Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of 200+ quality "short" films. Easy…
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…
While this film is certainly not without merit and I can absolutely understand why people love it, there just isn't enough to get me over the hump. I get that the makeup was revolutionary and I dig how creepy Charles Laughton is, but still I get bored. The lack of a score really doesn't help. Oh well. I've at least seen it now.
Charles. Laughton. He carries this wonderful "b-movie" about Dr. Moreau. Of course the main character is a thick-headed American, not ok with the British, unathletic, flamboyant man of science. But the film is deeply embedded in the mores of science-fiction and represents a deep discomfort with hubris and human capability for playing God with science and technology.
The makeup effects are cutting edge, giving us many of our great monster movies since 1932.
This movie is really dark in tone. Combine that with several things either overt, or heavily suggested, and there is no way this film gets made a year later when the Production Code finally gets enforced full time.
Laughton is very fey in the role of Dr. Moreau. I'm not exactly sure what he was going for, except maybe that was the way "decadent" was communicated out to audiences at the time.
And any fan of Devo should see this movie. "Are we not men!"
Sometimes it takes a humoristic eye to illuminate true horror, hence Charles Laughton's Dr. Moreau as a depraved Oliver Hardy under the direction of one of the original Keystone Kops. King Kong is still one year away in the opening, Richard Arlen adrift and delirious on a steamer in the uncharted South Seas, one more species added to the animalistic cargo. "The hand that makes" belongs to the "black-hearted, grave-robbing ghoul," white-suited and bullwhip-cracking at the center of a warped jungle serfdom. "All animal life is tending toward the human form," the vivisectionist from London is just speeding the process in the surgery chamber known by the genetically altered islanders as "the House of Pain." From a panther emerges the…
Colonialism Id running amok. So many things going on on this, so much free association and freedom, a very creepy fever dream that becomes louder thanks to some wonderfiul flamboyant t acting by Laughton and Lugosi.
Clever and exciting story, based on the classic book by H. G. Wells. Charles Laughton once again with a great performance, also that panther woman is pretty fascinating. Charming genre classic from the 30s.
This movies the shit. Really has quite a lot going for it. An incredible plot, excellently portrayed. Really entertained me. Bela Lugosi is definitely a stand-out.
David's Movie entry #35: October 4th, 2015
In Memory of David Eisen
Pre-Code horror that is equal parts silly as it is shocking and risque for early Hollywood material. Bela Lugosi was unrecognizable in a minor role, Charles Laughton was also neatly disguised but hamming it up, while the supporting cast felt rather weak. I was left disappointed by this surprisingly after initially going in with high hopes. The plot was clever dealing with evolution theories and man playing god while the end was especially horrific (although nothing shown as violence was committed off camera as per usual) in terms of the film's age. It also featured some nifty and creative camerawork but again not anything substantially brilliant to increase my response to the film. I personally would rather go with Tod Browning's Freaks any day for some early pre code Hollywood horror.
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)
a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…