have given lift to a copy of Denis Wheatley's "Uncharted Seas", which Nigel Stock is seen reading in the lounge, early on - and which should have helped his character, given it was the source novel for the movie!

But we don't care about any of that. Despite his fame as a writer of Black Magic books, Denis Wheatley had started in the Thirties with novels of enormous scope (how come no-one EVER made "Sixty Days To Live"?) of which Uncharted Seas was just one. And it is this great YARN that gives The Lost Continent its outrageous style.

And everyone just WENT for it. Heavyweight actors, Eric Porter and Hildegard Knef. The reliable Tony Beckley. And of course, Hammer's "lucky charm" - the pop-eyed Michael Ripper (did they originally hire him for his surname?) Then there's the music. The original score was DUMPED (unique for micro-budget Hammer) being replaced by a minimal score, enhanced with songs from British "cool group", The Peddlers.

And while the trails trumpeted the movie as being a conventional action-adventure, the reality was it was a superior fantasy/mood-piece.

However, the curiosity of this film is its "alternate versions". There are at least two that I know of. The British version emerged with an "X" certificate and ran for about 95 minutes, while the US version had a "softer" rating and ran for just 89. The US version lacks eight minutes which the British version had - but the British version lacks an extended scene which the US version had.

The reason given for the US pruning is that it enabled the softer rating. But since the missing footage includes little to offend, this reason seems spurious. And why were about forty seconds pruned from the British version? I suspect the REAL reason for the pruning was LENGTH. The Lost Continent was made as an "A" movie, but most of Hammer's output was released as double-bills in The States.

The British version was released in theatres, then an analogue VT transfer was made for TV showings, which ran - uncut - for about ten years (presumably until the contract ran out).

But during this time, the British negative was allowed to deteriorate (Hammer had a rough late-Seventies and were careless with their archive).

Thus, when the film was shown on British TV in the Nineties, the digital VT transfer was taken from the US version - America had preserved their print better.

Which now leaves us with a DVD restoration based on said US version - with the missing eight minutes culled from the inferior British print. This DVD is available from IMDb's sister - Amazon - and is well worth the money. It also includes a version of The Peddlers' title song - in its entirety - on one of the menus. Plus a second, contemporaneous film - "The Reptile" - with the delectable Jacqueline Pearce and the afore-mentioned Mr Ripper, in the biggest role he ever had at Hammer.

But returning to The Lost Continent, SOMEWHERE there may be yet ANOTHER edit. Traditionally, Hammer made "continental versions" of their films for Europe, containing extra naughtiness. Perhaps THAT edit EXTENDS the "love scene" featuring Ms Leigh and INCLUDES one between Ms Knef and the super-suave but unlikely-named Ben(ito) Carruthers?

Two footnotes - apparently Ben Carruthers was a mate of Bob Dylan (he introduced Nico to Bob) and was musically inclined. But his acting career ran from '57 (when he was 21) and ended in '71 (when he was 35) and he died at just 47. What's HIS story? His contribution to The Lost Continent is certainly significant.

And Jimmy Hanley (who died not long after this film was released) was Britain's "nice guy". His role is also worthy of mention, but one can't help wondering how HE interpreted his line - "If you'll pardon me for saying so - that's not what she wants." In the context of the film, it certainly has two meanings...
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An Excellent Rainy Day Movie
Terrell-46 August 2004
One of my favorite rainy weekend movies, The Lost Continent also is one of the best ripe Hammer films of the Sixties.

A freighter is blown off course and finds itself in a fog-shrouded part of the ocean where the seaweed enjoys flesh and mutated creatures with claws scamper about. It's a mild horror version of the Sargasso Sea and Bermuda Triangle. Eventually the surviving crew and passengers encounter humans who scitter around the seaweed with paddle-like shoes and balloons. The ship these people are from is a Spanish galleon several hundred years old, the crew of which survived and bred into the generations, evolving an Inquisition-like culture on board.

