Unfortunately, there are other hunters in the woods. Some trophy hunters with SAMs take out Air Force One, leaving the lame-duck President (Samuel L Jackson - Kingsman ) ejected in the pod from Escape From New York . His bodyguard (Ray Stevenson - Punisher: War Zone ) also makes it out ...
Naturally, the two stories collide. Two different genres meet - art-house coming-of-age story and Hollywood blockbuster shoot-em-up - and despite the schmaltz and clichťs, the result is pleasantly watchable.
This rips off the Dan Brown story, but it is actually one of the most watchable Mockbusters so far. It is certainly better-paced than the Tom Hanks film!
A TV company hires a team to go to the Congo and look for dinosaurs They are an English crocodile hunter, his son (think Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: TNG ), a few redshirts and a couple of unrealistically beautiful young women.
The CGI is used sparingly, which is for the best. Usually it is over-used, which stretches the SPFX budget too thin and makes the whole film look cheap. However, there is still too much of it.
A drunken Immortal (Jackie Chan - Armour of God ) takes him on a quest to save the Monkey King (yes, Monkey himself - Great Sage, Equal of Heaven)! They are joined by a beautiful young girl on a vengeance quest, and a mysterious warrior monk (Jet Li - The One ).
The parents' mission is taken up by Robbie Amell ( Tomorrow People ) and his blonde-haired ex-GF ( Alexa Vega ) with whom he bickers constantly. In the Han and Leia school of this, this means they are destined to be together.
When the parents are declared MIA, the children must take over their mission. This was the plot of Spy Kids , except that in the earlier film the brother was Alexa Vega's and back then she was too young to have a love interest.
Victor Garber ( Alias ) rounds out the cast as the mentor figure. Also, there is a secret evil genius that is manipulating our heroes.
The story starts in California in the Victorian era. Victoria Pratt hires a scientist (Ricky Shroeder - NYPD Blue) to help find her husband. Dr Shroeder finances his research by bareknuckle boxing, so he is more than happy to take her money. His nephew tags along as the party's scribe, although he could just have stayed home and married Elyse Levesque .
Our team of American adventurers set off to a Russian mineshaft in Alaska (as opposed to a volcano in Iceland). At the bottom they discover an enormous cavern with a phosphorescent ceiling. The flora is the same as in Alaska (or Canada, where this was probably filmed) but the fauna includes a CGI plesiosaur.
Of course, our protagonists discover the heroine's lost husband (Peter Fonda - Ghost Rider ). He is god-king to the natives (more American Indian than caveman), but this is a case of The Man Who Would Be King.
Ferrell and McBride each bring their own brand of humour to the film. Friel dresses like a slender Lara Croft, a reason in itself to watch the film. Unfortunately she uses her own Rochdale accent.
Some Americans on holiday get lost in the Bermuda triangle, and end up on a time-warped island. C Thomas Howell ( Red Dawn ) is in the Doug McClure role.
Thankfully the CGI dinosaurs are kept to a minimum. They actually look better than the rubber ones in the Hammer original!
The German characters actually speak their own language.
As befits the Ray Harryhausen reference, the monsters are portrayed through good old-fashioned stop-motion animation.
Nimís island paradise is invaded by Buccaneers, a cruise-ship crewed by the likes on Anthony Simcoe ( Farscape ). The only one she can call for help is Alex Rover. Unfortunately Alex the Adventurer is the alter-ego of Alex the Writer - an agoraphobic Jodie Foster !
This is a great kidsí story, with one major problem. The protagonist is never in any actual danger. We see the characters do things, but there is no actual emotional connection with them. It is a very well-made film, but ultimately there is nothing to it.
The archaeologists are accompanied by a TV journalist and her cameraman - one of The Inbetweeners. This is not the distraction so much as the fact that this is not a true Found Footage film. It keeps flipping between what the explorers are filming (they have the TV camera, the robotís cameras and even a web-cam for a tablet computer) and what the storytellers want us to see. This is a cheat, and allows the use of additional music and sound effects - not to mention the threat of a disappointing Untruthful Narrator ending.
The monster is original, to an extent. The writers chose a creature that is part of ancient Egyptian folklore, but it has not been used as a movie monster before. The CGI is also well-rendered, so the visuals are not to blame.
This was based on a poem by Edgar Allen Poe , and made on the cheap by notorious B-Movie studio AIP (American International Pictures). The female lead ( Susan Hart ) is a talented performer, but she was also the twenty-something wife of the fifty-year-old Producer. The part written for Boris Karloff ( Frankenstein (1931) ) was played by John le Mesurier (The Italian Job (1969)). If this had been made ten years later, the heroes would have been played by Doug McClure and Peter Cushing.
This time the year is 1588, and the pirate ship is a privateer vessel that was part of the Spanish Armada. There is no safe harbour for the pirates to repair their vessel in, so they tie up in a remote creek on the south coast of England. Sort of like Frenchman's Creek , only these pirates are not overly romanticised.
The pirates take over a local village and enslave the villagers. Of course, the plucky Brits fight back.
The story is set aboard a cargo ship that has seen better days. There are a handful of passengers aboard, but they all have nasty secrets. Worse, the captain is smuggling tons of volatile explosives. The crew are a mutinous rabble. And finally, the ship is steaming straight into a tropical storm.
Everything is set up for the survivors to arrive at the Lost Continent of the title. However, it is only a remote island and it only appears at the end of the second act. Just in time for the survivors to battle some conquistadors. Well, who expected the Spanish Inquisition?
A Big White Hunter in Africa in the 1960s gets somehow transported back in time to a prehistoric era. The evil brunette cave-women (led by Martine Beswick ) have enslaved the blonde cave-women. Our hero is chosen as the evil brunette Queen's concubine. He objects to her cruelty, so she has him punished.
The final bookend sequence introduces the hero's partner - business partner, that is - John (Stephen Berkoff - Werewolves Vs Strippers ).
The hero (Kerwin Matthews - 7th Voyage Of Sinbad ) ends up in a Scarlet Letter situation. The village elders, led by his own father (Andrew Kier - Quatermass And The Pit ), sentence him to fifteen years hard labour in the village's very own prison colony.
Our hero promptly escapes from the top security stockade. He gets lost in the swamp, but is found by friendly pirates led by the one-eyed Captain Leforge (Christopher Lee - Dracula ). Judging by his accent the Captain is apparently French, while the Huguenots - a French sect - speak in English or North American accents.
The hero agrees to guide the pirates to his home village, so he can get even with the elders who imprisoned him. However, he starts to have doubts about his new companions. One of the pirates (Oliver Reed - Gladiator (2000) ) gets a bit over-amourous with the women.
Once back in the village, the hero teams up with one of his friends, Timothy Blackstone (Dennis Waterman - Scars of Dracula (1970) ). Despite his grudge against the elders who unfairly imprisoned him, he turns against the helpful pirates in order to save a treasure that he never even knew existed. It is about more than just the treasure - it is about mercilessly killing all of the intruders. Yes, just like every slasher film since Texas Chainsaw Massacre (itself in the footsteps of Deliverance) the inbred hillbillies want to hunt down and slaughter the intruders who transgressed.