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Island of Lost Souls (1932)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,621 users  
Reviews: 81 user | 94 critic

An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.

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(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: Island of Lost Souls (1932)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Kathleen Burke ...
Arthur Hohl ...
Stanley Fields ...
Captain Davies
Paul Hurst ...
Donahue
Hans Steinke ...
Ouran
Tetsu Komai ...
...
The Consul
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Storyline

After his ship goes down, Edward Parker is rescued at sea. Parker gets into a fight with Captain Davies of the Apia and the Captain tosses him overboard while making a delivery to the tiny tropical island of Dr. Moreau. Parker discovers that Moreau has good reason to be so secretive on his lonely island. The doctor is a whip-cracking task master to a growing population of his own gruesome human/animal experiments. He does have one prize result, Lota the beautiful panther woman. Parker's fortunes for escape look up after his fiancée Ruth finds him with the help of fearless Captain Donohue. However, when Moreau's tribe of near-humans rises up to rebel, no one is safe... Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

TERROR! Stalked the Brush-Choked Island...Where Men Who Were Animals Sought the Girl Who Was All-Human!


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Island of Dr. Moreau  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Members of the new wave band Devo were fans of the film. The "What is the law?" sequence formed part of the lyrics to Devo's song "Jocko Homo," with Lugosi's query "Are we not men?" providing the title to their 1978 debut album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! Oingo Boingo is another new wave band who paid tribute to the film with their song "No Spill Blood," which featured the refrain "What is the Law?" The Meteors, a psycho-billy band from the UK told the story of the film in their song "Island of Lost Souls" on their 1986 album Teenagers From Outer Space. The Cramps, an American psycho-billy band, featured a song "The Natives Are Restless" on their Psychedelic Jungle album. Heavy metal band Van Halen paid homage to the film in the original version of their song "House of Pain", the early lyrics for which directly referenced the storyline of the movie. During onstage introductions of the song circa 1976-77, Van Halen vocalist David Lee Roth routinely gave a brief synopsis of the film. The song was shelved for the better part of a decade, but eventually resurfaced with different non-movie-related lyrics and released on the band's 1984 album. The US horror-rock band Manimals based much of their stage persona on the film. Their 1985 Blood is the Harvest vinyl E.P. closes with the song "Island of Lost Souls". The track includes a "What is the Law?" section that fans would chant during live shows. See more »

Goofs

On the first ship, a man carries a large bucket of slop and accidentally spills some slop on Captain Davies. In the next shot, as Davies punches the man and knocks him down, the slop bucket is sitting on the deck behind him. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Moreau: Have you forgotten the house of pain?
Sayer of the Law: You! You made us in the house of pain! You made us... things! Not men! Not beasts! Part man... part beast! Things!
See more »

Connections

References J'accuse! (1919) See more »

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User Reviews

Waking Nightmare
22 April 2001 | by (Kansas City, MO, USA) – See all my reviews

Universal dominated the horror market of the 1930s, but every once in a while the other studios would produce a classic of their own. `Island of Lost Souls,' produced by Paramount, is one such film. It's tight, fast, and haunting.

The most striking thing about `Island' is its claustrophobic, nightmarish atmosphere. Some people criticize the hero, Edward Parker (Richard Arlen), as bland and colorless, but I think this works in the film's favor. Since he has no personality of his own, he can be more of an Everyman; he also has no strength to draw upon and is therefore powerless against the horrors around him. He sees the perverse monstrosities Moreau has created on his island, finds himself attracted to and then repulsed by the cat-woman Lota, and then struggles to free himself from Moreau's manipulative control. It's like those nightmares where you try to run away from something terrible but your feet won't move.

Charles Laughton steals the show as Dr. Moreau; his disarming, cherubic exterior somehow enhances his aura of menace. He may not look as blatantly evil as Bela Lugosi, but after a few minutes you just know there's something terribly wrong with this man. The irony is, the creatures Moreau creates are far more humane than he is. The creatures themselves live in a tight society, bound by the laws Moreau has given them; instead of dwelling on their physical awfulness, the film imparts them with a curious dignity and innocence. When the inevitable rebellion comes, I found myself cheering the creatures on, much like I felt my heart go out to the Frankenstein Monster or King Kong.

`Island' is one of those movies you need to watch on a humid summer night, when your clothes cling to your skin and every breath feels like it's coming through a wet towel. Feel the suspense and the terror seep into you, and then try to tell me the old horror movies weren't infinitely better than what passes for horror nowadays.


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NOW SOLVED! Where does this leopard-bear-man appear? PHOTO HERE Stuart Gardner
Island of the Lost Souls or Freaks? chett56
RELEASE THIS ON DVD!!! OgreVI
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