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.…
Remake idea: The Island Of Lost Soles. Same film but the cast are shoes.
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…
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…
One of the best-kept secrets in rock criticism is that all of Devo's original act—from the “de-evolution” rap down to the chant of “Are we not men?”—was a straight cop from this 1933 adaptation of H.G. Wells's Island of Dr. Moreau. Charles Laughton, with an obscene caterpillar mustache, is the mad doctor working on the transformation of animals into (sub)human beings by means of sickening “surgical techniques”; Richard Arlen and Leila Hyams are two shipwreck survivors who, unsuspecting, wash up on his shore. It's a grand, hokey chiller, dripping with sex and sadism and photographed in dense, Sternbergian shadows by the great cinematographer Karl Struss. With Bela Lugosi as the leader of the pack, and Kathleen Burke as the unforgettably insinuating Leopard Woman. Erle C. Kenton directed. 70 min.
A marvelous horror film from the Pre-Code era. The Island of Lost Souls has been told in many forms, but I don't think it's ever been done better than here. The cinematography is great with some terrific lighting. During the night time sequences the humans are often shot through a silhouette of bars reinforcing that they are the ones trapped in the darkness.
Laughton has a towering presence as Moreau and it's astonishing how much menace he can bring with a single look. In contrast Bela Lugosi as the Sayer of The Law is completely covered in hair but still manages to bring a humanity to his character. Which brings me to the creature effects which haven't aged a day and the final stampede with all the close-ups of different faces is spectacular.
When watching Hollywood films from this era you have to expect some degree of studio bullshit, so it’s shocking how little of that is present in this film. This is a very cruel, disturbing film, and what raises it to the level of a masterpiece is Charles Laughton’s amazing performance as Dr. Moreau. He’s pouring on the charm here, but the thing is, he never fools the viewer into actually being charmed by him. He achieves a level of creepiness that surpasses even that of Peter Lorre in M. As much as I adore Freaks, this is possibly the most disturbing horror film I’ve seen yet in the pre-code talkie era. On a side note, how sad is it that…
Get past it's dated style and you'll be entranced with a gruesome depiction of inhumanity amazingly performed by Charles Laughton!
Beautifully perverse for a film of its time, with Charles Laughton tearing it up. Generates some genuine tension.
"Are we not men?"
It's surprising how influential the original novel and this film still are - many weird parallels between this and the recent Ex Machina, f'rinstnce. Here HG Wells's fable concerning fears regarding mankind's degenerate ancestry - a common theme following the publication of The Origin of Species - is sexed-up slightly ("vulgarised" was the word Wells used, when he watched it), and turned into a ripe creature-feature. There is a real darkness and strangeness to it that still disturbs, however.
Well acted, too. Scarborough's own Charles Laughton is incredible as the creepy, effete colonialist Dr Moreau. Although his passing resemblance to Peter Kay I did find slightly distracting.
Charles Laughton is striking as the obsessed and depraved Dr. Moreau who “creates humans” from wild animals.
Island of Lost Souls was so shocking that it was banned in several countries at the time of its release. It could be called one of the first (and certainly among the most sophisticated) films about pain, and even in a culture largely desensitized to filmic violence it continues to disturb. Director Erle C. Kenton would never achieve these heights again, so one must credit much of the film’s success to the cinematography of the legendary Karl Struss. As with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (which he shot the previous year), Struss conceptualizes the horror as something three dimensional. The parade of disturbing man-beasts lurch towards the camera near the climax, just as Fredric March’s gruesome Hyde was often photographed…
Part two of my weekend black-and-white man beast movie double shot (Part one was 1946's Beauty and the Beast), the Island of Lost Souls is a cautionary tale to anyone who wants to try to be God and create a bunch of almost human, animal people without anesthetics.
Based on an H.G. Wells book, we follow a shipwrecked guy to an island where a scientist has figure out how to surgically make animals evolve into humans..er..he's almost figured it out. And, uh, he's getting better each time too.
Dr. Moreau, played by Charles Laughton, is one of the all time great mad scientists--he's very much interested in scientific achievement, but he sadistically enjoys the achievements that involve his subjects experiencing…
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)
UPDATED: July 27, 2015
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…