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The Lost Continent

The Lost Continent(1968)

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teaser The Lost Continent (1968)

An adaptation of Dennis Wheatley's 1938 novel Uncharted Seas - with unattributed borrowings from William Hope Hodgson's The Boats of the Glen Carrig - The Lost Continent (1968) represented something completely different for Hammer Film Productions. Though the British horror house had dipped a toe into lost world waters with its 1965 take on the H. Rider Haggard classic She and 1967's Slave Girls (US: Prehistoric Women, 1967), The Lost Continent was a quantum leap to left field for a company whose stock-in-trade had been to that point stately Gothic shockers in Victorian dress. Written and directed by Michael Carreras (son of company president James Carreras), The Lost World throttles up the sum of all absurdities as a Ship of Fools (1965)-style steamer sails into a fetid Sargasso choked with derelict vessels and strangling seaweed, a strange new world inhabited by crustacean behemoths, grabby tentacled sea beasts, and a legion of inbred conquistadors led by a capricious boy king. A pulpy bouillabaisse worthy of Japan's Toho Company, The Lost Continent boasts a disarmingly seasoned cast, led by Eric Porter (star of the starchy BBC soap The Forsyte Saga), German actress-singer Hildegard Knef, Shakespearean actor Tony Beckley (later the child killer of the 1980 slasher When a Stranger Calls) and Ben Carruthers, hell and gone from his film debut in John Cassavetes' Shadows (1959).

By Richard Harland Smith

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