Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (1932). Director: Erle C. Kenton.

"They are restless tonight."

After begin rescued from a shipwreck, Edward Parker (Richard Arlen) winds up marooned on an island whereupon  the corpulent Dr. Moreau (Charles Laughton) is experimenting on animals and turning them into semi-humans. [These "strange-looking" natives are so grotesque that next to them Laughton almost appears handsome.] Although it's been a while since I've read the source novel, H. G. Wells' excellent "The Island of Dr. Moreau," much of this film seems quite faithful to the book, with the exception of the foolish business with Parker's fiancee, Ruth (Leila Hyams), suddenly showing up on the island. Bela Lugosi is the "Sayer of the Law" and Kathleen Burke plays Lota, the Panther Woman. The performances are good for the most part, and the film is entertaining. There's some borderline bestialism when it comes to that slinky panther woman.

Verdict: Good show! ***

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