The Lost City [Serial] (1934)

Genres - Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Jungle Film  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The legendary so-bad-it's-good serial The Lost City manages to keep the audience on its toes for 12 full chapters. It all begins when Hero Bruce Gordon (Kane Richmond) invents a device to track the mysterious electrical disturbances which are causing turmoil all over the world. The invention leads Gordon to Central Africa, where he comes upon a gigantic "Magnetic Mountain" which shelters the lost city of Liguria. This art-deco dominion is ruled by mad scientist Zolok (played by William "Stage" Boyd with what one historian described as "alcoholic intensity"), who gleefully monitors the activities of his minions via television and who fiendish plans to create an army of zombie giants with which to rule the world. Zolok's reluctant assistant is the brilliant Dr. Manyus (Josef Swickard), who is being forced to cooperate lest harm befall his beautiful daughter Natcha (Claudia Dell). Manyus' chief claim to fame is a machine that will turn black people white -- prompting the sensitivity-challenged Gordon to exclaim "That's wonderful!" The story careens wildly from one incredible peril to the next, suggesting that the writers were making it all up as they went along. The film's most enjoyable character is renegade trader Butterfield (George "Gabby" Hayes), who goes from good guy to villain to good guy again, depending on the dictates of the script. Cheap, silly and overacted, Lost City is also a lot of good campy fun. The serial is also available in two separate feature versions, one of which is titled City of Lost Men.

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Keywords

world-domination, adventurer, death-ray, engineering, expedition, havoc, jungle, kidnapping, lost-city, mad-scientist