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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Lost Lake
Lost Lake
Warner Bros. // Unrated // May 31, 2005
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Scott Lecter | posted May 31, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:
When I was younger, I remember spending just about every weekend at my best friend's house playing video games, shooting hoops, and fielding ground balls at the little league field. After a hard day doing whatever teenage boys do, I'd usually end up spending the night and feasting on his mother's homemade pancakes the next morning. Aside from those video games and sports we loved so much, our favorite pastime was hanging out in the basement (where we'd eventually pull out of sleeping bags for the night) and studying the infamous "Cable Guide." This holiest of holy books was our way of scoping out what movies would be on late-night HBO, Showtime, or "Skinemax" (Cinemax). We knew all the codes: V = Violence, L = Adult Language, BN = Brief Nudity, and the real jackpot of all codes, if you could find it, was N = Nudity.

Needless to say, we watched our fair share of scantily clad ladies pillow fighting or swimming naked or just generally running around naked. And if worse came to worse (and there was nothing good - good meaning either containing BN or N - on cable), we'd go to that old trusted USA Network's Up All Night. We needed our fix, and we got it any way possible.

So, at this point, you might be wondering what all this has to do with Lost Lake. Well, let's just say for brevity's sake, that I've seen a lot of these types of movies and none of them were nearly as bad as Lost Lake. Shot on digital video by Anthony Leigh Adams, the film tells the story of young Kat Walker, who decides to take a job at Tamarack Lodge - a remote ski lodge up in the High Sierras. She has trouble getting along with the others at the lodge, watches the others have trouble getting along with each other, and finally starts forming some bonds up there in the mountains. After an avalanche hits the lodge, trapping Kat and the rest of the crew, some very strange things begin to happen.

Now, I consider myself a pretty astute filmgoer. I've watched my share of difficult movies. Salo: no problem. Last Year at Marienbad: piece of cake. 8 ½: child's play. But I'll be damned if I could figure out what the hell was going on through most of Lost Lake. The film is so completely muddled in its own independent cleverness that it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. This is my basic take of what happened in Lost Lake: Hot girl takes job at ski lodge where only a few other people are staying. Two competitive brothers don't really get along. One very creepy guy howls at the moon and plays guitar. A chauvinist professor takes his student up to the lodge to get into her pants for all of 15 seconds. Hot girl makes friendly with said student in a hot tub, baring her naked body for what is probably the film's "money shot." Hot girl gets friendly with one of the brothers. Avalanche hits the lodge. Seems pretty simple, right? That's your usual late-night cable formula. Get hot girl somewhere and have her get naked. Easy enough. Well, Lost Lake takes some twists and turns into some of the most absurdly serious pontification that I've ever seen in a movie. If anyone has any idea what the hell happened in the rest of the movie (other than, of course, what I just described), I urge you to email me and let me know. If so, you're obviously a much smarter filmgoer than I.

If the utter confusion of a plot that makes absolutely no sense isn't quite enough for you, then Lost Lake has a few more goodies that will make you cringe. It could, quite possibly, get the award for worst script ever written. Some of the dialogue in this film is so laughably bad that I'm almost surprised Christina Adams and Anthony Leigh Adams didn't throw their own script in the trash. How bad is it? Let's just say there's one scene where a character urinates on another character to free them a rock they're stuck to. What does she say to the wild man who just peed on her? She says, "You're the first, and I hope only, guy that I'm glad that you pissed me off." I kid you not. That kind of dialogue is just too bad for me to make up.

So now that I've established that Lost Lake is an incredibly horrendous example of cinema, I know exactly what you want to know. Is it Skinemax worthy? Hardly. To be subjected to this drivel for nearly ninety minutes just to see one little bit of nudity isn't even worth it. Are there any redeeming features at all? Let's see: Angel Boris is cute (and partakes in the aforementioned nudity) and there's some cool skiing/snowboarding footage. That's about it. Let's just say that I'm glad my buddy and I didn't get duped into watching Lost Lake during one of those "Cable Guide Weekends." That little, tiny "N" in the listing would have completely ruined the night.


