Plot: After his ship is attacked by pirates, Kirk Hamilton (James Arness) has to spend some time at an Australian outpost to recover from his injuries. While there, he meets the beautiful Elaine (Kasey Rogers) and the two hit it off, though she happens to be with someone else. But Kirk has fallen hard for her and she seems to return his affections, which sparks a rivalry between Kirk and her fiance Martin (Bill Kennedy). But before tempers can reach a boiling point, the outpost is raided by the same pirates that took Kirk out of action. Elaine and her friend are kidnapped, which means Kirk and Martin will need to put aside their rivalry and work together, in order to save Elaine. But when the rescue mission leads to an exotic island home to some dangerous, unusual wildlife, will survive this adventure?
Entertainment Value: This b movie cheapie runs just over an hour and still manages to feel drawn out at times, which is never a good sign. While the movie’s advertising seems to emphasis dinosaurs, monsters, and a sci/fi feel, Two Lost Worlds is more of a drama with some light monster movie elements toward the finale. The narrative focuses on the blossoming romance between Kirk and Elaine, with side threads about his rivalry with Martin and his battles against the pirates. So if you come for the dinosaurs, you will likely be disappointed, as that is only about one minute of footage and even that is just recycled from another movie. This is a pirate story with a little romance that didn’t seem profitable, so they tacked on some reused monster scenes, hoping that sliver of sci/fi would boost ticket sales. I admire the bold approach and huckster mindset, but it does little to make Two Lost Worlds a better movie. This is about as “bait & switch” as cinema can be, I think.
The cast makes a noble effort here, but there’s just not much to work with. James Arness has the lead and brings an effective tough guy swagger, but again, the script has little chances for him to shine. A little more action perhaps or more bravado laced lines could have worked wonders, but no such luck. Bill Kennedy is fine as his rival and the two have some fun exchanges, but it is all restrained and the material never lets them go for broke. Kasey Rogers is an adequate damsel in distress, but lacks the strong charisma or charm that would have elevated the role. I think all three turn in solid work here, but I wish they were offered more interesting material. The pirate scenes are passable, though light on real wild action moments, while the brief dinosaur footage was sourced from One Million B.C., so even devoted monster movie fans can miss this. I like the premise here, but this one is a clunker.