Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lock Me Up!: King of the Lost World

Apes are always good for a laugh.  As this site has proven with films like Konga and Link, they can be scary too.  Obviously, the most famous killer ape is King Kong, the ruler of Skull Island.  The character has a rich history, going from the original film to the 2005 film by Peter Jackson.  Along the way, he appeared in an RKO sequel, two Toho films, a film by the now-late Dino De Laurentis and a Japanese sequel that may or may not have existed.  Speaking of the 2005 film, there is another film with a giant ape that came out around the same time: this one.  This alleges to be a version of the famous Lost World story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  I've seen many version of this tale (including the 1925 film) & this is hardly one of them.  I guess the only qualifier is that you have to be on an island somewhere and have giant insects/dinosaurs there.  Random note: Sarah 'embarrassing close-up from Monster' Lieving is here too.  Kill me now, please.  In spite of that, can this film give you a fun, pulp-filled time?  Get out your very important briefcase for my review of...
The film begins with a shadow of a plane flying by and crashing on an  The survivors work their way out of the wreck and I begin to get a feeling of deja vu.  Never mind the fact that they did nothing to set up these people before the crash or anything!  One of them- a flight attendant- somehow ends up stuck in a tree, whereupon she is attacked by a giant ape!  I don't know how she got there or how she got so far away that nobody saw or heard the ape, but I'm sure that there's a reason.  The group begins to split up into the usual cliches, including the 'I'm in charge' guy, the 'why are you in charge' guy and the 'let's just stop fighting' girl.  Figured out what they're ripping off yet?  It's Lost!  The film is just one Sawyer, Chinese lady and fat guy away from being the show.  To fill in the 'Locke' role, they cast Bruce Boxleitner as the Captain, who is hiding a secret that may relate to that briefcase he carries with him.  As far as the lead guy, we get 'Van Helsing' from Dracula's Curse- yea.  The group agrees to split up and seek out the front of the plane, since it has the black box.  Amongst the group that stays, there is both the lead actor from Dracula's Curse (not Van Helsing) and the neighbor from War of the Worlds.  Gee, I wonder what's going to happen to them, he asks knowingly.  The others wander around for a bit until a spider attacks them.  It is bested easily, however, so why should we care?  On the plus side, it does distract me from Sarah Lieving's acting...
We get more wandering, before we cut back to the people left behind to see- big surprise- some villagers attack them.  Apparently the film cares about them as much as I do & stays on this scene for about fifteen seconds.  The important people find the front of the plane, but it's full of foliage.  Before I cry 'plot hole,' they explain that this is not the front of their plane.  Oh, this is apparently the popular spot for planes to crash.  This is an actual plot point that they steal from Lost directly.  Of course, since Lost hadn't explained it this plot point in 2005 (not the actual explanation to come later would be good), the people behind this film don't either!  A small plot point with Sarah Lieving being scratched earlier, but not getting help comes and resolves itself within about two minutes.  What point did it serve?  'Not Locke' is acting very suspicious, even going so far as to point his gun at a guy for touching the briefcase.  Does the guy mention it to anyone?  Nope.  Big-Lipped Alligator Moment?  Oh look, more of the group get randomly-abducted by villagers.  Don't worry- no leads get taken.  Fun side note: one of the guys taken is the soldier guy from War of the Worlds.  He didn't show up before, so where the hell did he come from?  He's like the Science Teacher guy who agreed to go out and find the dynamite on Lost.  He was apparently just off-camera for the first year and a half, huh?  It's as dumb here as it was there.  Oh look, a Kong itself...huh?
This movie has 'back,' choosing to stick all the explanation into the last thirty minutes or so.  Our heroes escape a cave full of CG scorpions, although the Vampire Lord guy from Dracula's Curse dies when he goes back for Sarah's camera.  Feel bad, lady?  They end up in the clutches of some villagers, who set up the three women for a ceremony.  The Flight Attendant lady signed the 'Nudity Allowed' waiver and gets painted up, while Sarah did not- hurray?  The group is put in a cave where they meet a crazed guy played, shockingly enough, by Steve Railsback.  Still glad that you did Helter Skelter after thirty years of typecasting, Steve?  He sets up a plot point involving setting up a radio to call for help, but that goes nowhere.  We learn that Boxleitner was so paranoid because he's on a mission to retrieve a lost nuke and he had the detonator in the case.  Why did you bring that exactly?!?  He has a back-story with one villager, but that just leads up to a fight- yawn.  In the end, the guys are laid out for a sacrifice to some pterodactyls (you again) and, shock of all shocks, the neighbor guy gets killed.  King Kong shows up again, since he had to justify his appearance on the DVD cover.  He kills Railsback and a bunch of people, while our heroes escape.  Thank you, plot point about the woman being converted- only to turn out that she wasn't.  Boxleitner dies from wounds he didn't get in the fight & gives the detonator to our hero, who blows up a giant ape with a tactical nuclear bomb!  Of course, they're also stuck- The End.
This movie sucks- even with a giant ape in it.  The plot is dumb and barely-explained.  Shall I break down the many questions like I usually do?  Okay, since you asked nicely.  Why do planes crash here?  Why did they send their agent (Boxleitner) in the guise of a pilot, as opposed to a passenger?  Did they plan around the plane crashing and, if so, did they have a way off for him?  Why are there dinosaurs, giant spiders or King freaking Kong here?  It's not another dimension or a lost island under the Earth- it's just an island!  You would think that people would have occasionally run across this place and said 'Oh shit- why are giant things here?'  So many plot points here just serve as filler and the cast is just completely-random.  By the way, good job taking the cast of your Dracula movie & just putting them in your King Kong rip-off!  Seriously, did they wrap the film and go 'So, who wants to be in a Jungle Peril film?'  The special effects are terrible, with the hight point being the Kong.  Despite slapping his body on the cover, he barely appears here and looks like shit the whole time.  One funny part: a group of jets attack Kong (it's in the contract) while one of them apparently doesn't notice him.  He flies his plane, looks at Kong and goes 'Oh shit!'  Really?  Another funny bit is the woman who holds her skirt down during a scene where they're running from Kong.  Yes, it's important to not let people see your Ladybird Johnson instead of living!  Hi, Fourth Wall!  There are some unintentional laughs here, but it's not quite enough.  By the way, I could not possibly have planned for the timing of this review's release.
Next up, The Asylum dares to make a rip-off of a film that dramatically failed to meet fan expectations.  Don't worry- they find a way to make it worse.  Stay tuned...


  1. Why did they send their agent (Boxleitner) in the guise of a pilot, as opposed to a passenger? Did they plan around the plane crashing and, if so, did they have a way off for him?


  2. Clearly the same amount of planning went into this screenplay as it did for the retrieval job.

    Seriously though, it's hard to be completely mad at a film in which THEY NUKE KING KONG! That's gotta hurt!