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The Lost Continent
Bestien lauern vor Caracas

UK 1968
produced by
Michael Carreras, Anthony Hinds (executive) for Hammer
directed by Michael Carreras
starring Eric Porter, Hildegard Knef, Suzanna Leigh, Tony Beckley, Nigel Stock, Neil McCallum, Benito Carruthers, Jimmy Hanley, Dana Gillespie, Michael Ripper, Victor Maddern, James Cossins, Darryl Read, Eddie Powell, Shivendra Sinha
screenplay by Michael Nash, based on the novel Uncharted Seas by Dennis Wheatley, music by Gerard Schürmann, songs performed by The Peddlers

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Wanting to rake in a tidy profit with the last journey his rundown steamer, the Carita, is going to make, Captain Lansen (Eric Porter) has agreed to load 10 tons of Phosphat B - a substance that is highly explosive when it comes into contact with water, & has taken on as passengers only persons who are desperate to get out of Africa discretely, cost it what may - even double the price of a passage on a luxury liner- refugees, cutthroats & deportees like doctor Webster (Nigel Stock), a physician who has caused a few deaths because of pure carelessness, & his bitchy daughter (Suzanna Leigh), Miss Peters (Hildegard Knef), a woman who became to close & personal with some dictator - before his demise -, Ricaldi (Benito Carruthers), who thinks she is in possession of the dictator's missing fortune, & Tyler (Tony Beckley), a hopeless drunk.

When his first officer Hemmings (Neil McCallum) finds out about the explosives though, & that the captain deliberately ignored a hurricane warning, he tries to go head-on with the captain ... & is flabbergasted when the captain offers to put the decision wether to turn back or not into the hands of the passengers - & they all want to go on in spite of everything ... but when the cargo bay containing the xplosives starts to leak severely, hemmings & most of the crew revolt & - despite the captain's use of firearms, abandon ship in a lifeboat ...

The Carita goes on with a skeleton crew 6 the passengers helping out - until they do get into the hurricane & the ship is no longer any safe - even less than before - so all of them abandon ship in a lifeboat too, where, once the storm is over, tensions soon break out among the passengers & between passengers & crew ... which eventually leads to Doc Webster being eaten by a shark ... & that's only the beginning of the horrors.

Soon, the little lifeboat finds itself amidst a field of seaweed that seems to have a free will of its own - & its free will seems to be to eat up all those who come near enough. Amidst the seaweed though, our heroes find the Carita once more, still in one piece, & still functional. But when they turn on the engines, they soon realize there's a power stronger than the horsepower of the negines ... the seaweed, that starts dragging them into a completely different direction, into a virtual cemetery of shipwrecks, which seems to be inhabited by 2 tribes - both left over from the time of the Conquistadores, who seemes to have been washed upon here centureis ago -, a benign tribe that is just searching for a way to leave, & a malevolent inquisition-like tribe led by their child king El Supremo (Darryl Read).

& Tyler, having hooked up with Sara (Dana Gillespie) from the good tribe to get some people to help them soon falls into the hands of El Supremo - but are saved in due time by the captain & the rest of the bunch, who have finally found use for the explosives, & while they are at it, they convince El Supremo he is just a puppet of his chief Inquisitor (Eddie Powell), the shadow ruler of the tribe who didn'T want to get his hands dirty, & even offer El Supremo a lift to freedom. the Inquisitor however kills El Supremo in desperation before everything goes up in flames, including the seaweed, finally offering our heroes a sfe passage to wherever.

 

A superior monster movie that has a fine story, is very moodily directed, offers beautifully etched out characters brought to life by uniformly good performances, & even offers some creative set-ideas (especially the natives walking over the wood with disk-shoes & ballons to lift them above waterlevel are great). The only thing that's disappointing actually are the monsters, which are cheaply & sloppily made, /& it's not made any better by the fact that they are not vital by the plot, however, compared to the film as a whole, that's just a minor complaint.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD