The Lost Continent (1968) 4/5
Enjoyable hokum as Hammer favourites Suzanna Leigh and Michael Ripper appear in a madcap but entertaining story, though I’m not sure whose idea it was to start with a Bond-style theme song.
Passengers and crew on a ship discover that they are carrying a dangerous cargo-Phosphor B, that explodes on contact with water. Should be safe on a ship, though, yes? Cue an approaching hurricane.
The ship is abandoned by the fractious crew, marooned in a lifeboat enveloped by a mysterious mist, surrounded by some, erm, killer seaweed.
I like how, after her overbearing father is eaten by a shark, Suzanne Leigh becomes something of a maneater herself. I like even more how my auto correct kept changing this sentence to : After her overbearing father is eaten by a shark, Suzanne Leigh becomes something of a manatee herself.
All this despite the intervention of a one-eyed rubber octopus chaperone.
I know, this all seems like some drug-induced trip. As one of the characters said:
“We go where the weed takes us.” Quite.
The storm abated, they return to their ship. They’d bought tickets after all.
They drift into an otherworldly graveyard of galleons, a character observing:
“It’s like all of the world have come here to die.”
Just the kind of optimist you need when the chips are down.
To add to the fantastical cast of thousands we meet some murderous Spanish pirates. It is discovered that they are able to walk upon the seaweed with snowshoes and balloons tied to their shoulders. Don’t think the look would ever make Vogue.
But in doing so they encounter a giant crab that is a forerunner of E.T, and a scorpion on wheels.
After many fireworks with the help of Phosphor B, the seaweed burns and the pirates are defeated, leaving the cast to survive and dream of Hollywood.
I know it sounds like someone dropped me an acid as soon as I pressed play on my Sky box, but despite not expecting much I was pleasantly surprised.