Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Island of Lost Souls. B+

One of the stranger, more controversial 1930s science fiction films, Island of Lost Souls features an eerie Charles Laughton as Moreau, a scientist who performs radical, terrifying experiments on a remote island. Laughton shares the screen with Bela Lugosi, and together they make for one of the most ominous screen pairings ever. The movie is part adventure-Richard Arlen plays the shipwrecked hero trying to escape the island-and part cautionary tale concerning the bounds of science. Moreau, one of the great evil geniuses in the movies, earns such recognition by his attempt to turn animals into human beings through bizarre surgeries. It's a creepy movie, not as shocking as it was in 1932, but still surprisingly effective. Criterion has this in their collection, ensuring Karl Struss' haunting photography is as vivid as can be.

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