Friday, September 8, 2017

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)

American International Pictures
Directed by Don Taylor
My rating: 3 stars out of 4
IMDb Wikipedia
(Blu-ray, Kino Lorber)

Michael York and another man, lost at sea after their ship sinks, end up on a remote Pacific island where scientist Burt Lancaster is conducting experiments on animals. He slowly discovers that Lancaster is trying to turn them into humans, with decidedly mixed results. Some of his failures live in caves on the outskirts of the island, which is where York finds himself surrounded by some unfriendly mutants. The godlike Lancaster has laid down several laws in an attempt to make them more human, the first of which is not to kill. When he breaks it himself, it turns the human animals against him. Somewhat of a missed opportunity for the ending, but the blu ray contains the final image from a network showing that should have been used for the theatrical release as well. York and Lancaster give standout performances in this interesting story of a scientist who has lost his way, much like Victor Frankenstein. Makeup designer Thomas Burman creates realistic effects, echoing his earlier work as an assistant on Planet of the Apes. Soundtrack by Laurence Rosenthal completes the mood. Somewhat underrated gem from AIP's later period.

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