In France, an insane surgeon's obsession with an actress from England leads him to replace her pianist husband's hands that got mangled in an accident with the hands of a late knife murderer which still have the urge to throw knives.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When the panther woman sneeks up at Parker, reading a book and smoking a pipe, he gets startled. He closes the book and takes the pipe from his mouth. Then, in a new camera angle, his book is open again and his pipe back in his mouth. See more »
Based on the novel by the great H.G. Wells, this classic film adaptation of The Island of Dr Moreau delivers as both a source of intrigue and a horrifying horror movie. Perhaps not as great as Val Lewton's horror classics, or the films that Ernest B. Schoedsack made for RKO in the early thirties, Island of Lost Souls still stands out as one of the decade's very best horror films. Unfortunately, this film hasn't got a good commercial DVD release anywhere in the world, and this meant I had to see it on a rather poor bootleg; but true greatness still shines through, and even in poor quality; Erle C. Kenton's film is still a shocking and well produced little film. The plot follows a young man who gets lost at sea. He wakes up on a distant island that seems to be ruled by a white-clad doctor calling himself Dr Moreau. The locals aren't quite normal in this place, and it soon transpires that the doctor's experiments into evolution have gone too far; as the people on the island are a result of the not so good doctor's experiments, over which he now rules as a God...
The standout performance of the entire film expectedly comes from Charles Laughton in the lead role. Laughton looks eerie in his purely white outfit, and his lines of dialogue ensure that the character always appears as the maniac that his experiments suggest him to be. Richard Arlen doesn't standout next to Laughton, but his acting is good; and the cast is rounded off by great supporting performances from the always welcome Bela Lugosi and Kathleen Burke in the role of the panther woman. One of the principle reasons why this film works so well is the way that director Erle C. Kenton creates the atmosphere. The island setting provides a perfect location for a film like this, as the action always feels isolated and this helps to give the film a surreal, otherworldly feel. The special effects aren't the best, but the way that the director handles the film overall means that they fit and a good job is made of the fact that most of the characters are indeed 'freaks'. The film doesn't last for long, and the director ensures that every second counts as a good story is told in the time that we have, and it all boils down to a fitting, chilling and somewhat shocking conclusion! Overall, Island of Lost Souls comes highly recommended to fans of classic horror!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this