For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
482 Ratings

Island of Lost Souls

Directed by Erle C. Kenton
United States, 1932
Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi


An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.

This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Island of Lost Souls Directed by Erle C. Kenton
Even taking into account its pre-Code loose leash, it’s remarkable how much more daring, lurid, and intelligent this version is compared to newer models… Foregoing overwrought spectacle and forced relevance, Island of Lost Souls is able to conjure infinitely more wit and horror with just the devious glint in Laughton’s eye.
October 28, 2017
Read full article
The appeal of the film, aside from that utter weirdness, is how it finds that B-movie sweet spot between the tawdry and the serious. There are real technical accomplishments in the film, from the makeup to the cinematography by Karl Struss, who had been behind the camera for more respectable movies, like F.W. Murnau’s classic Sunrise (1927). And even is it qualifies as primo vintage camp, there’s a subversively playful bite to its allegory as well.
October 17, 2017
Read full article
The dearth of music enhances the atmosphere of Darwinian unease, an uncanny hush disrupted by moans, chants, and the grinding sound of window bars being removed as the simian Caliban breaks into the bedroom of the hero’s fiancée (Leila Hyams)… Consequences extend to Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Apocalypse Now and Cannibal Holocaust, Brando and Frankenheimer run with the Prospero angle in their own remarkable version.
October 12, 2015
Read full article

Related films