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RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: Trailer
It’s The New World…with a bigger body count.
Adrian Paul, Frida Show, Rhett Giles, Michael Teh, Mari Mascaro, Alex McArthur, George Calil, Doug Dearth.
In 1587, 117 English immigrants to the New World settled Roanoke Island, just off the coast of Virginia. By the time the resupply ships arrived the next spring, all of them had disappeared without a trace. This tells the story of what happened when the settlers encountered an evil presence on the island.
“Oh Ananias, it’s so beautiful! I feel like we could live here forever.”
“Well one of us at least…”
Considering two things: 1. This was a Sci-Fi Channel movie and 2. That this was an Adrian Paul Sci-Fi Channel movie and the last Adrian Paul Sci-Fi Channel movie – that being the absolutely soul sucking Highlander: The Source – almost made me want to slit my throat with a rusty spoon, I didn’t have the highest of hopes that Lost Colony would be much different. I was pleasantly surprised that I was wrong. Now this isn’t a great flick, but it is a pretty solid effort all the way around, from the writing to directing to the production design. The special effects weren’t all that much to write home about, but serviceable. And Paul gives a nicely understated performance that works within the confines of the story.
“Then we’re agreed: we’ll let you onto the continent…you rape and murder our people and our culture and send us to live on reservations for generations of poverty and despair to come. And in return, you name all of your sports teams after us.”
Getting back briefly to Highlander: The Source…manomanoman was that absolutely the final straw – make that the final I-beam – in that franchise. I’ve been a Highlander fan for almost twenty years. I was also a big fan of the show, which expanded on the mythology nicely and I credit Paul with carrying the franchise on his back for six seasons. He’s a credible performer and quite good with the swordplay. But outside of Highlander, he seems to struggle mightily to find good material. When that last abortion of a Highlander movie not only dried up the well, but filled in the hole and paved it over, I wondered if it would do the same to Paul. But in Lost Colony, he’s made a nice rebound in a story that puts an interesting twist on the Roanoke Colony mystery.
“Wow, you’re pretty good with a sword.”
“You should see me when Queen’s playing in the background…”
The story centers around the British colonists who settled Roanoke Island in 1587 and then mysteriously disappeared without a trace within a year. Paul plays Ananias Dare, a soldier and husband whose wife, Eleanor (Show), is pregnant with their first child, destined to be named Virginia. Her pregnancy makes her more receptive to visions of the sinister supernatural inhabitants of the island who have a penchant for sucking the souls out of people. These inhabitants, spectral wraiths, are left over from a terrible occurrence years before on the island. They start picking off the settlers in droves until only Dare and a few others are left.
Me after watching Highlander: The Source…
The entire colony is stuck on the island because a contingent of them had gone to the mainland and slaughtered half a tribe of Indians (unthinkable I know) called the Croatan and they would surely be retaliated upon if they went back. That, coupled with dwindling supplies and a lack of animals on the island, make for a fairly shitty situation for all those involved. The colony and settlers endure multiple attacks by the Wraiths and it falls to Dare, as the interim governor, to discover a way to stop the evil. With the help of his friend and local Croatan chief, Manteo (Teh), Dare seeks to find the source of the wraiths before the entire colony is wiped out.
Yep, Palpatine’s definitely slumming it lately…
The script for Lost Colony is better than say 80 – 90% of what you’ll find in typical Sci-Fi Channel fare. The action builds fairly nicely and the motivations of the characters and how they figure out things about the wraiths develop pretty well. The acting is also fine, without much of the hamminess or downright bad performances you typically find in these sort of movies. Paul actually gets to use his real English accent for the thing as well. The film was also shot in and around a more-than-serviceable fort setting. Where things go a little south is the special effects for the wraiths, who sometimes come off more than a little third act of Van Helsing. And I’m fairly certain that a fair number of the Croatan Indians weren’t exactly of the Native American variety. Other than that, a decent film all things considered.
The film looks good and sound is also suitably fine, although it can go a little south on occasion. There’s are Spanish subtitles and no special features beyond the typical trailers.