The Universal Pictures logo that opens the film is an old
one which was used from about 1971-1990. Perhaps it is meant
to honor the original LOTL TV series (hereafter referred to
as LOTL70) which ran from 1974-76. (In the director's
commentary, Silberling says the logo was taken from a print
of Play Misty for Me, a 1971 crime drama directed
by Clint Eastwood.)
The static of the astronaut's in-suit transmitter fades in
while the Universal Pictures logo is still on the screen.
In his attempt to contact Mission Control while slogging
through the swamp, the astronaut mentions that he seems to
have fallen into some kind of tear in time and space while
re-entering Earth's orbit. This would indicate that,
somehow, a portal to the Land of the Lost opened up in
space. Was there an intelligence behind the opened
doorway? Was the astronaut brought on purpose?
The astronaut says his coordinates are unknown and asks, "Is
this even Earth?" He goes on to tell whoever might be
listening that his ship's instruments indicate he's in White
Sands, New Mexico. He doesn't live long enough to find out
where he really is, but this seems to be a clue that
it is Earth of the past. Whether he was in the ancient past
of the White Sands region is debatable. 100 million years
ago the region was a shallow sea, not a swamp as seen here,
the cause of the formation of gypsum deposits that
eventually formed the white sands tens of millions of years
We get our first quick glimpse of the triple moons in a
reflection in the water at 0:51 on the DVD.
At 1:21 on the DVD we get a shot of a tyrannosaur
(presumably Grumpy) roaring into the camera via the
reflection on the astronaut's helmet. This may be an homage
to the last shot of the opening credit sequence of LOTL70 in
which, after chasing the Marshall family into a cliffside
cave, Grumpy turns to the camera and roars.
We are introduced to Dr. Rick Marshall by Matt Lauer,
Today Show on
NBC. The Today Show,
of course, is an actual morning news program in the United
States airing on weekday mornings on NBC, which Matt Lauer
has co-anchored since 1997. Both NBC and Universal are owned
by the same company (General Electric). NBC is also the
network on which LOTL70 originally aired.
On the Today Show, Dr. Marshall is plugging his
book My Other Car is a Time Machine. The title has been a
bumper sticker since shortly after the release of the movie
Back to the Future in 1985.
After Dr. Marshall loads his pipe with tobacco, Matt Lauer
tells him he can't smoke on the set. At 2:52 on the DVD,
dumps the tobacco into a mug on the coffee table in front of
them...but it is Lauer's mug not his, hence Lauer's
detached, deadpan look an instant later. Notice that
Marshall's mug is on the left, partly obscured by the plant,
in the screenshot below.
Dr. Marshall's presentation at the La Brea Tar Pits museum
begins with the music of Also sprach Zarathustra
(1896) by Richard Strauss. It was probably used here due to
its familiarity in modern times as the theme of the film
2001: A Space Odyssey.
The stylized image of a
saber-toothed cat that appears on
signs throughout the La Brea Tar
Pits portion of the film is the
actual logo of the La Brea Tar Pits
historical/educational site in Los
Marshall's motivational poster 'RISK-If you don't make it
it's your damn "vault"!' seems to have been made just for
this film; I've not been able to find it as an actual poster
The fossilized rock of a
Zippo lighter that Holly Cantrell
presents to Marshall is
seen to contain the fossilized
remains of a trilobite, an extinct marine arthropod.
Dr. Marshall makes some pop culture references
as exclamatory phrases throughout the film:
At 7:09 on the DVD, he exclaims,
"Captain Kirk's nipples!" Of course, Captain Kirk is
the legendary starship captain of Star Trek
played by William Shatner.
At 30:09 he says, "Sweet Gregor
Mendel!" Gregor Mendel is the priest and scientist
who is known for his study of the new science of
genetics in the 1800s.
At 7:25 on the DVD, we see Holly
wearing an outfit very similar to
what Holly Marshall wore throughout
the LOTL70 series.
At 7:40 on the DVD, we can see that Marshall's polo shirt
says "Page Museum" above "La Brea Tar Pits". The
is the museum on the tar pits grounds.
Explaining his eating binge to Holly, Marshall ends with,
"But I'm in control. And I don't have to go back to
Phoenix." What is in Phoenix he doesn't want to go back to?
An overeaters halfway house?
Marshall lists a whole series of fast-food restaurants he
ate at the previous night:
Subway. All are real fast-food restaurants in the southern
California area (and elsewhere). Subway was a sponsor of the
movie and, around the time of the film's release, even had
commercials featuring a Sleestak in line for a sub sandwich!
Marshall tells Holly that while he powered through a 12-inch
veggie sub at Subway, he was babbling to a cutout of Jared.
Jared Fogle is a nationally-recognized spokesman for Subway
restaurants, centering on his real-life claim that he lost
weight on what he calls the Subway diet.
The hard drive in Marshall's tachyon amplifier contains some
undeleted old files, including the song "I Hope I Get It"
from the film version of the musical play A Chorus Line.
As Holly takes command and tells Marshall they're going on a
routine expedition, Michael Giacchino's score turns to banjo
music. The banjo was an instrument used throughout LOTL70 to
provide background music. The phrase "routine expedition"
used by Holly here was used in the opening theme song of
For some reason, there is a truck with a radiation symbol on
it parked outside of Marshall's office at 9:27 on the DVD.
