Iguana (1988)

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A grotesquely disfigured harpooner called Iguana is severely mistreated by his fellow sailors on a whaling ship in the 19th century. One night he escapes and takes up residence on a remote ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Bradford ...
White-Bearded Sailor
Roger Kendall ...
Robert Case ...
One Eyed Sailor
Jack Taylor ...
Captain 'Old Lady II'
Maru Valdivielso ...
Carmen (as Maru Valdivieso)
Pierangelo Pozzato ...
Alessandro Tasca ...
Priest at Funeral
Fernando Cebrián ...
Charly Husey ...
Guillermo Antón ...
Ricardo Navarrete ...
Priest at Church
Amaya Merino ...
Girl Who Sings


A grotesquely disfigured harpooner called Iguana is severely mistreated by his fellow sailors on a whaling ship in the 19th century. One night he escapes and takes up residence on a remote island. He makes himself ruler of the island and declares war on mankind. Anyone unfortunate enough to wind up on the island with Iguana is subjected to his cruel tyranny. Written by Woodyanders

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Crime | Drama




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Release Date:

9 February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Iguana - A Fera do Mar  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Monte Hellman never wanted to direct this movie. He referred to the production experience as ''terrible''. See more »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »


Oh Love
By Franco Campanino
Performed by Amaya Merino
Courtesy of AM Edicioni Musicali
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User Reviews

A stark allegory on the darkest recesses of human nature.
21 September 2009 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

I have immense respect for Hellman. The art-house establishment deigned to stoop down and pick Two-Lane Blacktop from the grindhouse cracks and curious bystanders have ventured into his early films to watch a young Jack Nicholson, but he's remained largely forgotten with long dry spells of not getting work or getting in paycheck movies. But here he is back in 1988, assembling a cast of marginal stars at one time or another (Everett McGill, Fabio Testi, Michael Madsen), by way of a story about a disfigured harpooner haunted by ridicule and ostracism who finds himself stranded on a deserted island and declares himself there sovereign king and ruler of a bunch of hapless sailors he keeps as slaves, Hellman creates a stark allegory on the darkest most base instincts of human nature: the need to oppress and avenge wrongs real and imaginary, to reassert one's individuality through strength if by no other means, to bridge one's alienation and lovelessness by using that very alienation and lack of love as a battering ram against those who denied them to him. The movie is heavily flawed, the narrative in the first half that switches between the deserted island and some unspecified Spanish colony is disjointed, and the movie, try as it might to mask the fact, has a low budget look, but Hellman does great job with his material. At times gorgeous to look at, with interesting interplays between the characters that keep the plot from veering too far into selfconscious allegory, the movie plays like an exotic adventure undercut with philosophic undertones that Herman Melville might have written, and indeed I think there's a similar story about a halfmad hermit-king who lived for years in the Galapagos related in his travelogue Los Encantadas.

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