Saturday, October 10, 2020
15 Favorite Horror Movies: The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)
This is easily my favorite version of this story, and that includes both the classic 1932 Island of Lost Souls with Bela Lugosi as well as HG Wells' original novel. I saw the '77 version as a kid and there are images and feelings that have stuck with me ever since. The makeup work on the animal men is top notch and the film handles the themes sincerely and provocatively.
Burt Lancaster is a relatable, but unapologetic Moreau. Nigel Davenport strikes a great balance between being resigned to and haunted by the choices he's made. Barbara Carrera is shockingly beautiful as well as fragile (a long way from the role I know her best for in Never Say Never Again). And Michael York is the perfect saboteur of the whole operation: weak in power, but strong in morality.
I wasn't sure I liked the "Oh Crap Did I Just See What I Think I Saw" ending, but I can't think of a better, more effective way of closing the story. I'm gonna roll with it and call it perfect.