Holly brings Marshall to the Devil's Canyon Mystery Cave, a
cheap, run-down roadside attraction in desert. She tells him
it was here that she found the fossil with the Zippo lighter
imprint. Though there are two or three places known as
Devil's Canyon in California, none are anything like what is
seen here. Most likely proprietor Will Stanton made the name
up to make his attraction sound mysterious and dangerous.
The vehicle that Marshall drives
looks similar to the Jeep Cherokee used
by the Porter family in the 1990s
version of the TV series (LOTL90).
However, Dr. Marshall's vehicle
looks more like a Toyota Land
Cruiser, possibly the 50 Series made
Dr. Marshall's vehicle in the film
The Porter family's Jeep in LOTL90
As they pull into the dirt parking lot of the
Devil's Canyon Mystery Cave, Marshall says, "This dump is a
portal?" "Portal" is the term that was used to describe the
dimensional apertures in LOTL90; in LOTL70 they were
referred to as "time doorways".
Devil's Canyon Mystery Cave, Marshall and Holly meet the
proprietor, Will Stanton. Trying to sell them fireworks, he
rattles off a list of types he has in stock. Most of them
are familiar as real fireworks, but a couple are probably
made up by the writers or improvised by actor Danny McBride;
I'm not aware of any "twitter-litters" or "Mexican vasectomies".
When Will shows off his model of the casino he hopes to
build, the front of it is emblazoned with an American Indian
caricature that looks similar to Chief Wahoo, the mascot of
the Cleveland Indians baseball team. Additionally, the round
building next to the casino looks much like the "UFO"-shaped
object seen later in the ancient temple.
At 11:54 on the DVD, Will refers to Holly as Mary Poppins,
probably because of her British accent. Mary Poppins is an
English nanny with magical abilities who appears in a series
of children's books and a classic 1964 Disney film starring
Marshall and Holly pay to take the ride through the Devil's
Canyon Mystery Cave. Will loads them into a yellow rubber
raft and they head down a fake river into the cave entrance.
On LOTL70, the Marshall family's adventure began when they
take a routine expedition on a yellow rubber raft down the
Colorado River, through what appears to be the Grand Canyon
(though may have been one of the tributary canyons).
As they make their way through the cave, it becomes apparent
that most, if not all, of the "cave" is fake, made of paper mache,
chicken wire and plywood. Watching carefully, you can see a number
of homages to LOTL70 during this sequence (and in this location at
the end of the film). The ride could also be described as a poor
man's Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland (minus the
The Christmas lights strung up
along the ceiling give somewhat of an impression of
the colored crystals found stuck in the rock in
various places throughout the Land.
Will tells of
the Devil's Canyon Lizard Man and has a prop of the
creature that slides out of a nook in the "cave"
wall to scare the tourists on the raft as it goes by. The Lizard Man mock-up
looks much like a Sleestak, but we never get an
explanation on how Will came to design the creature
since he has not yet been to the Land of the Lost to
see the actual Sleestaks. He does mention, as part
of the mystique of the cave, that the Lizard Man
"has been seen around these parts since the Pilgrim
times." It's misleading for him to say "Pilgrim
times" since the Pilgrims arrived on the east coast
of what would become Massachusetts in 1620 and they
themselves didn't make it much further west than that,
nevermind out to California. Possibly the
native American Indians and early Spanish explorers
coming up from Mexico could have seen the "Lizard
Man" and told stories of their experience at that
time. The sound that plays as the Lizard Man
"attacks" is the hissing sound of the Sleestaks from
At 13:22 on the DVD, on screen
right, a small cannon can be seen pointed towards
the water. Reminiscent of the aforementioned
Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It may also be a
reference to the
"Downstream" episode of LOTL70 in which the
Marshall family meets an old veteran from the U.S.
Civil War who still has his cannon, "Sarah".
When the cave starts shaking,
Will exclaims, "This ain't me! This is an
earthquake!" and Marshall responds, "Greatest
earthquake ever known!" The theme song of LOTL70
explains that, on their routine expedition, the Marshalls "met the greatest earthquake
At 14:04 on the DVD, a couple of the wooden supports
in the cave interior appear to have the words "TORN" and
"GONZO" painted on them. I don't know the significance, if
At 14:20 on the DVD, there
is an animatronic coyote holding a ring of keys in its
mouth, similar to the dog holding the key ring on
Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
As the raft is sucked towards the
portal/waterfall, the water is very bright (almost
Tidy Bowl) blue. Here, it is caused by the blue
light of the portal that has opened ahead of them.
During the opening theme of LOTL70, the miniature
canyon/river set that was shot also had very blue
water without explanation.
When Marshall and Holly return home through
the Mystery Cave, at 1:29:07 on the DVD, a chicken
wire type grilling effect is visible on the paper
mache wall behind Marshall. This same pattern was
frequently visible within the tunnels of the Lost
City on LOTL70, a sign of the low budget for sets on
Notice that the Lizard Man dummy
in the Devil's Canyon Mystery Cave has tiny pointed
teeth in it, a foreshadowing of the double rows of
teeth to be revealed on the Sleestak later.
