Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

USA 1977
Directed by
Don Taylor
95 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

Island Of Dr. Moreau, The (1977)

First filmed in 1933 as Island of Lost Souls, H.G. Wells' eugenics fantasy seems to have a fascination for filmmakers with John Fankenheimer also having a crack at it with The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996).  Exactly why is difficult to understand.  Although there is some interest in the concept particularly concerning the presence of the beast in man, the plot too readily lends itself to the B-grade to be able to sustain the high-minded content.

Michael York plays Andrew Braddock, a seaman who is washed up on a remote tropical island after his ship is wrecked. Here he encounters Dr. Moreau (Burt Lancaster) and his adopted daughter, Maria (Barbara Carrera), and soon discovers that the Doc is experimenting with turning animals into human beings (don’t bother asking where he got a bear from). Lancaster lends a good deal of credibility to the role of Moreau and York, no stranger to B grade material, is actually quite effective as the stranded hero. The script by Al Ramrus and John Herman Shaner manages to raise some of the ethical issues without being laborious or pretentious and Don Taylor’s direction is also quite effective. However the presence of the gorgeous Barbara Carrera and the predictable romantic sub-plot which requires it, makes the film feel too mechanical and then there’s all those hairy mutants running around, inevitably robbing the film of any right to be taken seriously. Although better than the Frankenheimer version, Wells's novel still awaits a definitive film adaptation.

DVD Extras: None

Available from: Shock Entertainment




Want something different?

random vintage best worst