High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.
Island of Lost Souls
TERROR! Stalked the Brush-Choked Island...Where Men Who Were Animals Sought the Girl Who Was All-Human!
An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.
There are two ways to watch this movie.
You can watch it as an old movie, comparing it to others from its time period. In this context it is outstanding in almost every way. The story is compelling and multifaceted despite its short run time, and the actors' performances sell all the characters well. The production design including the sets and costume and makeup is all impressively immersive. The lighting and cinematography are classy and effective for maintaining the mood. I'm no expert on oldies, especially pre-1940, but from what I have seen this stands out as exceptional.
Then you can watch it as just another movie, comparing it to whatever you watched yesterday (or earlier today for those of…
Though it lacks the expressionistic style and gothic grandeur of some of its fellow era genre films, Erle C. Kenton's "Island of Lost Souls" should be considered a worthy member of the early horror canon. Adapting H.G. Wells' novel, "The Island of Doctor Moreau," Kenton's film tells a rich story of speculative science and weighty themes. The film is a textured chiller, both grotesque and quietly evocative.
The plot follows a man who finds himself on a remote island where a scientist creates hybrids of humans and animals. It is genetics-based science fiction with horrific effects as the grotesque combinations of man and beast grow too mighty for their master to control. The tale itself is straightforward, but it is…
Bela Lugosi kills it. His voice booms out, and every man, woman, and mutant is cowed. This is a pretty powerful, dark film with some solid pre-Code imagery--references mostly, but to vivisection, sex with human-animals, and other mad science implications--that culminates in a well executed turn of events that has something to say about morality's deriving from on high rather than developing from within. In short, it suggests that God has to be be perfectly moral to convey a believable morality; it has no room for hypocrisy.
It also questions what it means to be human, and its message is fairly progressive, at least as it suggests that there is humanity even in constructed beings.…
In 70 short minutes the story tills enough fertile soil to foster readings of the movie as allegory for colonialism, nihilism, fascism, etc. I'll leave those discussions for someone else. What gets me excited about this movie is Charles Laughton. He is, if you made me choose, one of the greatest actors of all time, and 90% of the effectiveness of Island of Lost Souls as a horror film comes from the cool reservation with which he portrays Moreau.
He is not without his eccentricities (or terrible facial hair), but he behaves more like the rich kid who has all the toys rather than the traditional mad scientist. When he's touring the castaway through the "House of Pain" he puts…
Remake idea: The Island Of Lost Soles. Same film but the cast are shoes.
Mr. Parker, do you know what it means to feel like God?
The first feature film adaptation of H.G. Wells 1896 novel The Island of Dr. Moreau. There has been at least three more adaptations of the novel since, but over 80 years later, director Erle C. Kenton's vision of Wells' classic still stands as the greatest and most memorable. Even the characters that were created by screenwriters Waldemar Young and Philip Wylie for the film have been used by all subsequent adaptations in one fashion or another.
The film is still disturbing even by today's standards as the main reason the film was made was to compete with the new horror craze in cinemas, so the horror…
what a cool movie!!!
Eureka! UK blu-ray steelbook
Perverse slice of pre-Code horror, grotesque and provocative in equal measure. No idea how it compares to the Wells novel, which I've not read, but it's surely better than the ill-fated 1996 adaptation, which I've not seen. Laughton's Dr. Moreau is a strange creature, prim and proper even as he's performing truly depraved acts of vivisection and the like. Arlen is a stiff, but there's no mistaking Bela Lugosi's controlled mania, even behind all those impressive cosmetics. It would be easy to dismiss this as a work of design (production, costume, and makeup) but that would do a disservice to the unusually layered script, which posits the film as a metaphor for everything from British imperialism to social Darwinism. Skip the Brando; this is the essential version of the story.
[originally written on my blog]
Hollywood to H.G. Wells: I wanna sex you up. Introducing the Panther Woman (billed by that name in the opening credits, alongside the actors!) makes Wells' anti-vivisection allegory play more like a progenitor of E.C.'s Vault of Horror, which featured a stacked, vacant-looking bimbo in virtually every story; Kathleen Burke succeeds in investing her version with a little pathos, but she's still mostly around to flash some leg and make the idea of miscegenation between man and beast seem seductive. And since Richard Arlen's a chiseled drip, we're inevitably drawn to Laughton, who deftly straddles the line between creepy and campy. ("You're an amazingly unscientific young man," he memorably sniffs at one point in…
There's a lot to admire here, as Paramount really goes all out with the house's lavish sets and expressionistic lighting and it often functions best when it hints at being a chamber drama within it awash in pre-code kink. The whole panther woman bit, though obviously a shot at mainstreaming the whole thing, was also a wise addition and actually ends up making it much more lurid than it otherwise might have been and serves to implicate the male gaze into its zoophilia. It is, of course, finally a Hollywood horror streamlining of a supremely weird and lurid premise that would be more daring had it been willing to delve deeper than cartoon sadism, but then again there is a value to that on its own.
Day 83: Island of Lost Souls - 1932
A shipwrecked man is brought to an island ruled by a scientist intent on becoming God by creating genetic hybrids of animals and humans.
This film is an adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel "The Island of Dr. Moreau". At the time of release it was daring, because of its themes of sexual attraction, religion vs science, and sheer brutality. These days though it doesn't pack as much of a punch. The story is interesting though but some scenes are quite dull, lack atmosphere and even drag (which is bad news for a film that is only 70 minutes long!). Charles Laughton plays a good villain and Richard Arlen plays a capable manly hero stereotype. The creature make up for Moreau's creations also look the part. Worth watching at least for its historical significance.
35mm Castro. Laughton reclining seductively on what seems to be an operating table while chatting with the shipwrecked man.
"Island of Lost Souls" shares much in common, not so much in plot as in atmosphere and weirdness factor, with another 1932 release, "Freaks." "Freaks" pushes boundaries a little harder and is therefore the more shocking of the two films all these years later, but "Island of Lost Souls" nevertheless manages to impress one with how bizarre it probably seemed to audiences at the time of its premier.
Charles Laughton commits himself fully to the role of a deranged scientist working on human/animal hybrids in the jungles of some remote island. His world and work are threatened with the accidental arrival of a newcomer who recognizes his reprehensible experiments for what they are, and an uprising of the pathetic mutant…
Great 60-90 min films (for those days when you just don't have the energy to watch a 3 hour masterpiece)
Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of hight quality "short" films. Easy…