Land of the Lost (film)

Land of the Lost (film)
Land of the Lost

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Brad Silberling
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography Dion Beebe
Editing by Peter Teschner
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) June 5, 2009 (2009-06-05)
Running time 102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $100 million[1]
Box office $69,548,641[2]

Land of the Lost is a 2009 American science-fiction comedy film directed by Brad Silberling and starring Will Ferrell, Danny McBride and Anna Friel, based on the 1974 Sid and Marty Krofft TV series of the same name.



Pompous paleontologist Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) has a low-level job at La Brea Tar Pits, three years after a disastrous interview with Matt Lauer of Today became a viral video and ruined his career. Doctoral candidate student Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel) tells him that his controversial theories combining time warps and paleontology inspired her. She shows him a fossil with an imprint of a cigarette lighter that he recognizes as his own along with a crystal made into a necklace that gives off strong tachyon energy. She convinces him to finish his tachyon amplifier and come help her on a seemingly routine expedition to the cave where Holly found the fossil, which is in the middle of nowhere. With cave gift shop owner Will Stanton (Danny McBride) they raft into the cave, where Marshall has detected high levels of tachyons. He activates the tachyon amplifier, triggering an earthquake that opens a time warp into which the raft falls. The group finds themselves in a desert, filled with various items from many eras, and without the amplifier. They rescue a primate-like creature, Cha-Ka of the Pakuni tribe, who becomes their friend and guide.

After spending a night in a cave upon surviving a meeting with a fast, intelligent Tyrannosaurus they nickname "Grumpy", who develops a vendetta against him for calling him stupid, Marshall receives a telepathic message begging for help and ends up into an ancient ruins. There, the group encounters a race of lizard men called Sleestaks before meeting the one who sent Marshall the telepathic message, Enik the Altrusian. He explains that he was exiled by the evil Zarn who is attempting to take over Earth with his Sleestak minions, but Enik can prevent this if Marshall retrieves the tachyon amplifier.

The group stumble upon a desert where many things from across time end up and they encounter many Compsognathus, Velociraptors, Grumpy, and an Allosaurus. The Allosaurus and Grumpy battle it out over the most recent thing to appear until they sense Marshall and chase him. Marshall kills the Allosaurus with liquid nitrogen and finds that the amplifier was inside the Allosaurus. The amplifier is stolen by a Pteranodon and taken to its nest, the group later retrieving the amplifier and Cha-ka performs opera. While finding a dinosaur egg while the others celebrate, Holly then learns that Enik deceived them and is actually the one planning to invade Earth, but is captured by the Sleestaks to be brought to the Library of Skulls for judgment. The others save her from being executed for helping Enik, but the villain—now possessing the amplifier, and mind-controlling the Sleestaks—leaves them to open a portal to Earth. Marshall, after setting things with Grumpy and befriending him, joins the others to defeat the Sleestak army and confront Enik. After the crystal link of the Land of the Lost to Earth is shattered, Will chooses to stay behind to live a better life and to prevent Enik from following Marshall and Holly back to Earth, learning later that female Pakuni are very attractive.

A triumphant Marshall again appears on Today to show the dinosaur egg Holly brought back with them and promote his new book Matt Lauer Can Suck It. However, left behind on the Today set, the egg turns out to be a Sleestak egg as the baby hatches from it.


  • Will Ferrell as Dr. Rick Marshall, a renowned paleontologist and author. He is determined to prove his theory on time warps, thus embarking on a time travel experiment.
  • Anna Friel as Holly Cantrell, Rick's biggest fan and love interest
  • Danny McBride as Will Stanton, a gift shop owner who takes Holly and Rick to a tachyon rich cave.
  • Jorma Taccone as Cha-Ka
  • John Boylan as Enik. He plans to invade and conquer Earth, and deceives Rick and the others into believing otherwise. He also controls the Sleestak.
  • Matt Lauer as Himself
  • Leonard Nimoy as the voice of The Zarn
  • Douglas Tait as Sleestak

The original actors who played Holly and Will in the TV series, Kathy Coleman and Wesley Eure, filmed cameos for the film.[3] However, the final version of the film cut these scenes. Actor Bobb'e J. Thompson and Kiernan Shipka (uncredited) appeared in a cameo as Tar Pit Kids and Raymond Ochoa as an uncredited boy in a museum.[4]


Production for the film began on March 4, 2008. Only one week's worth of filming was shot using a large-scale soundstage with green screen technology.[5] The rest of filming took place on location in places such as the Dumont Dunes in the Mojave Desert, the La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park, and Trona, California.[6]


The first trailer was shown during Super Bowl XLIII. Subway Restaurants, which paid to appear in the film, unveiled the second trailer exclusively on their website. JW Marriott Hotels and Pop Rocks also purchased rights to market with film tie-ins.[7] Syfy aired a marathon of the original series on Memorial Day in 2009 in coordination with the studio to have frequent film clips and an interview with Sid and Marty Krofft.[8] After the film's release, another marathon aired on Chiller on June 6. The majority of the first two seasons were also made available on Hulu. Ahead of the film's release, Universal also released the complete series on DVD; it had previously been released by Rhino Home Video. The entire series is also available via download from Xbox Live.

