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(The) Lost Continent is a 1951 B-Movie produced by Robert Lippert, starring Cesar Romero and Hugh Beaumont. Starting out as a fairly straight-forward, Cold War era military film, it quickly switches into a "lost in the jungle" romp, then segues into an interminable "rock climbing" sequence before ultimately transmogrifying into a dinosaur film.
Scientists and military men are testing the guidance systems of an experimental atomic rocket; said guidance systems fail and the rocket vanishes somewhere in the South Pacific. An expedition, led by one Major Joe Nolan and including the project's three key scientists, is dispatched to retrieve it before the Russians can get their hands on it.
Whilst scouting for an island or such that the rocket could have crashed on, their plane's engines abruptly fail, dumping them onto a familiar-looking tropical island. The island natives speak of "smoke and flame, burning from sky", clearly referring to the rocket which crashed on the top of the island's plateau, causing no small amount of geological turmoil (hold that thought). The expedition slowly -- and I mean slowly -- makes its way to the top of the mountain, and drags the hapless audience along for the ride.
Once at the top, they find... an exact duplicate of the jungle set at the mountain base. Except, as one scientist points out, this jungle is flowered by long-extinct plant life. And not just plants; we soon encounter much prehistoric animal life as well. The cast
wastes spends much time running from dinosaurs and wandering through the foliage before finally stumbling upon the missing rocket. Examining its guidance computer will help the scientists correct the problem, and so exit stage down.
Um, better get a move on, quick: the entire island is beginning to break up! And so the survivors pile into a tiny rowboat and watch from the ocean as the island explodes like an atom bomb. Fin.
Robert Lippert was also an uncredited producer for the 1958 classic The Fly.
Lost Continent contains examples of:
- Always a Bigger Fish: The group are trapped by a triceratops and doomed... until a second triceratops comes along and picks a fight.
- The Casanova: Major Joe.
- Dirty Communists: Subverted. Because the lead scientist is
GermanRussian, Major Joe is suspicious of him from the start. His suspicions turn out to be in error.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?? Monkey Boy's sensual, erotic dreams... about an airplane. "I feel so dirty after watching that!"
- Hey, It's That Guy!:
- Lampshaded Double Entendre: Major Joe's Girl Of The Movie: "Hurry back, Joe; I'd like to continue our... discussion about 'simulated landings'."
- Leg Cling: Acquanetta, in the poster (see above).
- Never Trust A Poster: Acquanetta's character doesn't even go on the adventure with the main characters; she simply points them in the right direction and then exit, stage left.
- Lost World: Why, it's right there in the title, even.
- Painting the Fourth Wall: The scenes in the Lost Continent itself were originally tinted green.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Sgt. Willie Tatlow, aka Monkey Boy. Like most of his ilk, there's very little about him that's either comical or relieving. Except maybe his death.
- Retirony: Briggs, who shows pictures of his kids to the others (coughcoughDEADMEATcough).
Major Joe: You'll have quite a story to tell them when we get back.
- Somewhere a Palaeontologist Is Crying: Yet another example of flesh-eating brontosaurs.
- Idiot Ball: One guy, to escape the (sigh) flesh-eating bronto, climbs up a tall tree.
- Stock Footage: Special effects footage recycled from/for King Dinosaur, Rocketship X-M and Fire Maidens from Outer Space.
- Title Drop
- Wardrobe Malfunction: One part of the "rock climbing" sequence has Sid Melton's pants fall down while Cesar Romero hauls him over a cliffside. You can see the other actors cracking up in the background during the scene.
- They Just Didn't Care: The most likely reason this shot was left in the film.
- You No Take Candle: Acquanetta as an island girl.