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15 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

"Blair Witch with Cryptids" or "Poor Man's Cloverfield"

Author: pinoyartist99 from California, USA
14 January 2009

After all the paranormal reality shows/docudramas comes this bizarre show from Animal Planet. Despite being a mockumentary show, it is "supposedly" based off of real events. These "Lost Tapes" capture the final events of the victim and their encounter with a supposed cryptid (aka Nessie, Big Foot, Chupacabra, etc.); like we haven't seen this before. The show tries to pull ploys from Blair Witch and Cloverfield, where the victim or victims are just pretty much running with a hand held camera; running from something that's behind them. And in Blair Witch/Cloverfield fashion, the creature is barely seen; either seeing a silhouette or a body part, but not the entire creature. Since this is Animal Planet were talking about, the show mainly just deals with cryptozoological creatures rather than full paranormal phenomenons such as ghosts and UFOs. No aliens or spirits on this show. While this show is humorous in many ways (as an equivalent of a SciFi Original Movie); the show does ponder the question...

WHEN THE HECK WILL WE FINALLY CAPTURES/VIDEO TAPES THESE CREATURES IN REAL LIFE? I mean, it took a while to film a giant squid in a nature habitat. Unlike with extraterrestials or the after life, at least the public has some idea that these cryptids have the "potential" to exist on Earth. Will we ever know, who knows. Overall, the series is a decent watch if you're bored; however, paranormal magazine shows like Sightings or documentaries like Monster Quest are more decent things to watch, if you're into that sort of stuff. Then again, there's always going to the library and reading about it too.

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16 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

A refreshing change of pace.

10/10
Author: walrusgumbo from United States
14 February 2009

Cryptozoology shows all have one thing in common: they don't have results. If they did, we'd have heard about it on the news long before the show could air. Instead, we get 'the best evidence out there' in some and absolutely nothing in others. As viewers, we can't hold it too much against them, it's an integral part of any field science. Even creatures that don't suffer from the 'they probably don't exist' problem can prove elusive.

I love shows like Monster Quest, Destination Truth, and Animal X. They appeal to the truly scientific side of me that hears the evidence and assigns probabilities, but there are only so many times they can scan Loch Ness. There are only so many bear footprints I can look at with the question 'was it Bigfoot'? Then, Animal Planet brought us Lost Tapes, a horror show with a cryptozoology theme.

Lost Tapes is about as academic as an episode of The X-Files. Instead of creating a show to please skeptics, it's more or less straight horror. It makes no claims that anything it has are real, doesn't expect us to believe anything about it. It frees them from having to give us the most credible critters out there. In fact, it frees them from *everything*. Instead, they can just make a show, and not another one where the *same* evidence is run over again and again without any conclusion. The science only invades the show long enough to explain the plot. Lost Tapes does not appeal to the same side as MonsterQuest, it appeals to the side of me that watches horror movies.

Lost Tapes suffers from a few problems. The acting isn't always great, the stock sounds can get a little tedious, the obsession with never allowing a clear shot of the monster of the day (see below) can often lead to some hilariously bad special effects. It's very, *very* clear that the show was shot without any budget to speak of.

On the other hand, given what they have to work with, it's very well done. Comparing the show to the Blair Witch Project is unfair. That movie was missing the whole 'scary' part, whereas this is not (some people actually *complain* that it's too scary...). The director understands that the more time a creature spends in camera, the less threatening it is (you get a maximum of one or two fuzzy glances per show). The show also does a good job of making the characters behave realistically. The Mexicans in the Chupacabra episode speak almost exclusively Spanish, the woman coming upon the remains of the beast's last kill says 'I'm going to leave this to the authorities!'.

Animal Planet would be wise to give them more money and resources to work with. It would be great if, for example, a few film crews found themselves falling victim to the nasty critters.

If you're a big skeptic looking for a highly scientific show, don't bother with this one. If you're into horror, this show is for you. I advise even the most die-hard skeptics to watch it the way they watch the X-Files (I remember *it's* first season special effects as being bad too). Despite its many flaws, this show blew me away.

