Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I’m thinking that this movie ‘King of the Lost World’ might have been the first movie which signaled that little film studio The Asylum’s corporate strategy change from making a bunch of wacky horror movies like ‘Detour’ and ‘Intermedio’ into the realm of the Mockbuster. Now for the few out there who aren’t aware, The Asylum will make a quick flick and release it to DVD at around the same time a major Hollywood movie is being released to theaters such as ‘Snakes on a Train’, ‘Alien Vs. Hunter’ or ‘Transmorphers’ just to name a few. Now I have seen my fair share of these Mockbusters and I’d be lying to you if said that the majority of these movies gave me a feeling other than the desire of launching myself off the world tallest building head first, especially after suffering through Alien vs. Hunter. But since I seem to be working my way backwards in time catching these Asylum Mockbusters, the ‘King Kong’ ripoff ‘King of the Lost World’ actually looks as if some time and care went into its creation. Yes it was terrible, but it wasn’t suicide inducing terrible.

The film starts auspiciously enough with some gawdawful CGI of a plane crashing into a remote location ending in a damn near nuclear explosion, but fortunately there are survivors as the plane has broken in half. Heroic dude John Roxton (Rhett Giles) sets about saving lives and has made the executive decision that the survivors need to leave the beach and head deeper into the jungle to retrieve the cockpit half of the plane so they can call for help. Half of the survivors, including one really angry Black dude, wants to know who died and made him King of the back half of the airplane, so half of the survivors stay with the wreckage while the other half venture forth. Dana the Air Waitress (Christina Rosenberg) in particular wants to go because she wants to find out what happened to her colleague Gloria. Well Taylor, Gloria is stuck in tree and looking a lot like a Milk Dud to the KING OF THE LOST WORLD!

So off our adventurers go, which includes Rita the photo journalist (Sarah Lieving) and her damn camera. Girlfriend’s camera will prove to be way more trouble than its worth as this movie plays on. Also along is Rita’s right hand man Ed Malone (Jeff Denton), Air Waitress Natalie (Amanda Ward) and most importantly the Scarecrow himself, Bruce Boxleitner playing the mysterious gun toting Lt. Challenger who is carrying a special briefcase for some secret mission. There are other people but they are just along to die.

It is a perilous journey fraught with giant spiders, dragons, poorly animated scorpions, island natives who look like cast members from ‘The O.C.’ with bone face makeup on and of course THE KING OF THE LOST WORLD! We really only get fleeting shots of The King due to what I’m guessing are budgetary constraints. Things are looking really bleak for our heroes considering the sacrificing natives, the flesh eating bird-dragons and the big apes, but what we really need is a nearby nuclear weapon, if one is available, to save the day. Anybody happen to know where one of those might be?

It would be really easy to crap on ‘The King of the Lost World’, especially when comparing it the Peter Jackson bloated epic ‘King Kong’, and though I didn’t particularly like this movie, it did have some charm to it. One problem with this movie is that I mistakenly chose to watch it late at night while lying in bed, and despite the monsters and what not, this is a really a rather slow moving and boring movie because for the majority of the time the cast members are simply walking in the woods whining about how they’re going to die, so it was challenge staying awake. Though we appreciate the scant running time at around 80 or so minutes, it really didn’t allow much for characterization or plot development, and we do really wonder where those decidedly Southern Californian looking ‘natives’ were supposed to have originated from. Yes the special effects were on the poor side, the story was poor, actress Amanda Ward had to suffer through one of the world most gratuitous titty shots and nobody should really have to die rescuing a Pentax.

What I did like about the movie was the cast. I appreciate an actor who’s in a B-movie but acts as if he’s in a remake of ‘Ben-Hur’ like The Scarecrow did in this flick. Boxleitner really gave it his all. Rhett Giles and Asylum regular Jeff Denton did great work as hero dude and hero dude junior, and not only did actress Sarah Lieving manage to somehow retain her dignity by  avoiding a gratuitous titty shot, she also made for a spunky heroine. Oh but that damn Pentax!

The thing that is most disturbing about these Mockbusters after watching ‘King of the Lost World’ is that they have gotten progressively worse over the years. People who crap on this movie really should take a gander at the ‘DaVinci Treasure’ before laying a sour blanket on this one. I’m not saying that ‘King of the Lost World’ is any good, because it ain’t, it’s just not nearly as bad as it could have been, and it’s also probably as good as it could be.

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