At 15:56 on the DVD we get a
daylight shot of the triple moons. Notice that the moons are in
different positions and even have different markings than seen
previously in the water reflection seen at 0:51 on the DVD; this is
consistent with the wildly different aspects of the three moons on
LOTL70. Also, note the similarity in the large moon here with the
large moon on LOTL70; they both have a sort of Death Star look to
them! Of course, LOTL70 ran from 1974-76,
years before Star Wars was made!
At 16:06 on the DVD, we see a Viking ship, similar in type
to the famous
Oseburg Ship in the
Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway. The airplane is
possibly a Cessna.
Holly comments that the Pakuni have the posture of an
Australopithecines were hominids during the Plio-Pleistocene
She continues, saying, "...but the
sagittal crest of--" before she is interrupted by Will
At 17:17 on the DVD we are introduced to the Pakuni. One of
them, who appears to be the youngest, is Cha-ka. The other
two may be this film's representations of Ta and Sa, but the
viewer is never told.
Cha-ka was the main Pakuni character
on LOTL70 and Ta and Sa were his tribe mates. It was never
made clear what their relationship was to Cha-ka beyond
that, but speculation has been they were either father and
mother or brother and sister to the younger child (although,
at times, it was implied that Sa was also male even though
played by actress Sharon Baird).
In the film, the three
Pakuni in this scene must all be males since the females are
shown to be human-looking at the end of the film.
The two older Pakuni run off with Will's lighter. In LOTL70
the Pakuni were also fascinated by Rick Marshall's lighter
and attempted to steal it to bring fire back to the tribe.
When Holly tries introducing herself to the young Paku they
have just saved, Cha-ka mispronounces her name as Horry.
This is a nod to the Cha-ka of LOTL70 who always called
Holly "Ari" as the Pakuni did not have an "L" sound in their
language, the "L's" sounding like "R's" instead.
After rescuing Cha-ka from the other two Pakuni, the humans
find he has a sprained ankle. This is a nod to the first
episode of LOTL70,
"Cha-ka", in which the Marshall family rescues Cha-ka
from Grumpy the tyrannosaur after the young Paku falls and
twists his ankle, unable to flee from the carnivore.
As Marshall moves to examine Cha-ka's injured foot, he says,
"I'm Dr. Rick Marshall. Dr. Rick Marshall. Ok? Let's take a
look at that ankle. Does that sound good? Keep in mind,
Cha-ka, although I'm a doctor, I'm not a licensed
physician." In the LOTL70 episode
Marshall also examines Cha-ka's twisted ankle saying, "I'm
not really a doctor you know, so you'll just have to trust
|The markings on the
sacrificial altar in the desert look
like an amalgam and alteration of
shapes from ancient
Germanic and Scandinavian runic
alphabets. However, I've not
found a runic alphabet that matches
close enough to translate these
We are not told in the film if these
are Pakuni inscriptions, or Sleestak,
or something else.
Somehow, simply because she spent some time working at the
primate house at the
Munster Zoo, Holly knows how to speak a
fair amount of Pakuni. Since when do Earth primates use
spoken words at all? They don't have the proper vocal cords
for it! Ridiculous, even for an alleged comedy such as this.
After falling through the sandpit into a huge cavern, the
humans and Cha-ka are attacked and held aloft by green
tendrils of vegetation. This is somewhat reminiscent of the
vines in Medusa's garden (which Will called "the salad that
fights back") which attack the Marshalls in the LOTL70
At 22:20 on the DVD, Marshall spots a ripped and tattered
spacesuit on the pile of bones in Grumpy's "feeding
station". Presumably this is the suit worn by the astronaut
seen at the beginning of the film
|At 24:03 on the DVD,
we get our first look at the
crevasse, complete with stone
bridge, similar to the one seen in
many episodes of LOTL70. Notice that
there are a number of what appear to
be natural stone pillars on either
side, implying that the stone bridge
is a fallen pillar itself. Here, the
stone bridge leads to the cave our
heroes will make their home in
initially. This is not the case on
LOTL70, where the bridge led into
more jungle which eventually opened
into the courtyard of the Lost City.
We also see some nearby vegetable
growths that look a lot like giant
cabbages; this is a reference to the
giant fruits and vegetables that
grew in the Land in LOTL70.
Dr. Marshall comments that Grumpy's brain is the size of a
walnut. In the LOTL70 episode
Holly says the same thing.
Somehow, not only is the tyrannosaur here very
intelligent...he even seems to understand English as
Marshall insults him! Ludicrous.
25:16 and elsewhere on the DVD, we
see that the opening of the cave mouth
in which our heroes take shelter from
Grumpy is very similar in shape to
the opening of the High Bluff cave
in LOTL70. Both also had scenes of
Grumpy looking into the cave at what
he hoped would be his next meal.
At 25:23 on the DVD, we see that Grumpy has some scars on
his upper lip from a battle with some other creature.
At 25:43 on the DVD, Grumpy turns from the cave and roars
into the camera, similar to the end of the opening theme of LOTL70.
While Marshall, Will, and Holly watch Grumpy stalk away from
the cave, Cha-ka disappears into the interior and turns on an
old phonograph he finds there. But where is the power for it
According to the director's commentary, the song we first
hear playing on the phonograph in the cave is "Boogie Woogie
Bugle Boy". It was a popular song during WWII performed by
the Andrews Sisters.
