Island of Lost Souls


I'm probably the only person who likes 1996's The Island of Dr. Moreau. The 70's version...eh, not so much. 1932's Island of Lost Souls falls somewhere in between as an atmospheric, yet affected adaptation of the revered H.G. Wells novel. Most genre goons hail this Paramount picture as the best of the three "animal man" flicks, but to be frank, I found it to be boring. The film itself is only partially to blame, as I'm a persnickety fellow. I never grappled onto the narrative despite an all-star cast featuring Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi.

I'm not sure why I didn't take to Lost Souls. The effects are there, the inventive shots are there, and as I said, the actors are certainly there. Contrarily, the 70-minute running time feels like 100 minutes. 100 wearisome, protracted minutes. Also, it seems that the script labors to cram a novel into a movie, which is something I can't say about the 1996 adaptation. Of course, I'm in the minority. Again.

For optimum non-Universal Lugosi enjoyment, seek out White Zombie. Incidentally, Island of Lost Souls was distributed on VHS by Universal as part of the Classic Monsters collection. I would advise buying the entire collection. Chances are, you'll get more mileage out of this particular entry than I did. Note: I'm padding the rating to account for my persnickety nature.

1 comment:

  1. I didnt even realize there was an earlier adaptation than the 70s version, but I am with you Dom I love the Val Kilmer flick. I dont know why it is given such a bad wrap, but then again I havent read the original source material