Wildly enjoyable. Laughton's performance manages to hit all the right sinister notes with some great touches of comedy as well. There's still something transgressive about this movie, even after all these years. Few horror films are so upfront about their sexuality.
Like Frankenstein, Island of Lost Souls is about masturbation. Seriously. Both are about sexually frustrated and inadequate men who fail in their personal love life with other humans, thus choose to create life alone. This film is off in pace and hollow in drama, but investigates a cautionary tale of an antisocial outsider harboring a narcissistic complex making him obsessed with being God since he ain't no Casanova.
This is a nifty little flick! My favorite of the '30's Mad Scientists extravaganzas. Some pretty daring stuff in this movie. Charles Laughton dominates every scene he's in and the various make-ups on his Beast-Men are state-of-the-art. I have no idea how the same director of this classic became the guy that directed those cheesy low-budget Frankenstein sequels in the '40's! (Lota the Panther-Girl...Mrroooww!)
This one is pretty darn good. The classic novel by H.G. Wells (The Island of Dr. Moreau) will always be the best version of this story, but this movie is undoubtedly the best filmed adaptation of it. Charles Laughton is fantastic as the mad doctor. For science, indeed.