The interior of the cave appears to be water-eroded
sandstone. Many of the side-passages we see here look similar
Antelope Canyon caves found on Navajo land in northern
Arizona, near the Grand Canyon.
Through the scenes in the cave, we see that the previous
human occupants have left the following Earth paraphernalia:
WWII era army uniforms, hats, and helmets; a bell; a
phonograph with a number of records; several WWII era wooden
crates; a card table; two chairs; an oil lamp; an old iron cook stove;
a bicycle; a small animal cage; a lantern; a footlocker; a
shield; a pick; a bed frame; a barrel.
From 27:17-53:18 Holly is wearing her hair in braids
like the Holly character in LOTL70.
For no discernible reason, Holly cuts her jeans into
cutoffs. Presumably because the director wanted to show off
her legs for the balance of the film. Not that I'm
As Cha-ka lays down to sleep in the cave at 27:45 on the
DVD, he is sniffing the cut off legs of Holly's jeans!
Possibly this is a reference to the LOTL70 episode
"The Paku Who Came to Dinner" in which the Pakuni are
obsessed with Holly's perfume, particularly her jean jacket on
which she spills some of the perfume.
The Land of the Lost has giant walnuts growing in it.
Somehow, despite his stubby arms, Grumpy is able to wrap one
up in leaves as a warning "gift" for Marshall. Absurd. The
giant walnut is Grumpy's message to Marshall signifying
that, yes, his brain is the size of a walnut.
As we watch Marshall record his video report at 30:28 on the
DVD, he states that it is 0600 Zulu Time. Zulu Time is
another name for Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), a time
standard based on International Atomic Time and which is
used by aviation and other industries to give the same time
all over the world, regardless of time zones.
Holly says the ancient Sleestak temple they discover reminds
her of the Olmec culture of Mesoamerica. The Olmecs were the
first Mesoamerican civilization from about 1400 to 400 BC.
Marshall then comments that it reminds him of the Prudential
Prudential Building is located in Boston, Massachusetts.
Presumably Marshall is referring to the crystalline pylon in
the middle of the courtyard, but I'm not sure why it would
necessarily remind him of the Prudential Building; perhaps
because the Prudential Building has a lot of
windows and appears out-of-place in its location, like an
ugly, swollen sore thumb over the Boston skyline.
As the Sleestak step out of their hidey-holes at 34:07 on
the DVD, we see that one clawed toe clicks up and
down once, similar to the claw of the Velociraptors
in the Jurassic Park film series. Perhaps here it is meant
to suggest that the Sleestak may have evolved from raptors?
Will is the first to touch the crystalline pylon. On LOTL70,
it was also Will who first touched the golden pylon the
Marshalls found in the jungle. Here, he feels a vibrating
motion on the surface. In the original series, Will describes
the pylon as feeling cold but otherwise like he wasn't
touching anything at all, it was so smooth.
While he's touching the pylon, Will's voice is altered to
sound like an electro-synth song performer and he sings out,
"Do you believe in life after love?" This is from the 1999
Cher song "Believe" (in which Cher's voice in electronically
altered). After criticizing him, Dr. Marshall then joins him
in performing additional lyrics from the song.
The "Beware of Sleestak" message in
the temple courtyard is written to
look almost exactly like the one
written outside the Lost City in
In LOTL70, the Sleestak appeared to be toothless. Here, they
are revealed to not only have sharp teeth, but two rows of
Marshall somehow gets the idea to use Holly's shiny belt
buckle to reflect the sun's rays into the eyes of the nearby
Sleestak statues. This scene may be a reference to two
different ideas from LOTL70: 1. the reflector mirrors worn
by the Marshall family around their necks to send Morse code
signal flashes to each other to signal danger or safety
(most notably in
2. the statue from the
Guardian" episode in which the Marshalls discover an
Altrusian statue that uses solar power to keep a large,
ape-like beast from pillaging the eggs from their tunnels.
The pylon is much larger inside than the outside. This is a
trait borrowed from the pylons of LOTL70.
When Marshall, Will, and Holly step inside the pylon at 37:26
on the DVD, they are standing on a floating platform, just
the three of them. Suddenly at 37:32, Enik is laying on the
platform with them. How did he get there?
In the pylon, Marshall, Will, and Holly meet Enik the
Altrusian. The film does not give an explanation as to why
Enik looks similar, but different, to the Sleestak. In
LOTL70, it is explained that the Altrusians were a race that
lived in a city in the Land who devolved into the Sleestak,
seemingly due to their failure to keep their base emotions
in check over many generations.
Enik says, "Thank Vindark you've come to my aid,
Rick Marshall." Who or what is Vindark? It's never
explained and the name was never mentioned on LOTL70.
|The Enik here is
dressed similarly to the Enik of
LOTL70. Note the red tunic and
diamond-shaped pendant. Two
differences are that the movie Enik
wears a sash over his
does not wear the bracelet of red
crystals on his left hand.
Notice that in Enik's speech
throughout the movie, the actor's breath can be heard inside
the character mask. I assume this was intentional as this
trait is also noticeable in Enik's portrayal on LOTL70.
