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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Island Of Lost Souls (1932)

On his way to meet his fiancee (Leila Hyams), a man (Richard Arlen) finds himself stranded on a remote island after his ship is sunk. To his horror, he discovers that the doctor (Charles Laughton) who rules over the island with an iron fist is conducting ghastly experiments! Based on the 1896 novel by H.G. Wells and directed by Erle C. Kenton. Welles' novel has been remade officially twice, in the 70s with Burt Lancaster and the 90s with Marlon Brando. Unofficially, it's been ripped off many times. This pre-code version remains the most effective. Like Browning's FREAKS, it's an unsettling and disturbing piece of horror film making. Kudos must also go to Karl Struss's (Murnau's SUNRISE) expressionistic cinematography and the marvelous art direction by Hans Dreier. The acting is rather crude but Laughton brings a quiet malevolence to his delusional Dr. Moreau. This is the movie that coined the phrase, "The natives are restless tonight." With Kathleen Burke, Arthur Hohl and Bela Lugosi as the mutant Sayer Of The Law. 

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