Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983)

prisoners of the lost universe poster 1983 movie
1 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 1/10

Not much

Poorly made, poorly acted, poorly plotted

Movie Info

Movie Name: Prisoners of the Lost Universe

Studio:  Marcel/Robertson Productions Limited

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure/B-Movie

Release Date(s): August 15, 1983

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

prisoners of the lost universe red eyed monsters

I don’t know what these things are but I think I’d rather watch an hour and a half of them than Prisoners of the Lost Universe

Carrie Madison (Kay Lenz) is the host of a popular myth-busting television show and her latest subject Dr. Hartmann (Kenneth Hendel) claims to have an experiment that will blow her viewers away.  An earthquake accidentally triggers Hartmann’s machine and Hartmann is whisked away while followed by Carrie and an electrician named Dan Roebuck (Richard Hatch).  The professor’s machine has the ability to open up a parallel world, and now Carrie and Dan are fighting for their lives against a warlord name Kleel (John Saxon) who has claimed Carrie for his own!

Directed by Terry Marcel, Prisoners of the Lost Universe is a low-budget action-adventure sci-fi fantasy.  Initially made for Showtime, the movie was reviewed poorly but gained a cult audience.

Star Wars created a world with endless financial opportunity.  The film was the envy of producer and many tried to recreate that success with poor results…it feels like Prisoners of the Lost Universe was going for that.

prisoners of the lost universe john saxon kay lenz

I want to remind you that I fought with Bruce Lee

Like Star Wars, Prisoners of the Lost Universe has the main characters essentially rescuing Carrie from Kleel’s “fortress” (some sticks stuck up around a building).  Dan is joined by odd characters including a thief, a caveman, and a hunter.  The unlikely group has a lot of adventures and of course succeed.  There is a bit of Flash Gordon to the story as well, but overall the movie comes off as lifeless and dull.

Battlestar Galactica star Richard Hatch plays the romantic lead and has a bickering love-hate relationship with his fellow actor Kay Lenz.  John Saxon always seems to enjoy playing the heavy and despite the bad script at least looks like he’s having fun.  Larry Taylor plays the caveman while Peter O’Farrell and Ray Charleson round out the group…while the gang from Star Wars is fun, the characters from this movie are not.

prisoners of the lost universe green man

He’s kind of like Natty Bumppo in a really lame version of Last of the Mohicans

Shot in South Africa, the “science-fiction movie” isn’t very science-fiction-y.  The movie mostly involves the characters running around rather uninspired wilderness that just as easily could have been southern California (but undoubtedly cheaper).  Things like the water monster have potential for being scary, but instead they just come off as goofy.

Prisoners of the Lost Universe is as cheap as its description implies.  The movie was featured on MST3K spin-off RiffTrax and deservedly so.  The movie doesn’t have much of a budget and it shows…but even if it did, the Lost Universe still wouldn’t be that impressive.  Though the movie has an ending, it really feels that the makers hoped for a sequel…thankfully the Lost Universe remained closed.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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