LAND OF THE LOST. 2009. A UNIVERSAL PICTURE. DIRECTED BY BRAD SILBERLING. PRODUCED BY SID AND MARTY KROFFT AND JIMMY MILLER. STARRING WILL FERRELL, ANNA FRIEL, DANNY MCBRIDE AND JORMA TACCONE. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
I love Will Ferrell. I think he’s an excellent actor. In films like ELF, STRANGER THAN FICTION and BLADES OF GLORY, he’s brilliant. I quite fancy him as well. I like his brown curly chest hair, and the hair on his head is lovely too. Plus he’s got a surprisingly manly physique as well. I like men who have nice solid hairy bodies. Anything shaved or too ‘abs-y’ or ultra-defined just doesn’t do it for me. I’m particular like that.
Where was I? Oh yes. The film. Well, while LAND OF THE LOST by no means reaches the heights of comic genius that is BLADES OF GLORY, it’s still a watchable enough movie. It whiled away an hour or two waiting for the delivery guy to bring my takeaway on a cold November evening. A chicken snackbox proved the perfect side-dish to this slice of B-movie madness, loosely based on the 1974 television series of the same name.
Will Ferrell plays a washed-up scientist, Rick Marshall, who invents a time-machine that has the power to bring people not forwards, not backwards but sideways in time. Travelling sideways in time is exactly what he does, then, with a pretty English science groupie (Anna Friel) in tow and the redneck operator of a dubious tourist attraction along for the ride as well.
The land in which they wind up is pure crazy. It has dinosaurs, hideous bugs, lots of sand and a repellent-looking little monkey man by the name of Chaka in it. While they’re there, Rick and his two sidekicks Holly and Will (yes, the redneck operator of the dubious tourist attraction is called Will as well) have to work out how to get home and also how to save the universe from an alien being called Zarn, who’s voiced by dear old Leonard Nimoy. At least, they think it’s Zarn they have to worry about, heh-heh-heh. They have their work cut out for them, anyway.
Will Ferrell of course gets the best lines. Best scenes probably include Rick and Will singing Cher’s DO YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER LOVE? in that distorted-voice way she does and the giant ugly monster-bug feeding on Rick’s blood while he sings a song of apology to Holly, Will and Chaka. Chaka, by the way, calls to mind Oddbod and his hideously hairy chums in English comedy film, CARRY ON SCREAMING, part of the hugely successful CARRY ON series of films from the ’60s and ’70s.
Will’s opting to stay in the Land Of Ugly But Nice And Accommodating Women is kind of funny too, though I felt that that would have worked better had the women actually been ugly and not hot, haha. Rick drenching himself in a second bucket of dinosaur piss to counteract the stinging effects of the first bucket of dinosaur piss is also mildly humorous.
I like that the aliens all look like The Creature From The Black Lagoon or Hammer’s The Reptile. There’s a distinct B-movie feel to LAND OF THE LOST which I enjoyed. The set looks cheap and a bit tacky and I’ve a feeling that the film-makers did that on purpose as a tribute to the science fiction and horror B-movies of the ‘Fifties and ‘Sixties.
The irony is that the film probably cost millions to make, but it genuinely looks like something cult director Ed Wood might have thrown together with a bucket of sand and a few bits of glass and plastic. Isn’t that how all the best B-movies were made…? And don’t switch off when the end credits come on. There are some rather cool graphics to accompany you down to the last few bars of music.
Danny McBride, with whom I’m not really familiar, does a good job as the redneck sidekick whose life to date has been just shit enough to make him want to stay forever in the Land Of The Lost. Anna Friel, chosen no doubt for her English accent and nice hair and legs, will always remind me of BROOKSIDE, the legendary (now defunct) British soap-opera in which she played Beth Jordache and had two of the most memorable storylines in the soap’s history.
That’s right, folks. Way back in the mists of time, she shared a ground-breaking lesbian kiss with young red-headed nanny Margaret, played by Nicola Stephenson, and she also colluded with her mum Mandy in burying her abusive dad Trevor under the patio after they brained him good-style with a blunt object. The Body Under The Patio was a humongous storyline on BROOKSIDE for at least two years. I remember the excitement well.
BROOKSIDE went down the tubes in the end, sadly, with iconic character Jimmy Corkhill losing the plot altogether, but I’ll never forget the nail-biting episodes during which we all waited with bated breath to find out if TBUTP would finally be discovered and Mandy and her feisty daughter brought to book for the (soap) crime of the century. Poor Mandy and Beth went to jail for their crime, even though Trevor Jordache is now alive and well and playing a chap called Bob Charles on long-running Irish soap, FAIR CITY. Talk about unfair.
Anna Friel has also played a single mother-to-be in the film version of Irish writer Marian Keyes’s bestselling book WATERMELON, and the lead role in a film about the apparently much-maligned Countess Bathory, and last I heard she was married to actor David Thewlis, aka Professor Lupin from HARRY POTTER. There. Now you know as much about this English rose as I do, haha.
To conclude, LAND OF THE LOST doesn’t suck, exactly, but you’re not likely to want to watch it more than once, loving tribute to B-movies notwithstanding. BLADES OF GLORY now, there’s a Will Ferrell comedy you can re-visit over and over and always find something new to laugh about in it. As Chazz Michael Michaels, Will Ferrell sexes up the world of Olympic figure-skating like nobody’s business. I might even watch BOG again tonight. If I’m really, really lucky, I might even get Chazz to put his poems in me…
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’
2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY
3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA
4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
5) CANCER BALLS
6) CATCH OF THE DAY
7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.
8) FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
9) THE DEVIANTS
10) VISITING DAY