Lost Lake is presented in a letterboxed 1.85:1 format that, aside from the fact that it's non-anamorphic, does an adequate job of reproducing the digital video quality of the production. Colors looks bright and vivid on this transfer with the crisp whites of the ski slopes and warm, accurate fleshtones. The overall image is a bit soft, so detail is lacking at times. Darker scenes reveal some slight edge enhancement and shimmering with a little video flicker thrown in as well. Shadows and lighting are well delineated, but black levels could be a bit deeper. This is, generally, an adequate transfer of a digital video film. It looks better than it probably should with the biggest downfall being the lack on an anamorphic transfer.

The audio on this disc is presented in a Dolby 2.0 stereo format that won't exactly impress anyone, but does manage to get the job done. Dialogue is always crisp, clear, and distinct (even though there were times when I had no idea what the hell these characters were talking about). The cheesy soundtrack is pretty well balanced and never overwhelms the rest of the audio presentation. There is, however, some slight level fluctuation and a bit of hiss at times. I guess this is to be expected from a low-budget digital feature like Lost Lake. Nevertheless, this audio presentation doesn't have any major problems, but it doesn't exactly shine either.

For a film as bad as Lost Lake, Warner Bros. (for some reason) has seen fit to provide quite a few extra features. Unfortunately, none of these extras do anything to make you appreciate the film more.

The first extra feature is an audio commentary with Writer/Director Anthony Leigh Adams and Writer/Producer Christina Adams. The best way for me to describe this track is to remind you of the Saturday Night Live skit about the two radio women (played by Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon) who speak in slow, calm monotone voices throughout the entire show. Anthony and Christina sound exactly like that skit. In addition to the two sleepy voices, this track is pretty much the worst kind of commentary: one where the director and writer think they've made a great film when they've actually made a horrible one. The pair talk about Lost Lake as if it's the greatest film ever made, and the entire track makes you feel like you're in on some big, embarrassing joke. They are, however, very chatty throughout, provide some neat anecdotes from the set, and tell quite a bit about how the film was made. Unfortunately, the film is just so bad that about five minutes into the track, I just didn't care how they made it.

Also included on this disc is a 16-minute featurette called "Experiencing Lost Lake" that is your basic behind-the-scenes feature, complete with the same cheesy digital effects as Adams employed in the film itself. In addition to some clips from the film, we also get to see some behind-the-scenes footage interspersed with interviews with most of the cast and crew. Anthony and Christina continue to put forth the idea that this film is a real triumph and, the funny thing is, they seem to have brainwashed their cast into thinking the same thing. It's hilarious to watch these actors try to find some real substance in this film. Amazing. Nevertheless, as far as featurettes go, this is a pretty good one. It's not your typical EPK-style fluff, but it still doesn't do anything to make you enjoy the film more.

There is also an alternate ending with optional commentary included on this disc. Anthony and Christina basic explain the difference between the two endings and why one was chosen over the other for the final version of the film. It's amazing to me just how seriously they take this film.

Finally, we have a trailer for Lost Lake, and a few text web links.

Final Thoughts:
If you're still reading this review, you must either love really bad movies or you must really have a thing for Angel Boris. If you fit into either of those categories, then Lost Lake is probably right up your alley. It's horribly written, full of wooden characters (and actors), completely indecipherable, and pretty much a total waste of time. I don't know what else to say to keep you from watching this movie. Chances are, everything I've just said will probably make you want to see Lost Lake even more. I know how you really-bad-movie-lovers are. I'm one of you, but even I couldn't subject myself to repeat viewing of this mess. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly happened because the extra features certainly weren't any help. Except for an audio-visual presentation that a film this bad doesn't even deserve, there's nothing on this disc that could make me recommend it in any way. Check it out if you really feel the urge, but please don't ever say I didn't warn you.

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