Island of the Lost (1967)
In 1954 Ricou Browning donned the costume of the Gill Man while Richard Carlson led the expedition to the Black Lagoon in search of the famed Creature. Here we are a mere thirteen years later and Carlson finds himself serving as the screenwriter for this kiddie feature and Browning does the producing while directing underwater sequences in the Bahamas. Yes, the pair are a long way from the classic Universal Studios release that to this day still serves as a title they market with merchandise and multiple home video releases.
Richard Greene takes the Carlson role as a scientist and family man who takes his brood on a schooner in search of some unchartered islands he believes are in the South Pacific. He hopes to prove some theories and maybe even discover some lost tribes and species of animal and plant life. Greene’s son and no stranger to the ocean is Luke Halprin. Halprin had been starring in Flipper for network television as the son of Brian Kelly. No dolphin this time out but the family does bring along Drip the friendly seal.
Is it possible they lifted that name from The Flintstones? I’m positive that Dripper the Seal followed Fred home one episode from Bedrock’s Marine Land.
Before the gang land on the island Greene seeks to find, a Sabu like native played by Jose De Vega is left on the isle by his tribe in what appears to be a right of passage. He’ll have to fend of wild dogs with tusks and meat eating ostrich. Yes there’s a certain amount of prehistoric happenings going on and the customary volcanic activity accompanies them. Once the family reach the isle, they’ll soon realize this is a land that time has forgotten though not the same one they may have read about in Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. When a typhoon hits the island, their boat is tossed and if not for the courage of the fearless crew……………..
“We’ll make a life of it here.”
Greene takes charge of his flock that includes Halprin, daughter Sheilah Wells, adopted Asian daughter Irene Tsu, footballer and jock of all trades Mart Hulswit and little Robin Mattson who apparently would grow up to be a regular in the world of Soap Opera television. Without a tool to their name after the boat goes missing in the typhoon, I’d swear we were dropping in on Gilligan’s Island. Huts, tools and a bamboo xylophone suddenly appear. I’d also like to make mention that Greene and the young men in his charge must have some shaving equipment hidden off camera cause these guys never show a day’s worth of stubble on their chins.
Once the gang meet our Sabu wannabe, maybe our orphan girl has found her people. It’s a good thing her character’s name is Jane cause she’s eyeing up our jungle boy as if he’s a real life Tarzan. Things are sure to get a little dicey when the native boy explains that when his tribe returns to the island, they’ll kill all of Greene’s party. Headhunters? Seems to me I remember a gang of them on Gilligan’s Island as well.
And so Greene sets out to motivate his gang of castaways to build that boat and mast out of all those tools and rope they seemingly have a never ending supply of to get the hell back on the high seas and into a shipping lane. That’s about it I guess.
Yes it’s a rather lame flick and it did take me two nights to get through it. I’m getting a might to old for some films I guess. Had I seen this as a little tyke it would probably hold some memory near and dear to my heart but as it stands it’s rather boring for this old movie goer but hey, if grandkids ever turn up in my future, maybe I’ll give it another look with them in tow.
I had this on a VHS tape I came across and have recently discovered it was actually put out on DVD as well with a VERY misleading cover to give it that modern horror flick look as if it’s another rendition of Dr. Moreau’s experiments.