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 <email@example.com>
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #586. See more »
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 »
This is the first screen adaptation of the H. G. Wells' novel The Island of Dr. Moreau, and also the best. It is a bit shocking and one can easily see why the British censors, who were notoriously squeamish where horror films were concerned, did not let it appear in Britain for almost 30 years after its release. The story is about a man brought to an island where a strange doctor and his medical "failures" live. Charles Laughton plays the god-like doctor who creates and distorts life in his "House of Pain." Laughton is a marvel to behold with his goatee and his ever-expressive eyes, supplying enough ham to feed an army! He steals every scene he is in with his menacing demeanor and his subtle yet evocative speech. The rest of the cast is pretty good, and Bela Lugosi even makes an appearance as the "Sayer of the Law." The film has some good sets and deals with the issue of man wanting god-like powers rather well. This is easily one of the best non-Universal horror offerings of the 1930's. But again the real thrill of the movie is seeing Charles Laughton decked out in white cracking a whip and leering throughout the picture. His demise also supplies one of the horror screen's most terrifying moments filmed off-stage! Definitely one not to miss!
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