It's really pretty good, thanks to the interesting ideas of seaweed that bites back and the evolved life on the Spanish ship, plus the skill of the two lead actors. And it has a great look. Eric Porter and Hildegard Knef were both heavyweights in the acting department. I'm not sure why they agreed to this film, but I assume the money was good. Porter is one of my favorite actors. He wasn't handsome enough to make a career as a movie leading man, but if anyone doubts his abilities to command watch him as Soames in the original BBC Forsyte Saga. Knef had a so-so career as a lead actress in a handful of American and British films, but returned to Germany for better stuff. She was sexy and self-confident.
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Odd & Unusual Hammer Voyage
Coventry26 September 2007
You know what a typical Hammer production looks like, and "The Lost Continent" definitely doesn't fit that picture. It doesn't feature any old Gothic castles or torture dungeons, any cloaked vampires or mad Barons and it doesn't even star Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing. Surely Hammer also produced other mythologist films and stories revolving on time warps, but "The Lost Continent" is an entire league on its own and the complete opposite to what you expect. Right after watching this movie, you can't even properly determine for yourself whether it's good or bad … just plain weird. "The Lost Continent" is an outrageously plotted but awkwardly coherent film with two entirely different main story lines rolled into one. The titular continent (although it's merely just a small island) actually doesn't get reached until the twenty last minutes and, before that, it is just a suspenseful thriller set on a boat. The ambiance on the ancient and leaky cargo ship is rather tense and sinister. The captain ignores safety warnings and advice from his personnel and the passengers prefer facing a terrible sea storm rather than to return to the coast, even though they have been informed about the potentially explosive cargo. Suffice to say these aren't normal tourists, but people with dark secrets or even fugitive criminals. There are a lot of intrigues going on-board, but the sea is mightier. The captain and his passengers have to abandon ship, but they recover another one slowly drift towards uncharted regions. There they encounter ravenous seaweed and a lot of other things that don't make the least bit of sense, like gigantic crab-creatures, a native tribe under the impression that the Spanish Inquisition isn't finished yet and a local girl with the most gorgeous pair of breasts in the universe. In order to set food on land, they have to put watery pillows on their feet and attach balloons on their shoulders, which forms another very ludicrous sight to behold. "The Lost Continent" is an incredibly silly film, but all cast members perform their roles with a poker straight face, like as if they were starring in the greatest & most budgeted epic adventure in the history of cinema. The effects and monsters designs are extremely dodgy and laughable, but also somewhat charming. The film hasn't got a real ending, but (fortunately?) Hammer never bothered to make a sequel. Crazy little Brit-film, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to open-minded fans of cult cinema.
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The Love Boat On Acid?
ClassixFan29 June 2007
OK, I have actually heard this Hammer film described in the summary line I gave this comment. This was the first Hammer film I ever saw, although I was 6 or 7 at the time, so I had no clue who put out this little gem. My cousins and I watched it on late-night TV on Thanksgiving night and we sat there, mouths wide open and totally entranced in what was going on in the film. Sure, this isn't the best film ever released by Hammer Studios, but I'll go to my grave fighting that while it may not be a classic in the usual terms, it is most entertaining.

How can you not enjoy man-eating seaweed, descendants of the Spanish Inquistion, the strangest sea-beasties you've ever laid eyes on and an opening tune that you can't get out of your head, days after viewing it! While this isn't a film I'd recommend to most classic fantasy film fans or even Hammer film fans to go out and purchase, blindly, I would recommend at least giving it a view, it certainly isn't a kind of film where you'll want to pluck your eyes out, after viewing and who knows, if you watch it in the right frame of mind, you may end up enjoying it.
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Man, the sea, mutiny, hurricane, seaweed, monsters, girls,!
jim-25119 November 1998
THE LOST CONTINENT might be typified by the music that accompanies its credits (a kind of languid 60s house band crooning intro) and perhaps that's not entirely a bad thing, because the movie is an initially-languid action fantasy that eventually includes plenty of angst, violence, heavy weather, man-eating plants, top-heavy Christian girls, oversized arthropods, bloodthirsty Inquisitorial Spaniards and a very explosive substance in yellow barrels...

