The Island of Dr Moreau


Horror films

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Time Out says

HG Wells' novel (about a mad doctor who rules an island by grafting men and animals together on his operating table) is ideal material for screen horror because it's filled with subversive political undertones. The 1933 version with Charles Laughton (Island of Lost Souls) made the most of these, but here director Don Taylor seems determined to iron out all the interesting emphases in favour of a visual and narrative style that reduces everything to the level of schoolboy adventure. The island becomes an antiseptic paradise, and Moreau (Lancaster) is no longer a white-suited colonial sadist but the standard misguided scientist. Only Michael York's metamorphosis into a beast has any impact, and the film predictably fails to follow through even on that.


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Release details

UK release:



104 mins

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