The Land That Time Forgot DVD Review
Written by Robert Gold
DVD released by The Asylum
Directed by C. Thomas Howell
Written by Darren Dalton
2009, Region 1 (NTSC), 86 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on July 28th, 2009
C. Thomas Howell as Frost Michaels
Tinothy Bottoms as Captain Burroughs
Lindsey McKeon as Lindsey
Darren Dalton as Cole
Stephen Blackhart as Lonzo
Anya Benton as Karen
A powerful storm pulls a charter boat into the Bermuda Triangle, and the passengers find themselves trapped in a world filled with prehistoric animals and men from different time periods. They must work together in order to escape the island and return home.
C. Thomas Howell (The Hitcher) directs and stars as Frost Michaels, the default leader of a group of castaways. Timothy Bottoms (The Last Picture Show) is the ship's captain, and with fellow vacationers Cole (screenwriter Darren Dalton) and Lindsey (Lindsey McKeon), they search for Frost's missing wife, Karen (Anya Benton). The island is filled with danger as the first mate is immediately picked off by a pterodactyl (that sadly never returns.) Our heroes run into a few other inhabitants including a pilot from the 1920s and a sailor from the 1950s. They lead the group to the missing Karen, who has been taken prisoner by Nazi soldiers on the opposite side of the island.
It is unclear how the Nazis got Karen because she stayed behind on the boat at sea rather than join the others in the raft to explore the island. Why the Nazis would venture out to a boat only to return to the island is only one of the gaping plot holes marring this film. The Karen character is both a lead role and yet the least realized of the group. She speaks only a handful of lines throughout the picture. During her exciting rescue sequence, she never calls for help or thanks the group (or says anything to her husband). I am willing to accept the dinosaurs that you can summon by throwing a rock in their general direction, but it's just odd that so much time would be wasted rescuing Frost's wife if he doesn't even bother to ask if she's okay. This is only a minor gripe that is not that bothersome, but serves as an example of some of the unevenness of the picture.
The film takes the "We've got to put aside our differences and work together" message to feel-good extremes, while leaving behind many unanswered questions like "What the hell happened to C. Thomas Howell? He looks like he got beat the fuck up by life!" Indeed Howell has seen better days, and looks fifteen years older than he is, but he has managed to direct a by the numbers adventure film that hits all the clichés and comes back for more.
Despite numerous action scenes and fairly solid acting, The Land That Time Forgot remains rather boring and forgettable. The visual effects are standard Tiny Juggernaut quality and the script moves at a decent pace. Perhaps the material is too familiar or the limited budget never allows the film to escape the vibe of a made for television event picture.
Video and Audio:
The DVD provides a decent 1:78 anamorphic transfer that brings out nice detail in the picture, with strong blacks and rich colors. Audio options include both a 2-channel stereo mix and a 5.1 surround option. Neither is reference quality, but either choice is sufficient.
A five minute look behind the scenes is not very exciting and is a pretty standard puff piece. The gag reel is about as entertaining as you've come to expect from low budget cinema. Trailers are provided for the main feature and a handful of other titles from The Asylum.
The Land That Time Forgot is a rainy day film that will sufficiently pass the time until the sun comes back and you can play outside. Nothing extraordinary here…just extra ordinary.