Let's hope it's not too good to last.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

RIDICULOUSLY Entertaining, At Both Its Best And Worst

8/10
Author: TheMovieDoctorful from Wellesley, MA
12 October 2016

"Lost Tapes" is one of the most inconsistent shows I have ever seen in my life. On its best episodes, its one of the scariest and most well made horror shows ever made. On its worst episodes, its equivalent to the very worst of the SyFy channel's schlock in terms of effects and acting. That said, good or bad, "Lost Tapes" is NEVER boring. Whether screaming in horror (Okay, maybe not SCREAMING, but jumping and/or getting a MAJOR case of goosebumps is frequent) or laughing in hysterics, "Lost Tapes" is almost always an insanely fun watch.

The episodes are all fast paced 30 minute "found footage" shorts spliced with background information on the particular subject of the episode. (Bigfoot, Aliens, Werewolves, e.t.c) The subtlety of the scares in the better episodes is surprising. Many times, the monster itself will never be fully revealed, but merely heavily teased via shots of its shadow, eyes or distinguishing features. It uses your imagination to terrify you, never revealing its monsters, but giving you enough information for your brain to conjure up something more terrifying than the best of effects can produce.

The acting is, like the quality of the show, inconsistent. Episodes like "Hellhound", "Bear Lake Monster" and "Dover Demon" boast solid, very realistic performances while others like "Zombies" and "Poltergeist" contain some truly laughable acting. The performances in these episodes are the biggest source of comedy to be found in the show, seemingly acted by unpaid interns or friends of the director rather than professional actors. Season 2 seems to contain the most consistently well acted episodes.

The characters aren't particularly deep (How deep can they really be in an under 30 minute short after all?), but they're likable to the point you don't want them to die and are, for the most part, surprisingly intelligent. Sometimes the characters are smart enough to actually survive their terrifying brushes with certain death, and when that's not the case, their decision making is at the very least reasonable.

"Lost Tapes" is FAR from a perfect show, but my GOD is it always entertaining. Whether scary or funny, the LAST thing anyone can accuse it of being is boring. It really was ahead of its time as far as the "found footage" thing went (Found footage movies existed upon its release, but the film was a couple years early of the real "craze" of the genre), and it's a shame, as this is one show that DEFINITELY deserved more seasons.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Fun Show for Fans of Monsters and Things That Go Bump in the Night

8/10
Author: bayardhiler from United States
7 April 2016

All over the world people have reported seeing and encountering strange creatures or monsters that cannot be explained. Are they a figment of our imagination, or, do they live among us? That's the question posed by Animal Planet's mockumentary series "Lost Tapes". Airing for three seasons, it showcased supposedly found footage of people who encountered any sort of varied cryptid or legendary monster, from Bigfoot to werewolves, and while it may not have been the most artful production ever made, it was entertaining for us monster fans. The standard episode would usually go something like this: a person or persons would be going about their routine (they just moved into a house, they're going on an expedition, they happen to be making a documentary or news report about something crime-related, etc.), they would just happen to have a video camera with them for one reason or another, and then they'd encounter one of things that haunt men's dreams! These usually ranged from some unusual, strange creature like Bigfoot or megaconda, or it could be something more supernatural, like ghosts or the Skinwalkers of the American southwest.

The monsters would be created through a variety of tricks, whether through sound effects, quick shots of the monsters, some creepy music, some interviews with cryptozoologists and general information about the supposed entities spliced in with the footage, and just the unnerving atmosphere that caused us to think, maybe, just maybe, this isn't beyond the realm of possibility. And that last part is really what made "Lost Tapes" as fun as it was; just that ability to fire up the imagination and make you wonder if some of the mysterious disappearances or savage murders you heard about in the local news were the work of something unknown. Even today, in parts of places like Africa or Asia you still hear about people being killed horribly by some type of animal, an animal that is never caught. Is it something known - lion, tiger, bear, wolf - that was just lucky to never have been caught, or is something else? Who knows? True, some of the actors in the footage weren't always the most convincing and some episodes were better than others, but the overall production usually was enough to overlook any faults. And hey, it's all part of the fun; the show isn't meant to be taken seriously. Regardless of whether one believes in things like Bigfoot or not, "Lost Tapes" is a fun way to kill some time for those who wonder what lives in the shadows. P.S. Episodes are available on YouTube

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This is bad

1/10
Author: Lomedin
18 May 2016

Being a fan of found footage, I was excited to hear about this. Man, was I disappointed.

