It’s that time of year again when the leaves turn yellow and brown, the air gets chillier and you can read about an awesome horror movie once a day for the month of October. This year’s theme is monsters. Sweet, destructive, misunderstood, terrifying monsters. A quick note, Sunday Matinee will be on hold while I’m doing 31 Days of Horror. It will return in November.
To start off this year’s 31 Days of Monstrous Horror, it’s the classic 1925 adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World. This was the first movie to feature the giant monster rampaging through the streets of an unfortunate city.
Wallace Beery plays Prof. Challenger, who embarks on a journey to look for the missing father of Paula White (Bessie Love). Paula’s father had found proof that dinosaurs still existed on a plateau in South America. When Challenger announced this to the world, he was laughed at. A local newspaper agrees to sponsor the expedition and Challenger, White, newspaper man Edward E. Malone (Lloyd Hughes) and sportsman Sir John Roxton (Lewis Stone) go off in search of dinosaurs.
The dinosaur effects were done by stop motion master Willis O’Brien who would later go on to do the effects for King Kong. This was the first full length feature film to feature stop motion effects and the dinosaurs were modeled after the illustrations of Charles R. Knight. It was also the first movie to be featured as an in-flight movie on an airplane in 1925. I can’t help but wonder what that was like because the projector and the screen wouldn’t be too bad in the plane but the organist might have taken up a bit too much space.
After several exciting adventures, the explorers make it back to London, England with a live Brontosaurus who quickly escapes and runs amok in London. This scene has been often imitated in movies including in Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park sequel which was also called The Lost World but was no where as awesome as this film.
The entire film can be viewed at the Internet Archive.