Enik seems to pronounce the word "crystal" with an emphasis
on the second syllable, similar to the way the evil Sleestak Shung
did on LOTL90.
Enik is capable of laughter here (or at least a chuckle),
unlike in LOTL70 where he did not seem to understand the
concept of humor.
The matrix tables on LOTL70 were made up of variously
colored crystals. Here, they appear to be white or clear
crystals but notice that, as Enik moves his hands over them
at 39:55 on the DVD, they subtly take on various colors.
The collapsible plastic jug that Marshall uses to hold the
hadrosaur urine is of a similar type to the ones used for
water by the Marshall family in LOTL70.
Dr. Marshall compares the hike into the desert that Cha-ka
leads them on to the Bataan Death March. The Bataan Death
March was the forcible 60-mile march of 75,000 prisoners of
war in the Philippines by the Japanese during WWII. Many of
the prisoners died in the march due to the tropical heat, withholding
of food and water, and cruelties inflicted by the guards.
Marshall refers to the artifacts in the desert as a cosmic
lost-and-found, not far removed from Enik's description of
the world as a land of the lost.
The lost-and-found that Marshall
refers to contains a number of
recognizable historical, commercial,
and pop culture icons as seen in the
screen grabs below. Most of them
must have come from Earth's future
since many of them are unique and
still exist on modern day Earth.
a diesel semi-truck labeled BEEF,
a British phone booth, a Japanese Zero
fighter plane, a
Union 76 gas station sign, a blue box (possibly a portable
outhouse), the Sphinx, the Golden
Gate Bridge, the Sydney Opera House,
a half dozen covered wagons, the
Great Wall of China, the Hollywood
sign, a cruise ship (possibly the
Queen Mary), a ferris
||At the left: widely recognized
as the Capeteria sign, this one
actually appears to be the sign of
L&S Carpet in North Hollywood, CA
(formerly a Carpeteria). At
the right: the
gigantic, transparent cube has an
Apple Computer logo on it, but I
don't know what it's supposed to be
(perhaps a futuristic
|The booth to the
left is reminiscent (but not exact)
of a Fotomat.
||In the background
there appears to be a submarine,
|In the foreground
and background are the arm and head
of the Statue of Liberty. To the
left there appear to be two pink
train cars; I'm not aware of the
||There appears to
be a flying saucer embedded in the
ground. Perhaps the design is from a
|In the background
behind Grumpy is what appears to be
an offshore oil rig.
||The remains of an
Urban Outfitters store.
|A stretch Hummer
||Big Boy statue
from the Bob's Big Boy restaurant
chain; a wooden catapult; a U.S.
spacecraft, possibly Apollo-era
|In the foreground
is the famous "Giant Buddha" statue
from Lantau Island, Hong Kong. In
the background, below the Golden
Gate, is a tourist tram from
background, a drive-in movie screen
and marquee sign advertising
2001: A Space Odyssey. In the foreground, two
vintage "tailfin" automobiles stuck
head-first in the ground; this is
perhaps meant to suggest the cars
stuck in the ground at Cadillac
Ranch, an art exhibit in Amarillo,
TX along Old Route 66.
At 45:17 on the DVD, Holly points out that the little
dinosaurs that are swarming around are Compsognathus. These
dinosaurs also appeared in the Jurassic Park sequel
The Lost World. Will refers to them as "chupacabras",
a reptilian-looking cryptozoological animal commonly spoken
of in mostly Latin American regions.
At 45:51 on the DVD, a pack of
runs right past Marshall, Will, Holly, and Cha-ka to get at
the man just arrived in the ice cream truck. Why would they
just ignore our heroes if they're so ravenous?
At 46:19 on the DVD, we see that a raptor has ripped the arm
off of the ice cream man!
At 46:29 on the DVD, Holly identifies the newcomer dinosaur
as a female Allosaurus. This is a reference to the
LOTL70 dinosaur called Big Alice.
Alice's death pose at 50:35 on the
DVD is probably an homage to the
death of the Allosaurus in
the 1966 film One Million Years
|Alice is dead
While trying to psych Dr. Marshall back up, Holly admits
that she was tossed out of Cambridge for embracing his
theories. Cambridge refers to the prestigious
University, the second oldest university in England.
Cha-ka seems to be learning English quickly. At 53:30 on the
DVD, Will says, "C'mon, Cha-ka. Let's work on our mission
statement." To which the Paku seems to reply, "Okay."
At 55:58 on the DVD, Marshall sings his rendition of the LOTL70 theme song. The two places where Will and Holly
scream at the insect that is drawing blood from Marshall's
body come in where we would hear the Marshall
family screaming during the original theme, first when going
over the waterfall and second when awakening in their raft
to see Grumpy looking down on them.
Why do our heroes spend the night in the middle of the
jungle instead of at the cave? Has Cha-ka led them that far
away from it?
How is it that the water in the motel swimming pool they
find in the desert is so clean? I suppose the place must have just
arrived in the Land of the Lost.