The overall effect is that of medium-budget comic-strip, but with this much action and so much violence and all these yummy females and heroic's a fun movie from end to end...a great tonic if you're marooned in the Sargasso Sea...or stranded in your living room of a Sunday afternoon
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Cult classic with famed Balloon Girl and why it was banned
drystyx25 November 2006
This can best be described as a cult classic. Its a fun movie with a lot of character development, and craftily directed. The movie follows the characters through a voyage at sea through hostile weather and a captain whom seems thoroughly decadent. Many of the characters are depicted as worse than they actually are in the beginning, and then the viewer is lured into sympathizing with them. Its a very common device in the movies, and it works better here than in most movies, due to better writing and directing. There is mutiny, shipwreck, life raft chaos, and a land full of monsters and hostile inhabitants, not to mention the famed "Balloon Girl" who they meet. This movie was banned early on, many places. This movie can be classified as the most iconoclastic horror move of all time, because the director had the audacity to kill two characters immediately after they lit up cigarettes. And you can imagine how the greatest censors of all time, the tobacco companies, responded to that, (quite covertly). This was the real thing that horrified audiences in America. What really makes the movie, though, is attention to even the most minor of characters. Most people don't realize how important character identification and appeal is to them, but it's what makes a movie interesting. And this is an interesting movie.
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Bizarre but absolutely brilliant
psychoren20023 October 2006
This movie is a gem. I just can't recall any other film with so many elements in. The old ship, the dangerous cargo, the passengers (each with a dark story behind), the hurricane, the mutiny, and suddenly a complete different picture: the red skies, the weird man-eating plants, a lost Spanish galleon with the survivors of a religious cult, giant monsters on an island, people floating over the plants with balloons and it goes on a on. The word IMAGINATION was created for that kind of stuff. An ultra rare Hammer production without stars, but with lots of visual creativity. And, if you are into British 60's music, take notice of the smooth, retro cool organ sounds by The Peddlers, a trio that recorded a few albums but never achieve the success they deserved. And the gorgeous busted woman at the end (Dana Gillespie) later found a career as a blues/rock singer. This is a must for fans of the bizarre!!
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Enjoyable Hammer lost world adventure
chris_gaskin1234 November 2004
I have sometimes confused The Lost Continent to the 1951 dinosaur movie of the same name. It is rather enjoyable though.

A tramp steamer with a motley collection of passengers and plenty of barrels of a dangerous explosive goes on an expedition and ends on an uncharted island in the Sargasso Sea which seems to be a graveyard for ships. When there, they discover the land populated by giant crabs, a giant scorpion, man-eating seaweed and survivors of the Spanish Inquisition! After several of the party and Inquisition are killed by the monsters and the explosive chemical, they set off and head back to civilization, along with some of the Inquisition.

Hammer made this movie in 1968 and I taped it when it came on Channel 4 some years ago. Some of the monsters look rather cheap and the movie has a good theme song.

The cast includes Eric Porter, Suzanna Leigh, Nigel Stock and Dana Gillespie.

This movie is worth a look at. Enjoyable.

Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5.
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This brought back memories.
Joe Cuneo14 February 2000
When I saw this as a kid, I thought it was cool, because it had creepy monsters and a theme song that sounded like Andy Williams in some lounge. A group of forlorn passengers on board an unseaworthy steamship, which happens to be carrying high explosives, set sail for South America. They get caught in a hurricane, the crew mutinies, they get in a lifeboat, man-eating seaweed tries to eat the captain, then they find their ship again and go back on board. that's when the fun begins. The evil seaweed pulls the ship into the Sargasso Sea, where it is chow-time for all the creepy sea creatures that attack and devour the ship's passengers. Also on hand are a bunch of Spaniards who think it's the 1500's. They have managed to peacefully co-exist with these slimy creatures. They are ruled by a petulant boy-king who tries to seize the ship and it's supplies. Our heroes must battle the Spaniards and the monsters and get home.
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a Saturday matinée adventure
johnc214123 June 2010
I had seen the lost continent years ago on TV and it was always one of my favorites ever adventure,a monster movie,a drama,its a very well made hammer film about a captain on his last voyage carrying a very dangerous cargo of explosives that react when wet,and an odd assortment of passengers.well after the captain flees a port before customs can board his ship,they run into some problems and are lost at sea and end up near an uncharted island complete with carnivorous sea weed,a giant hermit crab,a giant scorpion,and a colony of religious fanatics that are ancestors of cortez.its crazy but really a damn good movie with a lot of action,Eric porter,Suzanna Leigh and tony beckley star in this Saturday matinée adventure made in england.i had recently seen this again on google video but the part of the ending is missing.for the year it was made 1968 it is quite modern.the acting is very good,the monsters are just a little hokey but one of my favorite movies i give the lost continent 10 out of 10.
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Wonderful Visuals
Space_Mafune24 September 2002
In terms of plot, this movie is often ventures into territory at times strange and bizarre, at times silly and outrageous and at times (especially in the opening half)-suspenseful! The whole sequence where they wind up lost at sea keeps the viewer glued to the screen.

