Production company Asylum has the “mockbuster” ingredients down to a science: conflate a popular film (King Kong) with a television show (Lost) and throw in the veneer of respectability by basing it off of a vaguely familiar but respectable piece of literature (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World). Toss it in a blender and you get King of the Lost World.
Having watched more B-movie monster movies than any sane person should voluntarily subject themselves to, I’ve come to appreciate what makes a film with a monster centerpiece worth watching.
To start with, the monster should be interesting, even if the audience thinks they know all about it. This is why films about bugs and reptiles and dinosaurs are so much fun – there’s always a twist. The raptors are MUTANT raptors that are crazed by the scent of blood; the spider is a MUTANT spider that evolves a poisonous stinger; the snake a MUTANT snake that…you get the idea. This movie has no twist, because it has no signature monster. The “King” is barely in evidence. There are, however, giant spiders, killer vines, giant scorpions, and terribly animated komodo dragons with wings.
Another important feature is the grudge match between protagonist and beast. Aliens, Jaws, and Predator laid the framework for showdowns between humans and monsters. The giant ape in this movie is more a force of nature. He is opposed on the island by aforementioned awful-CGI lizards, who theoretically keep him at bay.
As protagonists go, we don’t have much. There’s the hot chick that runs through most of the movie with a smirk on her face, other hot chicks that run through most of the movie screaming, some manly men who die in a manly fashion, and poor Bruce Boxleitner wondering if his paycheck was really worth it. He’s arguably the most interesting character saddled with a mysterious briefcase that contains: cigars, a pistol, and a detonator…
Sorry, what? You want to know why old Brucie has a detonator in his briefcase? Because his secret mission it to disarm the nuclear payload of a spy plane that went down on the mysterious island. What’s that? Why would someone sent to disarm a nuclear device have a detonator – in essence, the exact opposite of his proclaimed purpose?
There are a few possibilities: 1) Bruce is a liar, 2) Bruce is insane, 3) Director Leigh Scott wants to have a climactic moment when the bomb will go off, preferably when Kong – I mean King – is a ground zero. Three guesses as to which one it is and the first two don’t count. There is of course an arbitrary restriction like, “you have to be within three hundred yards of to use the detonator.” Of course. Because that’s movie logic for you.
Lost World lacks direction. It lacks plot. But most unforgivably, it lacks interesting monsters.
For more info: You can purchase this movie at Amazon.