Might the LOTL90 episode
"Cheers" have been
the inspiration for the "funny fruit" consumed by Cha-ka,
Marshall, and Will? Here in the movie,
Cha-ka the Paku stumbles across a bush bearing the fruit
(with whose effects he is already familiar) and introduces
Marshall and Will to it, whereupon the three get blitzed out
of their minds on the stuff. In the
Stink the Paku stumbles upon a tree bearing fermented fruit
(which he seems to be familiar with) and after consuming
some himself, later introduces it to Kevin Porter and they
get blitzed on the stuff. The fruit
here in the movie looks different and is called magala; it
is not named in the LOTL90 episode.
When Holly finds another pylon in the desert, why does the
pylon door seem to lead into a cave instead of the pylon
interior? Is this scene meant as a take-off on
Express" episode of LOTL70 in which Holly enters a pylon
that leads her to other worlds (although there she was still
standing in the pylon interior and observing the other
worlds through the doorway)? In the director's
commentary, Silberling says that, in the TV series, the
Marshalls would step into a pylon and go into a series of
caves where they would find Enik and his matrix table! Uh,
One of the few jokes that gets a chuckle from me is when a
giant crab is seen falling into a hot spring and then we
flash-cut to Will squeezing a giant lemon wedge over a
cooked crab leg (bringing back memories of the giant fruits
and vegetables found in the Land in the LOTL70). But where
did the lemon come from? There don't appear to be any trees
nearby to have grown it. It seems like they would have had
to make a pretty long hike to go back to the jungle and back
again just to grab a giant lemon.
At 1:06:34 on the DVD, a trail of fruit rinds can be seen
leading from the motel to the spot in the sand where
Marshall, Will, and Cha-ka have gathered to eat their boiled
In the background, at 1:06:52 on the DVD, you can see that
Will catches a flying insect in his hand and eats it.
The Zarn presented in the movie is an Altrusian, like Enik.
In the original series, Zarn was an alien being with a body
seemingly made up of lights.
The name "the Zarn" would seem to be a title of position in
the Altrusian civilization, perhaps with a constabulary or
warden meaning since the being presented here was meant to
watch over the criminal Enik.
The Zarn appears to have a tattoo or painted sigil on his
otherwise bare chest.
The voice of the Zarn is provided by Leonard Nimoy, known
best as Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek series.
From their joking discussion at 1:08:34 and the scene of
them awakening in the morning at 1:10:21, we get a vague intimation
of gay sex having occurred. Not that there's
anything wrong with that. Hilarious.
In the scene of two Sleestaks preparing to mate at 1:11:36
on the DVD, there is a heart-shaped caved opening in the
The Sleestak mating scene suggests they shed their skin
during the mating process.
The lead two Sleestak in the
procession at 1:12:19 on the DVD are
wearing some kind of ornamentation.
The center ornament appears to be an
image of 12 Sleestak or Altrusian
heads surrounding a pylon.
Though it's never called that in the movie, the scene
beginning at 1:12:36 on the DVD, appears to be the film's
version of the Library of Skulls from LOTL70.
The scene of Holly suspended in a cage over a pit by the
Sleestak is similar to scenes that occurred in several
episodes of LOTL70. The scene in the movie may also have
been partly inspired by the sacrificial lava pit scenes in Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Doom.
The skulls tell the human captives several things about
He destroyed an entire
civilization. Do they mean the Altrusian
civilization? Did he cause the Altrusians to devolve
into the Sleestak? (This is what happened on LOTL70,
though not Enik's fault.)
Enik was sentenced to 10,000
years imprisonment. Is he expected to live that
long? Do Altrusians have extraordinarily long
Enik was made to wear a tunic as
a symbol of his deceit. If so, couldn't Enik just
take it off anytime he wished? Especially once he
escaped the Zarn?
The staff that Marshall picks up at 1:18:35 on
the DVD has a little Sleestak head on it.
At 1:19:50 on the DVD, Grumpy steps on Marshall's
Zippo lighter, smashing it into the rock floor of the temple. This
must be the origin of the fossil Holly brought to Marshall at his
lab earlier in the film. At first blush it seems to imply that the
world of the Land of the Lost is simply Earth in the past. But that
leaves the triple moons in the sky unexplained. And since Holly said she
found the fossil near the Devil's Canyon Mystery Cave where they
opened the portal to the Land, it may simply be that the
fossil falls (or is brought) through a portal itself at some point,
to the Mystery Cave area on Earth.
At 1:19:54 on the DVD, Marshall runs, rolls, runs as
he dives to grab the staff. This is similar to a classic move
Captain Kirk used to make frequently on episodes of Star Trek.
When Marshall comes riding Grumpy into the temple
grounds, it may be an homage to a scene in the LOTL70 episode
"Dopey" in which Holly rides
the back of a baby brontosaurus.
Marshall slides on his feet off Grumpy's back
and down his tail, just like Fred Flintstone does off of a
brontosaurus in the opening theme of The Flintstones.
As Grumpy is mopping up the floor left and right
with Sleestaks, at 1:24:16 on the DVD, his lashing tail almost wipes
out Cha-ka, but the little guy nimbly jumps over it! A pretty cool
At 1:26:04 on the DVD, Enik shouts some Altrusian
words: "Mem kum num ket tall!" No idea what it means (or if I'm even
hearing it right).
Marshall reveals that he wrestled at Purdue. This
would be Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. Presumably this is
where he earned his Doctorate degree(s).
