Color, 1968, 96 mins.

Directed by Michael Carreras

Starring Eric Porter, Charles Houston, Hildegard Knef, Suzanna Leigh, Tony Beckley, Jimmy Hanley, James Cossins, Neil McCallum, Nigel Stock / Written by Michael Nash / Music by Gerard Schurrmann / Cinematography by Paul Beeson

Format: DVD - Anchor Bay (MSRP $29.98)

Letterboxed (1.78:1) (16x9 enhanced) / Dolby Digital Mono

An incredibly weird hodgepodge of genres, The Lost Continent certainly isn't good filmmaking but makes for oddly compelling viewing from start to finish. Starting off like a trashy Sidney Sheldon story about a tramp steamer filled with international types screwing over each other, the story veers constantly from one popular drive-in style to the next, leaving the impression of a particularly disjointed comic book designed by 14 year olds on acid.

En route to Caracas, the aforementioned steamer passengers all decide to keep going despite the threat of an oncoming hurricane. The usual suspects are all here, including a mysterious foreign movie star (Hildegard Knef) and an insatiable, back-talking blonde (Suzanna Leigh) under the thumb of her hypocritical father. Obviouisly these less than brilliant folks get what they deserve and run smack into the storm, which leaves them stranded on an island populated by the forgotten descendants of Spanish conquistadors. The boat is carried along by self-propelling, living seaweed to the high court, where a strange boy king oversees his crazy hordes. Lots of action ensues, little of which makes any sense, before a number of rubbery giant crustaceans show up. Giant crabs! Giant lobsters! Big hot air balloons! And some gratuitous sex scenes! How on earth will it all end?

Helmed with all the sensitivity and intelligence that marked Carreras' Prehistoric Women, this film has been enhanced with an additional six minutes of footage never before seen in the U.S. Considering that the first of these restored scenes features Leigh being called a "hellcat" and almost punched during sex, viewers should have a pretty good idea of what to expect. This delirious experience is enhanced by a terrific anamorphic widescreen transfer, though the source material was obviously crafted from at least three different prints. The bulk of the film looks fantastic, while the restored footage displays somewhat duller fleshtones and less clearly defined backgrounds. The yellow, orange, and brown color schemes don't really make for very good eye candy, but fans will be happy to know that this is about as good as it's going to get. The audio is clean and sharp, though plagued by an occasional tinniness inherent in many late '60s Hammer productions... and don't forget that campy, swooning theme song. The disc also includes the long theatrical trailer and the same "Lands Before Time" special included on the "Hammer glamour" Anchor Bay titles.

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