The second half however ventures into the outrageous and bizarre territory. Complete with crazy FX scenes featuring giant monsters which are done on the cheap but aren't soon forgotten. The actors/actresses continually play their roles straight throughout the film and are quite competent which helps slightly. But overall the second half proves a disappointing mess of a movie.

At the same time, the main reason to watch this film however is its haunting visuals of the "lost continent" seen in the second half-Paul Beeson is credited for the cinematography.
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A Boring Film Welded To An Insane One
Theo Robertson24 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Suggestive Spoilers This is one of these movies you can remember watching on television one Friday night many years ago and thinking was a great movie . When you see it again after a period of a couple of decades you spend much of the running time on the rewatch thinking " How the heck did I find this enjoyable in any way ? " but then a couple of scenes appear and you can see why you found it enjoyable when you were young enough to have not developed overly critical abilities . In short the memory has cheated making you forget all the dire bits and bigging up the fun moments . Certainly THE LOST CONTINENT is a fun film but only intermittently

To say there's something uneven with the screenplay is an understatement . The first half manages to combine contrivance , banality and boredom all together which is no small feat . If you've got a cargo of yellow oil drums that have " DANGER HIGHLY EXPLOSIVE MATERIAL DON'T GET IT WET UNDER ANY CIRUMSTANCES " warning signs splashed all over them you can just imagine this might some baring on some plot turn later on in the film , especially if the film spends five minutes explaining through its one dimensional ship's crew just how dangerous this stuff might be . Especially if a hurricane is coming . Just when you think it might be a disaster movie featuring shipwrecked survivors struggling to stay alive on a lifeboat the film mutates in to something entirely different so much so you'd be left thinking why this aspect wasn't developed earlier since the first half is entirely boring in comparison

I'm not saying the second half is good from an artistic point out of view but it is thoroughly entertaining as long as manage to suspend disbelief which is very difficult when the film throws everything including the kitchen sink at the audience . There's enough plastic monsters and ideas here to fuel an entire season of DOCTOR WHO . Perhaps the most striking thing is some of the design work where people can walk on weed infested water because they're wearing giant balloons strapped to their backs . Don't bother to ask where these survivors of a 16th Century Spanish fleet managed to acquire them or what they've been eating for several Centuries because it's not that type of movie

To give the cast credit they do try and make the most of their painfully underwritten clichéd roles of woman with a secret past , hip black dude , slutty blonde bimbo , tough level headed sea captain etc . The stand out performance is probably by Tony Beckley best known for his flamboyant larger than life roles and is especially best known by this reviewer for his show stopping role as Harrison Chase in the DOCTOR WHO story The Seeds Of Doom and it's strange watching him as a macho square jawed hero come alcoholic piano player . Also worth pointing out is Dana Gillespie as Sarah though possibly not for her acting talent and when one of the characters mentioned " Sarah is playing her with her balloon things " all sorts of images flashed through my mind