Two different games were released online to promote the film. "Chakker" was available to play on the film's official Web site while "Crystal Adventure" was a free downloadable game for iPhones from Kewlbox.

Both Subway and Mapquest hosted an online sweepstakes on their respective Web sites with various movie-related merchandise given away as prizes. Both sweepstakes ran from May 18 through June 7 of 2009.

Subway "Escape the Land of the Lost" Sweepstakes

Subway's contest was in the form of a Candy Land-style virtual board game. Players could collect various codes (named after characters and objects from the film) from either Subway cups or by completing specific website-related tasks (such as signing up for MySpace or Twitter) that would unlock other features of the game such as extra spins, shortcuts across the board, or an additional contest entry. Prizes included $5 Subway Gift Cards, e-Movie tickets, movie-related merchandise/apparel/props, an Epiphone banjo signed by Wil Ferrell, $1000 cash, select Southwest Airlines trips, and even a trip for two to Universal Studios in Hollywood to have lunch with the creators/producers -Sid and Marty Krofft.

Mapquest "Land of the Lost Adventure" Sweepstakes

Mapquest's contest prompted players to utilize their website to complete a series of challenges - each a different themed question. Correct answers earned players one additional contest entry each. These questions focused on key Mapquest features such as calculating the distance, fuel costs, or travel time between various fictional locales on a map of the Land of the Lost. Prizes included $20 Subway Gift Cards, prize-packs including movie-themed apparel and merchandise, a 52" Sonia Bravia HDTV, and even a trip for four to Universal Studios in Hollywood.

Will Ferrell also appeared on the season 4 premiere of Man vs. Wild, which aired June 2, 2009, to promote the film.


The score to Land of the Lost was composed by Michael Giacchino, who recorded his score with an 88-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony and a 35-person choir.[9] On May 10, it was also announced by Dave Mustaine on TheLiveLine that some music from Megadeth would appear in the film.[10] Whether this would be music from the new record was not entirely clear, however during the phone message Mustaine stated that there was new music playing in the background of the message. However parts of the song "The Right to Go Insane", from the 2009 album Endgame, can be heard near the end of the film. In the film, Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) sings the original Land of the Lost theme. The musical A Chorus Line plays a part in the story, and Will Ferrell sings Cher's 1998 dance pop hit "Believe". Varese Sarabande released the soundtrack album on June 9, 2009 (tracks 30-32 are bonus tracks).

  1. Swamp And Circumstance (1:25)
  2. The Lighter Side Of Archaeology (1:03)
  3. Food Coma For Thought (1:01)
  4. A Routine Expedition (:48)
  5. The Greatest Earthquake Ever Known (3:12)
  6. Matt Lauer Can Suck It (1:22)
  7. Chaka Chasedown (:43)
  8. The Ones That Got Away (4:17)
  9. Enik Calls For Marshall (1:16)
  10. Sleestak Attack (2:01)
  11. Enik The Altrusian (3:20)
  12. The Cosmic Lost And Found (1:34)
  13. When Piss On Your Head Is A Bad Idea (3:54)
  14. A New Marshall In Town (1:37)
  15. Pterodactyl Ptemper Ptantrum (:42)
  16. The Crystal Cave (1:43)
  17. In Search Of... Holly (1:34)
  18. Undercover Sleestak (2:18)
  19. Never Trust A Dude In A Tunic (4:17)
  20. If You Don’t Make It, It’s Your Own Damn Vault (2:40)
  21. Holly Mad As Sin (:50)
  22. Sleestak Showdown (:53)
  23. Stakbusters (2:33)
  24. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT (1:27)
  25. Crystal Clear (2:31)
  26. Mystery Cave Reunion (1:22)
  27. Ready And Will (1:36)
  28. End Credits Can Suck It! (3:26)
  29. Pop Goes The Sleestak (:16)
  30. A Routine Expedition (Version 1) (:50)
  31. The Devil's Canyon Mystery Cave (Version 1) (2:04)
  32. Crystal Clear (Film Version) (2:19)

