View Full Version : The Island of Dr. Moreau('96) is really good!

mjg 15
07-04-2002, 09:39 PM
I must confess that I have avoided seeing this movie for years because of all the bad press. For those of who don't know this movie had a lot of problmes filming(Kilmer's ego tantrums, director being fired, Thewlis refusing ever to see the finished product). Of course the critics ate this up and severely trashed the movie upon release. This movie is the second remake of the 1933 movie The Island of Lost Souls. I've never seen that version, but I have seen the 1977 version(which I don't remember much of frankly) and read H.G. Wells novel(that is excellent). This movie doesn't follow the novel very closely, but thats ok it has it's own agenda: to update the story and have a shroud of mystery around the story and characters. I 've heard a lot of reveiwers complain that it never fully explains Moreau's or Montgomery's past(in the book he is a hack surgeon who drinks alot), but I on the other hand prefered it this way. I like a bit of mystery with my horror movies. Everything doesn't need to be laid out for me, I like to think about the movie too. Much disdain has been made about the actors also, but I think Fairuza Baulk, David Thewlis and Val Kilmer play their parts quite well. Especially Baulk who has an underwritten role. Even the much maligned Brando does quite well as the mad doctor. His performance is played with the usual Brando eccentricity but in this case it adds to the character making us see how this genuis of doctor is really quite crazy despite his accomplishments. His "creations" are a marvel to look at and seem very realistic(thanks to special effects man Stan Winston) and you actually care for their plight. Which is that they are confused as to what they are. Are they men of are they beasts? They are quite confused because they have their own instincts(craving meat), but must abibe by their master(only allowing them to eat vegetation). Thier rebellion against Moreau is a sad one because even though they are free they have no clue as how to live without him. The ending of the movie seems somewhat like an afterthought, but that can easily be ignored. If you want to enjoy this movie ignore all the bad things that you have heard about it and enjoy it for what it is.

The Island of Dr. Moreau('96) - 9/10

[This message has been edited by mjg 15 (edited 07-04-2002).]

07-04-2002, 10:33 PM
I read the book and really like it, but like you I've avoided the movie due to the negative reviews. Maybe I'll check it out now.

Razorblade Smile
07-05-2002, 12:43 PM
I for one cannot in my heart forgive this film. It's a real shame, because it COULD have been a great movie. But thanks to politics and Val Kilmer being a total dick...the film ended up being a real pooch-screw.

And to anyone who has seen this flick...can someone PLEASE tell me just what in the name of bloody hell that little bald penis man thing is supposed to be?!?!?!?

07-05-2002, 02:05 PM
For awhile, this was actually one of my favorite films, but I haven't watched it in quite a long time. I agree that the performances are top-notch and Winston's creations are superb. The '77 version was bland. I've heard that the best version is The Island of Lost Souls, but I haven't got around to viewing it.

07-05-2002, 03:13 PM
I liked all three versions, and yeah I thought the Brando remake got a real bad rap....it's incredibly moody, and as pointed out Brando's performance is a diverse as all his other characters....and again echo on the FX,,,.I only ever saw it once, and I do remember not liking the ending for some reason, but overall the movie was quite well done.

I have yet to read the book, I MUST get my hands on it already!

07-05-2002, 04:40 PM
The book is good.The 96 version has some great actors(-Kilmer),but without Richard Stanley it turned into the Piece of total shit you see today!!!!

mjg 15
07-05-2002, 05:28 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Razorblade Smile:
And to anyone who has seen this flick...can someone PLEASE tell me just what in the name of bloody hell that little bald penis man thing is supposed to be?!?!?!?</font>

Do you mean that little red thing that plays the paino? I just figured it was some kind of rodent like the things on the boat when Douglas is trying to escape. You can't really tell what kind of animals the beast people used to be anyway.

Razorblade Smile
07-06-2002, 02:22 AM
Yeah, that thing. Christ, he creepe me out. I heard someone once mention that he was supposed to be a sloth man. I guess that's as good a guess as any.

I can watch zombies, werewolves, and demons without batting an eye...but that little pecker scares the shit out of me. He's like Mario Bava's vision of an Oompa Loompa.


07-06-2002, 05:44 PM
I hate this movie. The acting was horrible, the direction bland, and it was just plain bad.