THE LOST CONTINENT is a very uneven film . As many people have said - and it's impossible not to notice it - it feels like two different films welded together by the same cast . . It's silly and entertaining but probably not as entertaining as you might have remembered it . That said it could very well do with a remake involving a more disciplined story structure while keeping the more horror and action based elements of the original
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Garish, comic book-style adventure
Leofwine_draca18 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
A Hammer adventure yarn mixing plodding characterisation with rousing action in a half-successful combination. This is best seen as a precursor to the later Amicus movies like THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, and shares many common similarities with those movies, from the diverse group of people on a vessel discovering an unknown world to the giant fake-looking monsters that inevitably dominate said world. The main fault is with the slow pacing and the fact that most of the action is consigned to the last thirty minutes instead of being evenly distributed throughout the film. It takes the ship a full hour to reach the uncharted seas and there's too much talk and not enough excitement before then, but this is only a minor flaw.

Based on a story by Dennis Wheatley called Uncharted Seas, this is an unashamed B-movie lifted only by an above-average cast. The monsters are terrible and of a cheap-looking DR WHO standard but for me, this can only be a highlight (I have a soft spot for poor special effects, no matter how bad they may be!). Bizarrely, the film bypasses the child audience by including some graphic violence of a man getting strangled and his neck broken, plus people bleeding profusely when being attacked by the various dangers on their voyage. The crooning music which pops up occasionally merely complements the utterly bizarre and unpredictable atmosphere that this movie possesses! Eric Porter is the initially unlikable Captain Lansen who comes through in the end; it's a wonder what this high-class actor was doing in a movie of this calibre at this time! Ageing Hildegard Knef lends some foreign glamour, while the ample charms of Dana Gillespie are on show for the last twenty minutes. Suzanne Leigh (LUST FOR A VAMPIRE) is the irritating screaming heroine who sleeps with any man she can find, and Nigel Stock (famous for his role as Watson to Cushing's Holmes in the BBC series) her father who gets eaten by a cardboard shark! Many familiar British character actors fill out supporting roles, many of them having appeared in previous British horror like Neil McCallum and Victor Maddern. Norman Eshley, Michael Ripper (sporting a hideous scar), Donald Sumptor, Tony Beckley, and Jimmy Hanley round out the main cast. The budget was actually one of the biggest that Hammer had for a film, and it shows in the ship set and the convincing-looking backgrounds; especially impressive is the "ship's graveyard", a mournful scene that the opening credits play over.

The action, when it comes, is actually very good and exciting. There's a battle between modern sailors and armoured Spanish soldiers (whose swords are still no match for guns!), a violent tropical storm, a mutiny, an attack by the sentient seaweed (which makes the same noise as a dozen movie monsters of the 1950s) which leaves the victims bleeding and scarred, a hilarious attack by a giant octopus with a glowing green eye (my personal favourite), a battle between a green-eyed giant crab and a giant scorpion (here the movie turns into surreal GODZILLA-like monster action, except not even as convincing - the giant crab has to be one of the worst and most unintentionally funny creatures that I've ever seen!) plus the expected (but impressive) explosive finale.

A member of the Spanish Inquisition (complete with Ku Klux Klan hat!) is included in the interests of completeness, along with an obnoxious boy king and a blubbery monster in a pit that was ripped off in RETURN OF THE JEDI. The sheer wealth of funny monsters and well-staged action keeps THE LOST CONTINENT from becoming boring; in the end it comes off as a hugely entertaining and tacky B-movie romp to be seen by those who do not judge their films too harshly and take merit in the simple pleasures of the movies.
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The Guiltiest of Pleasures.
chrismartonuk-124 May 2009
Michael Carreras often attempted to broaden Hammer's repertoire during his terms there and most of the company's artistic triumphs, and interesting misfires, can be laid at his feet. THE TWO FACES OF DR JEKYLL was a serious attempt to move the Gothics beyond the traditional limits expected of Hammer that failed due to the gap between intention and execution. Having pioneered SHE and ONE MILLIONS YEARS BC and put Hammer into the Summer family crowd pleaser market - and anticipating the modern Hollywood blockbuster - Carreras took advantage of hammer's relationship with Dennis Wheatley not to churn out another Black magic Chiller but a curious mish-mash of soap-opera, disaster movie, nautical adventure and sci-fantasy.