As they fight, and Marshall boasts that he
wrestled at Purdue, Enik counters that it was J.V. (junior varsity).
How would Enik know this? Did he somehow observe Marshall's past
through the pylon at some point?
During the fight, Will decides to jump into it
and shouts a wrestling move at Cha-ka, "Nicaraguan ball breaker!",
which the Paku then assists him with. How would Cha-ka know Earth
When the Pakuni women make their appearance, we
see that they are human-looking, gorgeous and sexy by Earth
standards. Why would they be so morphologically different from the
Pakuni males? They also wear loincloths while the males go about
nude except for their natural fur.
The closing logo of Land of the Lost
is similar in design to the logo of
Planet of the Apes.
The art and animation of the closing credits is pretty cool.
It also reminds me of Planet of the Apes, but this
time the Saturday morning animated series version.
Michael Giacchino's score also harkens at times to Jerry
Goldsmith's score for
Planet of the Apes.
After the short animation section ends, we get a final live
action scene of story. The Today show crew is cleaning up
the set and turning out the lights at the end of the day and
they find the dinosaur egg that Holly had picked up in the
Land and which Marshall had given to Matt Lauer during their
latest interview. They set it aside on top of a coffee mug
and walk away, not seeing it crack open and a baby Sleestak
emerging. Cute little guy!
|Time on DVD
are spoken but are unintelligible over the comments of
Marshall, Will, and Holly.
Tall Pakuni says, "Anu!"
Tall Pakuni says, "Aboma tessa!"
||Cha-ka says, "Acumeta!
unknown. From his gesticulations, Cha-ka seems to want
the humans to leave.
Cha-ka say "habu"
||chief or leader
Pocket Pakuni Dictionary
says it's aboma).
"Don ma don choma. Eroka Marrasharra!"
||ma=give and "Eroka
Marrasharra" means "Marshall freak!"
||Cha-ka says, "Doma."
doma is unknown.
||Holly says, "Chira
"Cha-ka aboma Pakuni."
of Pakuni." Holly translates it as he is a prince among
"Bin. Desa Pakuni dora ka Cha-ka. Un tataka."
translates this as he was the victim of a treacherous
plot to steal his throne.
"Cha-ka no desa nomasu."
Holly translates this as he was not guilty of anything
"Cha-ka abu ma carita tusajusa."
Holly translates this as he was treated far too harshly
for the very simple crime of pooping in the village
well. According to the "Making of..." on the Blu-Ray
disc, "tusajusa"=physical intimacy of a non-consensual nature. So,
possibly Chaka raped or at least sexually molested someone. Nice.
"Yo, yo, tusajusa amusu! Tusajusa!"
refuses to translate this statement. From his motions as
he speaks, it's possible Cha-ka also ejaculated into the
||Cha-ka seems to
say, "Fawny, fawny. Hooty na na."
||I don't know
what he's saying here, but possibly he is simply trying
to say the English word "funny" and the
na na" to say that he thinks Dr. Marshall (having just
doused himself in dino urine) is funny. If so, this is
probably in reference to the Paku character Stink from
LOTL90, who was fond of saying "Funny hoo-ha!"
"Ti na mamora un Pakuni casa bisato onam."
Holly translates the sentence as "he misses his tribe,
it's a beautiful existence, they're carefree and nomadic
and they live where the food is."
||Cha-ka says, "Masa
ra habimini...ha do maini. Masa doma. Hay weka. Cha-ka
abu ma Pakuni, masa, masa, masa. Masasa masani. Onam,
onam, onam. Ma dundu makalani.
translates as, "Their women wait on the men, serving all
their needs. Though they're ugly. They make up for it
with nice personalities. As prince of his tribe he
personally is served by a harem of 7000 women. They
bring him all the apples he can..." Holly refuses to
translate the end but Cha-ka is making motions either
sexual or masturbatory while he says it.
||Cha-ka says, "Magala!"
apparently the name of the "funny fruit" growing at the
Motel in the desert.
||Cha-ka says, "Bendajos
su Pakuni. Abimi ki guka magala masa doka."
translates this as "...it's a celebratory drink in his
village. It brings joyful lightness to the heart and
||Cha-ka says, "Imi
desa, imi desa!"
translates this as "howling loneliness."
||Cha-ka says, "Sha
ko no ti. Ni. Imi wachusa masusa noma binji ra un tataka
Holly translates this as "And then your bravery will be
tested as your mind fogs. And the Shadow Hags will rise
from the graves and hold you in an icy embrace. And
it'll feel like your bowel's being pierced by a ghost
"Cha-ka...maki ri shu dondo?"
||Cha-ka says, "Bomba."
translates as, "Zombie dick."
||Cha-ka and Will
each say, "Amura."
(Though he should probably have said "paku kasa",
"Abu guni kasau."
"Como sarisa ta! Sarisa ta!"
ta" almost sounds like he may be saying something about
the Sleestak (sarisataka).
||Will says, "A
women seem to be chattering words but they are
Notes from the Audio Commentary by Brad Silberling
For some reason, Silberling says the original series lasted
two-and-a-half seasons. It lasted three: 1st season of 17
episodes and 13 each in seasons 2 and 3.
