The B in B-movie can stand for a lot of things: bad, bombastic, bizarre, brazen–but in the case of Sam Newfield’s The Lost Continent (1951), the B in B-movie evidently stands for ‘boring’, as in “Sam Newfield’s The Lost Continent is an incredibly boring movie.”
The film stars Cesar “Mustache” Romero as Major Joe Nolan, the leader of a small band of military men sent on a mission to retrieve an atomic rocket that vanished somewhere in the South Pacific. After crashing their plane onto a remote island, Nolan and his men encounter living stereotype, unnamed Native girl (Acquanetta), who directs them towards their missing rocket atop a strange and forbidding plateau that dominates much of the remote island.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of Newfield’s direction is his unwavering and mistaken belief that just because something is happening, it’s automatically exciting to the audience. This principal is best exemplified by the fact that — and this is neither a joke nor an exaggeration — nearly 20 minutes of screen-time is dedicated to the men climbing up the mountain. 20 straight, uncut minutes of rock climbing, where nothing happens except for the death of a character whose sole purpose for being in the movie is to die, and whose personality is so underdeveloped and uninteresting that no one cares when he’s gone. 20 minutes!
But the guy who dies on the mountain isn’t the only underdeveloped character in this terrible move–indeed, none of the characters in this film are at all memorable, with the possible exception of Romero’s character (well actually, it’s not the character that’s memorable, its Romero himself that we remember when the film is over).
This is a terrible film. An awful film. The only reason it receives even 1 star is because giving a film 0 stars is not permitted by this website. The only redeeming factor about this film is that at the very end of it (spoiler alert!), the island is suddenly destroyed by a massive volcano, thus ensuring that a sequel to this terrible, terrible film is all but impossible.
Not all B-films are intrinsically terrible. In fact, a great number of B-movies made with small budgets, and less-than-famous casts have gone on to become successful because they were able to overcome their shortcomings and create an engaging story, or a fantastic atmosphere, or some memorable characters. However, The Lost Continent does none of these things, and never will.
Find the nearest Blockbuster near your home so you can rent this film almost immediately. Or, if you prefer that movies came to you instead, set up a Netflix account and start your ordering as soon as possible.