Eric Porter was hotter than a murder weapon at the time with his portrayal of the tormented, cuckolded Soames Forsyth on the BBC (and had become something of a sex symbol in the process - despite, or because of, his rough treatment of his capricious wife, Irene) so Hammer thought it worth taking a chance on him as leading man material - as they had Peter Cushing - instead of Christopher Lee or a fading American star. Porter was a top drawer classical actor - I had the good fortune to see his Malvolio in TWELFTH NIGHT at Stratford - and he has a convincingly craggy sea-faring face and a natural authority, and ain't half-bad as a man of action at the climax. His captain could give Cushing's Baron Frankenstein a few lessons in monomania - he fails to tell his crew (including, inevitably, Michael Ripper) about the dangerous cargo of Phophor B they carry. Having been beaten to the punch by Benito Carruther's sleazy character to sleep with Hildegard Knef, he cares very little when the man is carried off by an octopus. I doubt whether Porter lingered too long over the film on his CV but he's a first-rate lead and although he made an excellent Moriarity in the Granada series, might have been an intriguing Holmes. The women characters are unusually complex for Hammer. Hildegard Knef looked every inch a MILF and conveys the weary melancholy of a beaten-down woman who's had to compromise herself in the name of survival. Suzanne Leigh is one of Hammer's finest and most underrated bitches - look at the smirk she gives her hated father Nigel Stock when Porter berates him - and opens her thighs for anything with a pulse including the Sparks, Benito, and on-the-wagon Harry. Sadly, both fade from centre-stage at the climax - but there is compensation in the form of Dana Gillespie. We've suffered enough childish double-entendres with those gas balloons she wears for now, but she is a striking beauty and, as Hammer weren't overly concerned with the thespian ability of their ladies, it seems strange she never made another one for them - Christopher Lee could have sunk his fangs into her certainly. I suspect she's dubbed, but she certainly takes Harry's mind off the booze.

The plot structure is oddly similar to FROM DUSK TIL DAWN with the plot starting off as one genre and taking an unexpected detour in fantasy-land. Nonetheless, it remains a curio in Hammer's output (and an indication of what ZEPPELINS VS PTEROCATYLS might have looked like had it been made) and remains the guiltiest of pleasures.
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Beware the weed
HSauer20 June 1999
A film with about 3 or 4 different plots and killer weed... emblematic of the 1960s, isn't it? It twists and turns like a walking catfish, never apologizing on its wayward course. Sex appeal, bizarre monsters and soap-opera plot elements hold the viewer's attention from start to end. A classic!
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"What kind of a circus is this, anyway?"
Hey_Sweden13 April 2016
An interesting gallery of characters take a sea voyage on a tramp steamer led by Captain Lansen (Eric Porter). Some of them have their own sordid stories, like the Captain himself, who's in a hurry to unload some dangerous cargo in order to make a quick buck and retire rich. One hurricane and one mutiny later, and they end up stranded somewhere in the Sargasso Sea, where the water is infested by a particularly hideous, man eating variety of seaweed. There they come upon an island civilization, not to mention a crazed mollusk or two.

The primitive special effects (Robert A. Mattey, who later supervised the creation of "Bruce" for the 1975 classic "Jaws", was in charge) add a great deal of schlocky charm to this Hammer production, certainly one of the oddest things that they ever made. Based on the novel "Uncharted Seas" by Dennis Wheatley (which you can actually see the character of Dr. Webster reading at one point!), it tells a fairly original yarn with a singularly weird atmosphere. The somewhat askew colour photography in the later parts plays a big part in this atmosphere, as well as some memorable images. The music score by Gerard Schurmann is supplemented by tunes crooned by a 60s group called The Peddlers. And the creatures on display are quite fun to watch.

The actors are able to give incredibly straight faced performances in light of how nutty the story eventually gets. Porter is an interesting guy in that he's not quite the conventional "hero". Hildegard Knef, the lovely Suzanna Leigh, and Tony Beckley have the meatiest roles among the supporting actors. Nigel Stock, Neil McCallum, Jimmy Hanley, James Cossins, Dana Gillespie (whose breasts threaten to pop out of her costume at times), Victor Maddern, Norman Eshley, the always delightful Hammer good luck charm Michael Ripper, and Donald Sumpter all deliver enjoyable performances.