Silberling says he wanted Holly to be the straight, credible
character so that the audience would accept Dr. Marshall as
credible through her. Why not just make Marshall credible in
the first place? Oh, yeah, it's a zany comedy about a
That Marshall built the tachyon amplifier so quickly
(overnight) strains credulity, but he already had the idea
in mind and Silberling says the design of it is meant to
suggest he stole parts from other offices/labs in the La
Brea research center to complete it.
The floating arm in the water at the end of the Mystery Cave ride after
the portal has swallowed up the raft (at 15:05 on the DVD)
is an homage to the floating stick seen after the dog gets
eaten in the 1975 film Jaws.
The sand dune scenes were shot at
Dumont Dunes about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas and 31
miles north of Baker, CA.
Many of Silberling's comments suggest he was basing his
ideas of the Land of the Lost from his childhood memories
rather than having reviewed the episodes in preparation for
the film. He comments that it seemed as if the Marshalls had
to cross the crevasse to escape from some threat seemingly
every week. Although they did cross it fairly frequently, I
think there's only one episode that involves them escaping a
threat while crossing it (Grumpy follows them across in
Silberling repeats here what Jorma Taccone has said in
interviews, that he, Jorma, used the Pakuni dictionary to
write his own dialog for Chaka. A few of the Pakuni words
used in the movie are recognizable, but most are not. I
suspect he must have used one of the modified dictionaries
found on the web that include words made up by fans for
home-made role-playing games, etc.
Silberling reveals that many of the items found in the cave
headquarters (such as the bell, gramophone, oil lamp, card
table) are call-backs to the 1962 Russian film, Ivan's
The ancient temple set was designed with an Angkor Wat/Cambodian
feel to it.
The crystals on the matrix table of the pylon were based
partly on the crystals that trigger the doomsday weapon at
the end of Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
The interior of the central pylon almost looks like a galaxy
of crystals and is meant to tie in to Enik's concept of
merging parallel universes.
The marquee at the drive-in theater in the desert is
hard to read, but is for 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Silberling comments that they didn't cutesy up the T. rex
in the film, unlike most Hollywood productions. What
productions is he speaking of?
Marshall and Grumpy are the film's version of Captain Ahab
and Moby Dick.
Silberling said that Sid Krofft had told him that the banjo
music in the TV series had come about due to his having seen
the 1972 film Deliverance, with its banjo
Silberling points out that Marshall is wearing an undershirt
during the pool scenes, yet he didn't have one when we saw
him get dressed at their jungle camp that morning.
The giant crab was inspired by the giant crab special
effects sequence by Ray Harryhausen in the 1961 film
The shot of Marshall, Will, and Chaka waking up in "position"
was referred to as the Y tu mama tambien shot from
the 2001 film of that name. The film is a coming of age
story about two teenage boys in a relationship with the same
older woman (and each other).
For the Sleestak mating scene, the cave and its heart-shaped
opening were redresses of the humans' cave set.
Silberling says that Michael Giacchino's score was meant to
capture the vibe of Jerry Goldsmith's and Lalo Schiffrin's
scores for the Planet of the Apes films.
The floor of the central pylon was inspired by the hotel room
sequence at the end of
2001: A Space Odyssey.
In the extra materials of the Blu-Ray edition of the film,
Silberling comments several times on his intention to do an
extended version of the film.
Deleted Scenes Commentary
A scene of the Sleestak pulling quills from their backs
which they shoot using the webbing of their hands was cut
from the film due to budget concerns; they are shooting at a
hadrosaur and it became too expensive to animate the creature.
A scene in the Land was cut from the end of the film which
would have established that Will has become "The Man Who
Would Be King" from the Rudyard Kipling story. In that story
two British men become rulers of a foreign nation. Eventually
one is killed in an uprising of his subjects and the other
goes insane. What does that say of Will and Chaka's future?
Wesley Eure and Kathy Coleman appear in a scene that was cut
from the film but which can be found as extras on the DVD
and Blu-Ray discs.
Rick Marshall's Food Diary
Cut from the film were scenes of Marshall keeping a video
food diary. These are included as extras on the Blu-Ray
In the second diary entry, notice
that the burrito Marshall is eating contains no
filling! It appears to be all tortilla!
In the third diary entry,
Marshall is in the jungle recording. The background
set appears to be half day and half night!
In the director's commentary,
Silberling refers to the Land of the Lost as an
Devil's Canyon Gift Shop, Cave and Tour
The Blu-Ray edition release contains a commercial for the
Devil's Canyon Gift Shop, Cave and Tour featuring Will. He
refers to himself as William O. Stanton. The commercial
describes the site as being in Palmdale, CA. Palmdale is a
small city in the desert about 40 miles north of Los
Sid and Marty Krofft Interview
The Blu-Ray edition release contains an interview with Sid
and Marty conducted by Brad Silberling. They suggest that
Allan Foshko wrote most of the theme song of the TV series
although credited to Linda Laurie.
Sid says that the name "Sleestak" originated because the
creatures are sleazy and stacked high.
Making of Land of the Lost
Silberling says that Sid and Marty claim that UCLA linguist
Victoria Fromkin did not really do anything in creating the
original Pakuni language, she just agreed to lend her name
to the production to cover the educational needs of Saturday
morning television of the time.