January 5, 2024

If You Liked That, You’ll Love This: Island of Lost Souls (1932)

Just like the “Because You Watched…” recommendations on your favorite streaming service, Now Playing Podcast wants to help you find the perfect companion flicks. Each week, contributor Chris Bravo brings you fresh recommends that tie in with one of our reviews.

Island of Lost Souls

Playing God. That’s the moral issue at hand in the 1931 classic Frankenstein. And if you hold that film in high regard, then you own it to yourself to also watch the 1932 film, Island of Lost Souls. In an adaptation of H.G Well’s “Island of Dr. Moreau,” we again see a scientist so mad in their pursuit of knowledge that they forget the human element of life, sacrificing humanity for scientific advancement.

Charles Laughton plays the mad doctor masterfully, showcasing why he became a stalwart character actor of Golden Age Hollywood. He sly, devious deliveries, his ominous looks, and his heinous acts make his take on Dr. Moreau one of the more memorable ones (and much more refined than Brando’s take on the character decades later). All of the demi-humans populating the lost island seem like a prelude to the apes in Planet of the Apes–humanoid, even intelligent, but monstrous to behold and painful to consider their plight.

As far as classic cinema goes, Island of Lost Souls is an unknown gem in the “science-gone-too-far” genre. Dr. Frankenstein made the most legendary monster, but Dr. Moreau is no slouch, either.



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