Oftentimes described as a "cautionary tale", the original story was penned as THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU by the writer/futurist/socialist H. G. Wells. As with Orwell and Huxley, Wells' scenario depicts the folly of man's attempts at creating a self-made world along with its inevitable disassociative and disastrous consequences.
This is a true horror movie, as it graphically shows the results of vivisection experiments and the plight of the cast off rejects who try vainly to maintain some sort of code of social order among their own. Of course, the proceedings are all lorded over by a megalomaniacal madman.
There are a number of really creepy scenes in the film. Bela Lugosi delivering his "Are we not men?" call and response with Moreau is truly chilling once it sinks in that what we are watching is a perversity that equals, for its time, any of the in-your-face torture porn being filmed today.
Parallels can be made with the Frankenstein story, but the difference here is that, in FRANKENSTEIN, the creature is formed from the parts of dead human bodies while the creatures in ISLAND OF LOST SOULS are the animal by-products of "surgical evolution". And what can be more terrifying than that?
Below is a trailer for the film, as well as Part 1 of the "ISLE" OF LOST SOULS Filmbook published in FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #28 (May, 1964), written by G. John Edwards.
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