Definitely a curiosity for fans of this great British studio.

Producer Michael Carreras reportedly fired original director Leslie Norman, and took over in that capacity, also writing the screenplay himself using the pseudonym "Michael Nash" (the name of his gardener).

Seven out of 10.
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Good surreal adventure tainted by laughable monsters
Wuchakk27 January 2014
I remember seeing this flick many years back on TV; it kept my interest for the first hour and twenty minutes , right up to when the colossal creatures appeared. They were so laughable I was FORCED to tune out.

After becoming a fan of Dana Gillespie (see her in "The People That Time Forgot" to learn WHY), and finding out she appeared in this pic, I ended up buying it on DVD. An open-minded second-look reveals a fine adventure yarn capped off by a very moody, surreal climax.

Quite a few reviewers state that there is no lost continent in the picture; this is not true. When the cast are in the Sargasso sea area you can clearly see mountainous land in the background; in fact, a character even proclaims at one point, "Look -- land!" Some of the cast even end up walking on the "lost continent" which is where they run into the laughable monsters (giant crab, giant lobster, etc.).

WHAT WORKS: There's lots of action and adventure; Eric Porter as Captain Lansen is strong; the human-eating seaweed is a plus; the surreal sets for the orangey Sargasso Sea of shipwrecks are fantastic; Dana Gillespie is incredibly beautiful; the balloon shoes & harnesses are creative; and the plot keeps your interest even though much of the writing is weak. The distinctive 60's theme song is also pretty cool.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: Except for Dana Gillespie (Sarah), the characters are all rather unlikable and the biggest flaw is that the creature F/X are horrible (did I mention that already?).

FINAL ANALYSIS: "The Lost Continent" is not hailed as one of Hammer's masterpieces, but I think the main reason for this is the lousy crustacean monsters. The flick gets extra points for its high adventure and its undeniably mood. The film will certainly be enjoyable for those of us who are attracted to "lost continent"-type adventure flicks (just bear with the relatively short crustacean sequence). And Dana Gillespie doesn't hurt.

The film runs 89 minutes.

GRADE: C+ or B-
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Oddly endearing cinematic mess.
Cajun-421 December 2000
THE LOST CONTINENT is from a novel by Dennis Wheatley, a prolific writer whose books were a compilation of badly written prose, cardboard characters and often inaccurate details. They also happened to be enormous best sellers.

The movie captures his style. We are introduced to characters whose personalities change during the movie for apparent reason and plot threads that start promisingly then go nowhere.

Ben Carruthers is an almost cartoon-like sleazeball and good actors like Eric Porter, Jimmy Hanley and Hildegarde Kneff somehow manage to keep straight faces throughout.

The music is weird; from the opening crooning of a completely inappropriate title song it seems throughout to have been written for a different movie, having no connection with the mood of the scenes.

With it's painted sets and general air of cheapness it should have been a complete disaster but somehow in the end it all becomes strangely likeable.

