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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Video Beaverhausen: A Lost Continent with Cesar Romero & Acquanetta

Lost Continent (1951) was made the year before I was born. It stars NYC-born Hollywood leading man Cesar Romero. Ironically, Romero is of Cuban heritage and I was conceived in Guantanamo. He's from NYC; I moved to NYC from nearby NJ. He was close friends with Joan Crawford; I love Joan Crawford. He was gay; I'm gay. He was hot; I was smitten. Even as a boy, I had a crush on this tall, dark and handsome figure of a man. I throughly enjoyed Lost Continent, when it was televised, as a kid because it's on a child's level of comprehension, and because it featured Romero and dinosaurs.

Ah, dinosaurs! I had a thing about them back then. My mom would take me to the Museum of Natural History and buy me toy dinosaurs from their concession. Always a big treat.

A rocket with vital scientific data crashes on a remote South Seas island. To get to it, Cesar and his all-male crew go to the island. It's on the other side of the island, native girl Acquanetta explains. Acquanetta clearly does not use Aquanet despite her namesake. Her hair's a long tangle of the frizzies. In fact, it's a hot mess.

Acquanetta wears a rather revealing sarong, as if she were actually expecting men to show up. She is one of two remaining islanders as this movie was shot on a shoestring budget. Still, she speaks English. Hokey broken English like "Big firebird come down from sky!" or something to that effect.

Romero and his men set out to cross over to the other side of the mountain. There is a tedious amount of footage of their rock climbing. I wish Romero would at least have done Acquanetta's hair before he left her behind. But this is a macho man's adventure, turns out.

Hugh Beaumont is part of the manly crew. You'll recall him best as the dad on tv's Leave It to Beaver. Sid Melton from Green Acres is also one of the team. Hillary Brooks (The Abbott & Costello Show) from Astoria, Queens, NYC is Cesar's love interest, but she doesn't come along on this adventure, sadly.

The dinosaurs are of the stop-motion variety, which trumps iguanas with prosthetics any time as far as I'm concerned. They are, however, sub-Ray Harryhausen in execution.

Lost Continent clearly steals from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. On its low budget. it wrapped in 11 days. Clearly meant for the Man's Advenure-styled pulp fiction crowd, mostly teen boys. Modern boys might find this slow-going, I'm afraid. Strictly for the camp crowd.




2 comments:

  1. I loved this Film as a Kid, and I still love it now. I always liked Cesar Romero, who never failed to turn-in a good performance even in the worst of Films (like this one, but thank God it at least became a camp/cult classic). Also, you couldn't beat his good looks; even as he got older, he still looked handsome; and this is coming from an old straight guy! What I liked best about him though was that in real life, he was a very kind, beloved and generous Man. I'd once read somewhere that when he started making it in Hollywood, he'd had a huge house built for his family, who were still living in New York City. He moved all of them out of there to be with him in Hollywood, and made sure that they'd all live comfortably for the rest of their lives. What a beautiful Human Being he was!



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  2. Thanks, Ron. He certainly had beauty inside & out.

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