It may not be entirely fair, after having the temerity of watching a film with a silly title like Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1984), to then complain about it being just as stupid as it sounds.
But, well, as someone who loves a good trash movie & believes trash movies should be entertaining & can even aspire to be art, I now & then feel justified in giving bad work a thrashing.
A theme song overly reminiscent of the theme to Star Wars gets this ship off the ground. Carrie (Kay Lenz) is a ditzy reporter for a "Weird Science" television program, on her way to a nutty scientist's lab to do another of her nutty news stories. Along the way she runs Dan (Richard Hatch) off the road with her lousy driving. They yell at each other a bit, then she leaves the young fellow stranded at the side of the road.
While the mad or at least off-kilter scientist (Kenneth Hendel) is showing the ditz how his matter transmitter works, there's an earthquake which opens a door into another world, & the scientist vanishes. Carrie commits some histrionics then Dan whom she ran off the road shows up looking for assistance, & as they monkey around with the machinery, they're both transferred to the other dimension as well.
Time is different in this other dimension so the mad scientist has been there for months & become a notorious sorcerer inventing new explosives for the evil tyrant Kreel (John Saxon).
When Carrie first arrives in the alternate world, she's separated from Dan, & wanders about in an alien world that strangely resembles fairly ordinary meadows, hillsides, & dirt roads. She first encounters a grunting wildman (Danie Voges) up to his neck in quicksand & helps him out, discovering he's a giant. He will reappear from time to time to save her from this or that, helpless critter that she is.
She finds Dan, who luckily was formerly a student of kendo & so fits right into this world as anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of a bamboo stick is just naturally a great swordsman when the chips are down. They escape from some aborigines with red blinking bug-eyes.
Next they meet a handsome fellow with his skin painted green (Ray Charleson) & who hunts with an exploding-seeds-operated rifle. There's also a narrow escape from a wading pool containing the Creature from the Black Lagoon's nurdy baby brother.
Shitloads more silly minor action events occur as Dan & Claire look for the scientist to see if they can get back to the dimension of Los Angeles.
Kidnapped by the warlord Kreel, taken to the Fortress of of the Dead Mountains, they find the scientist in his wizard role making weapons & being something of a jerk.
The wild giant, the green man, the wizardly scientist, Dan & Claire will eventually upset the balance of power defeating scrawny wimpy so-called barbarians & the tyrant Kreel himself.
Is it exciting? Not for a minute. Everyone's wearing costumes apparently found ready-made at the local Salvation Army. Fight choreography is non-existent as phony swordsmen & steroidal extras stumble around trying to look warrior-like. Certainly the found locations & sets give no impression of a fantasy universe.
It's like someone wrote the world's worst sword & sorcery comic book script but didn't know how to draw the pictures, so rented a malfunctioning camera & got all their friends together to film the story in grampa's back meadow.
Some of it might fool a nine year old; although, in this day & age when even little kids expect something at least as convincing as an heroic fantasy video game, Prisoners of the Lost Universe is simply insufficient.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl