Island of Lost Souls/Ruggles of Red Gap

(Erle C Kenton, 1932/Leo McCarey, 1935; Eureka! PG)

With one foot in the theatre and another in the cinema throughout his career, Charles Laughton (1899-1962) was one the greatest actors of his time, whose only movie as director, The Night of the Hunter, is a stand-alone masterpiece. A protean figure despite his bulk, his roles ranged from the sadly sympathetic (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) to the unforgettably sadistic (Mutiny on the Bounty). His success in Hollywood was immediate, and these two films in Eureka!'s Masters of Cinema series (each containing both DVD and Blu-ray formats) demonstrate his versatility.

In Erle C Kenton's sophisticated horror movie Island of Lost Souls (1932), long refused a BBFC certificate for its repugnance and alleged blasphemy, he is Dr Moreau, Hg Wells's mad scientist, ruling a Pacific island populated by increasingly rebellious mutants of his own overweening creation. One of the pathetic creatures is played by Bela Lugosi.
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