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 <email@example.com>
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 »
This chilling adaptation of the H.G.Well's novella, "The Island of Dr Moreau" remains unsurpassed, despite two later wretched attempts to improve upon it. Banned in England upon release! An exotic, but sinister atmosphere pervading Moreau's privately-owned island is enhanced by filming in Black & White, whose shadowy contrasts imbue the setting which a dark, suspenseful tone. Moreau amorally attempts to "play God" by creating "manimals" - hybrid humans and animals - via surgical vivasection and blood transfusion in his laboratory, The House of Pain. Charles Laughton has never been more campily devilish as when playing Moreau - an exquisite performance by a great actor.
Bela Lugosi plays a small, but effective part as "The Sayer of the Law": "Are we not men?" Kathleen Burke as the beautiful, erotic "Panther Woman" who develops an ill-fated romance with the protagonist, Edward Parker (played by Richard Arlen). Crisp direction by Erle Kenton, with nice make-up effects by Wally Westmore. The cutaway from the grisly ending when Moreau is about to be subjected to "surgery of the most fatal kind" in The House of Pain is most appreciated and is what I consider to be an exercise in directorial restraint and finesse. My imagination more than filled in the horrific details. Kudos to Mr. Kenton!
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