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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Island Of Lost Souls (1932)

Starring Charles Laughton, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams, Bela Lugosi, Kathleen Burke
Directed by Erle C. Kenton
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A shipwreck survivor ends up on the island of Dr. Moreau, a cruel scientist who has transformed the beasts of the jungle into half human creatures.

A still potent shocker, adapted from H.G. Wells' Island Of Dr. Moreau, the film is highlighted by some very impressive "manimal" makeups, each different from one another, and quite convincing, despite the picture's fantastic plot.  I've heard Wells was not enamored of the film or Laughton's performance, but I think the actor makes a marvelous villain, displaying his own bestial side, cracking a whip to keep the beast-men at bay, and threatening them with a return to "The House Of Pain," if they do not obey his laws.  Horror icon Lugosi is among the most fearsome looking of the creatures, his penetrating stare a fine compliment to his frightening bushy makeup, but each of the made up actors surely unnerved audience members in the 1930s.

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