One for those yahoo evenings with beer and popcorn.
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Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!
utgard142 January 2014
Watchable late Hammer flick with a so-so cast. First half deals with dramatics on board a cargo ship with various and sundry characters, leading up to the mutiny of the crew. This is all rather ho-hum and forgettable. Business picks up after the ship becomes lost in the Sargasso Sea and the passengers must deal with killer seaweed and giant mutant crabs & scorpions. Oh did I forget that there's also an island of conquistadors who don't realize the Spanish Inquisition is over? It's all pretty cheesy with poor special effects and no scares are to be had but it's fun to watch at times. Neil McCallum has his hair dyed Twinkie yellow for some reason. Ben Carruthers (who?) is supposed to be playing some kind of suave character but it's a poor fit. Suzanna Leigh and front-heavy Dana Gillespie provide the required amount of babe to fill Hammer's quota. Love the cheesy title song. I believe this movie also inspired an episode of DuckTales.
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BIZARRE! Scared me to death when I was seven.
Horror Fan6 February 1999
This is a piece of weird garbage from British vaults. I don't watch very many British films, but this one really appealed to me because it's so bizarre just like a Japanese film. This begins strange enough with a silly postmodern song (I have discovered....The Lost Continent!) that really doesn't go along with the movie. Then this is like Titanic on drugs. Alchoholic jerk of a captain is taking his rundown ship with explosives on board that will go off when it gets wet (what a safe thing to take on a sea voyage) along with disfuntional passengers with horrible lives and mutinous crew to South America. The captian tears up a hurricane warning and the ship runs into a hurricane. The ship springs a leak and the crew mutinies. This man eating seaweed attaches itself to the ship and drags it into the swamp covered bay of a lost island in the Sargasso sea where the ships of previous people who have been stranded are. Soon the inhabinates attack. Jimmy Hanley gets strangled by a giant crab, Suzzana Leigh gets attacked by a slimy octopus until a man takes a shot a freeing her and he's the one who gets dragged overboard, and the passengers are attacked by Spaniards who have been stranded there for thousands of years. As I said this film is just wacky, and it's really worth a look.
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Truly Bizarre Hammer Entry
BaronBl00d13 June 2006
While not nearly as smitten with this sixties Hammer entry as many others seem to be, I will vouch for its undeniable uniqueness and bizarre story. Whether that makes for a good movie or not, I will leave up to you. This Hammer film, based on Dennis Wheatley's Unchartered Seas, tells a very un-simple story about a freighter going to Venezuela carrying illegal explosives and five passengers with equally suspect backgrounds. The captain of the ship is a man willing to look one way for extra cash and deals in cargo that will also benefit his wallet. Bad weather and some other unfortunate circumstances cause the crew to mutiny the ship and all the remaining passengers and crew get on a lifeboat hoping to survive the expected fate of the vessel that they left. Well, later they miraculously find the ship - in tact pretty much - board again while a strangling(and carnivorous) seaweed drags them into a ship graveyard where they meet some strange inhabitants from other ships as well as fantastical monsters such as huge man-eating mollusks. While the film has all the qualities that made Hammer the Horror studio of the sixties, this one just did not do it for me. The acting is solid with the likes of Eric Porter giving a very credible turn as the captain, Suzanna Leigh as a pretty(easy)passenger, Nigel Stock as her dubious father, Michael Ripper in again another well-played small role as a shipmate, and Hildegard Knef as the atypical lead actress(having just fled a volatile Caribbean country). Director Michael Carreras keeps the convoluted storyline in tact as best he can, but the story for this film is a major, major flaw. The first part of the film is about these personalities going to South America and then be stranded in a small boat ala Lifeboat, but then we get the bizarre creatures, the seaweed, and some religious cult that has apparently lived in the ship graveyard for centuries(whether it is populated by the actual inhabitants of the ship or their progeny was never explained sufficiently to me). But even with all of this going on, the movie just ends with nothing resolved. I was saying at the end, "What's the point?" The strange creatures are never explained nor are they in the least bit realistic - looking like something having been left in the garbage bin of a Syd and Marty Kroft production. And how about the title? What continent? All wee see are a bunch of derelict ships and a rock of an island. That does not a continent make. The film would have been better off using Wheatley's original title. So it is a lukewarm reception I must leave for this Hammer outing. The first half is really the much stronger half. The second half is too bizarre and broad for me with only the buxom(and I mean BUXOM) presence of Dana Gillepsie to give it any saving grace at all as some island girl being chased by the religious cult with balloons and paddle feet. Very original in some ways and yet oh so ludicrous as well.
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Unusual British SF film, with an appearance by Dana Gillespie !
miller-movies23 May 2000
This is a unusual and UNIQUE movie that others have described fairly well. I'll add two points. 1. See the British version if you can as it has 8-9 more minutes than the G-rated American cut. And 2. The buxom girl appearing about half way through is Dana Gillespie, who is unfortunately a little-known recording artist from the late 60's. She has a very small part in this film, but really has an excellent voice and released several great albums of music. Dana... if you happen to read this, give me an e-mail. I'd like to know how you're doing.
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