Originally rejected by the BBFC on its initial release for being “against nature”, this first and best screen adaptation of H. G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau is a taboo-flaunting, blood-curdling spectacular, and one of Hollywood’s wildest, most notorious, pre-Code pictures.
Shipwrecked and adrift, Edward Parker finds himself a guest on Dr. Moreau’s isolated South Seas island, but quickly discovers the horrifying nature of the doctor’s work and the origin of the strange forms inhabiting the isle: a colony of wild animals reworked into humanoid form via sadistic surgical experiments. Furthermore, Parker quickly begins to fear his own part in the doctor’s plans to take the unholy enterprise to a next level.
Featuring a peerlessly erudite and sinister performance by Charles Laughton as the diabolical doctor, a sterling appearance by Bela Lugosi as the half-beast-half-man “Sayer of the Law”, and sensationally atmospheric cinematography by the great Karl Struss (Murnau’s Sunrise, Mamoulian’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Island of Lost Souls now returns to claim a central position among the most imaginative and nightmarish fantasies from Hollywood’s golden age of horror. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Kenton’s film on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time in the UK, a celebration of the film’s 80th anniversary.
Newly restored high-definition digital transfer officially licensed from Universal Pictures
Newly created SDH subtitles on the feature for the deaf and hard of hearing
Exclusive video interview with Charles Laughton biographer Simon Callow
Exclusive video interview with film historian Jonathan Rigby
Original theatrical trailer
PLUS: A lavish booklet featuring rare production imagery, and a new essay by Kim Newman