Differences from original series

The film serves as a parody of the original TV series, similar to Starsky & Hutch and The Brady Bunch Movie. In the original series, the main characters were the father and two children. While the first names remain the same, the film converts the Holly character into an unrelated research assistant to allow for more risque humor because she is the main character's love interest.[11] Will, instead of being a son, is an amusement park operator and survivalist.[12] Rick Marshall is a paleontologist in the film, not a park ranger like in the original series. The film's budget also uses CGI special effects rather than the puppet and stop motion animation effects that defined the original series."[13] While the original Saturday morning show targeted a child audience, the film was designed for a more adult audience and includes profanity, sex, and a drug reference, among other adult-oriented items.[14]


Land of the Lost was originally scheduled to be released on July 9, but the release date was moved up to June 5 to avoid competition with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.[15]

Critical reception

The film received generally negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 26% of critics had given the film a positive review.The Wall Street Journal stated that it "isn't worth the celluloid it's printed on", Entertainment Weekly remarked that "it leaves you feeling splattered", The New York Daily News called it "a high-concept disaster", Christian Science Monitor labeled it "resolutely uninspired", The Hollywood Reporter labeled it "lame", and The Miami Herald commented that "the whole thing feels at least three summers too stale."[16]

A few critics professed admiration for it, notably Roger Ebert who gave the film three stars out of four and wrote:

The dinosaurs are so obviously not really there in shots where they menace humans that you could almost say their shots are about how they're not really there. Confronted with such effects, the actors make not the slightest effort to appear terrified, amazed or sometimes even mildly concerned. Some might consider that a weakness. I suspect it is more of a deliberate choice, and I say I enjoyed it.[17]

Empire magazine's Sam Toy put the film #8 on his best of the year list.[18]

On February 1, 2010, the movie led the 30th Golden Raspberry Awards with seven nominations (tied with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Will Ferrell), Worst Director (Brad Silberling), Worst Screenplay, Worst Supporting Actor (Jorma Taccone), Worst Screen Couple (Ferrell and any co-star, creature or "comic riff") and Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel. The movie won the Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel award.[19]

While at the Savannah Film Festival in 2011, Ron Meyer (President of Universal Pictures), said that "Land of the Lost was just crap. I mean, there was no excuse for it. The best intentions all went wrong".[20] [21]

Box office

On its opening day of June 5, the film proved to be a commercial failure by grossing only $7.9 million. The film performed under expectations in its first weekend in theaters, its $19 million opening was far less than the expected $30 million, thereby making it one of 2009's major flops. The film's box office results fell far behind that of the 2009 comedy The Hangover, which opened during the same weekend.[22][23] The film's opening weekend gross was about two-thirds what Universal Pictures reportedly expected to earn.[24] It made $69 million worldwide.[2]

Home media

The DVD was released on October 13, 2009, with sales reaching $20,286,563 as of August 2011.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Robert W. Butler (2009-06-04). "'Land of the Lost': Don't waste your time". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2009-06-06. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c "Land of the Lost - Box Office Data". The Numbers. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Kathy Coleman will play role in 'Land of the Lost' movie". A Pakistan News. 2009-05-25. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  4. ^ Marcia White (2009-06-04). "'Land of the Lost' groovy '70s TV show, new Will Ferrell movie". Lehigh Valley Live. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  5. ^ Collider Goes to the LAND OF THE LOST.
  6. ^ Filming Locations - Land of the Lost.
  7. ^ Graser, Marc (2009-05-13). Marketers happy to get 'Lost': Subway, Marriot pushing Universal film. Variety. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  8. ^ Marsters, James (2009-04-24). Eureka and Land of the Lost: All on SCI FI. SF Universe. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  9. ^ Dan Goldwasser (2009-06-01). "Michael Giacchino scores Land of the Lost". Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  10. ^ . 
  11. ^ Stevens, Dana (2009-06-04). Dumb Summer Guy Movies: The Hangover and Land of the Lost attempt to amuse dudes everywhere.. Slate. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  12. ^ Tom Long (2009-06-05). "Will Ferrell hits an all-time low with lame 'Land of the Lost'". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  13. ^ Janusonis, Michael (2009-06-05). Land of the Lost is lame. The Providence Journal. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  14. ^ Land of the Lost. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  15. ^ Release information at the Internet Movie Database
  16. ^ "Land of the Lost: Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 13, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Land of the Lost (PG)". June 3, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  18. ^ Metacritics Critics List 2009
  19. ^ Pink, Stuart (2010-03-07). "Razzie for Oscar winner Sandra". The Sun (London). 
  20. ^ . 
  21. ^ . 
  22. ^
  23. ^ Nashawaty, Chris (2009-06-07). "Is America over Will Ferrell?". Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  24. ^ Peterseim, Locke (2009-06-08). "Down goes Ferrell! Up goes Ferrell!". Redblog. Retrieved 2009-06-09. [dead link]

External links

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