First of all, the stories involved to present the episodes are utterly rubbish, clichéd, written by talentless and uninspired people. Secondly, the people involved in presenting the script (it'd be an insult to real actors and actresses to call them anything else) do a job beyond terrible in their attempt to give any credibility.

Furthermore, the special effects are virtually non-existent; noise, mostly, some recycle grunts and growls which, honestly, are laughable at times. The visual effects are found in the form of half of a second blurry shapes or extremely poor CGI of something that could be anything, so undefined they are (and I suspect is due to the fact that they are bad effects, not an effort to make everything more mysterious).

I didn't find this scary at all, but quite boring. It is pretty simple: the show contains no visual stimuli which could create fear, and the noises are ridiculous, as I previously said. Perhaps little children could get scared. The atmosphere and/or psychological factor are both nonexistent.

Finally, the real mystery and scary thing here is how in the world this trash can have a score of more than 6, and even individuals giving it a 10!!!! Seriously, the top score! They are comparing this show to the best possible works of art ever created for both the big and little screens. Although considering certain comments such as "the acting isn't always great" or "this show blew me away", we seem to see what standards viewers relay on. Coming back to "the acting isn't always great"... Well, no kidding! To say that the acting isn't always great is to claim that a pile of manure isn't always a divine vision.

It is pitiful that Animal Planet created and aired this, and even worse that they didn't even bother with a proper budget (any!), at least average actor/actresses or interesting plots.

If I have the strength, I'll continue to watch pass the couple of eps that I suffered, since perhaps the show could get better (wouldn't be difficult!), and in the hope that people's opinions still have a minimum of decency left.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A Viral Video made into a Television Series

7/10
Author: wfarley-691-360390 from Canada
20 March 2010

It's become very apparent that the Internet has been taken over by viral videos of amazing events and strange creatures. Not the virus has infected Television in the form of back-t--back half hour episodes of Lost Tapes.

The budget: what budget? The effects and acting are the result of dollar-store film work, and the so-called "experts" have very little to say about the story. However, the show isn't about the science; it's about the thrill, the scare, and that it supplies well. If what you want to see is something that actually examines cryptozoology, avoid this like the plague; if you ant a scare, I would recommend this. It actually does its job: it provides cheap, fast entertainment with a sprinkling of actual facts.

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14 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

A Waste of Time

1/10
Author: martykel from United States
20 January 2009

This was a waste of time. As if the slew of annoying commercials every 3 minutes wasn't bad enough, the whole thing stunk to high heaven of poorly manufactured farce. Even trying to get ten lines of text to make this comment worthy of the IMDb commentary is tough. What can you say about another idiotic TV show thrust upon the viewing public? Let's see - waste of time - yep. Waste of film - yep. Bad acting - Oh yeah. It's like they rolled the dice and came up with an excuse to get more air time for commercials featuring absolutely worthless products that no one needs. Animal Planet is getting just as bad as the Discovery Channel and the History Channel when it comes to commercials. Did I mention that an over abundance of commercials sucks? Current TV industry greed is way over the line.

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4 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Worst show ever!

1/10
Author: silentbill7132 from United States
9 December 2011

Reading some of the message board comments and have to say I have lost a lot of hope in humanity. Do people seriously believe this show is real? Just to clarify it's all fake, and not even a well made fake. The idea of the show would be interesting but highly limited since it's hard to believe that there would be that many people videotaping events so regularly without ever making national headlines. To actually review the show is hard since nothing of it good, from the lame researchers who throw out many questionable testimony which only seem to impress upon the audience the "facts" that have been "verified" by numerous field experiments done in the name of science, to the extremely bad acting. The scare factor is not there since the acting makes it impossible to suspend reality. I loved to be fooled (not that I am a fool) but when I am treated like a moron, I cannot tolerate this. I will never watch another episode of this show and am quite angry that I watched two of them already.

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4 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Great Show, really underrated

8/10
Author: kdnor2011 from United States
31 March 2010

I'm a sucker for cinema verite movies, so a cinema verite TV show, sign me up. A show thats both scary and entertaining.

The show is about cryptics, Bigfoot, aliens, vampires, and things some people believe in, but others don't. Each episode takes place behind a camera lens shot by the main characters, much like cloverfield, blairwitch, and parnanormal activity, and I love those movies.

It's a good show that will entertain and scare. I highly recommend this show.

But if you get nausea from these types of films, than I would probably skip this, or don't watch on a large TV.

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