Island of Lost Souls (1932)

With an introduction by filmmaker Richard Stanley!
This macabre, silvery jungle fantasy — the very first talkie based on H.G. Wells’ immortal novel The Island of Dr. Moreau — plays like it fell right out of the pulps, and it practically did; co-scripter Philip Wylie was a science fiction legend whose writing directly inspired Flash Gordon. Charles Laughton’s Moreau is an evil cherub, deliciously disgusting as he quips with erudite self-enjoyment about things like cannibalism, and cutting his pets open while they’re still alive so he can rearrange their organs (remember, this was still in the thick of the “pre-Code” early Thirties, when the Movies could be lurid without much consequence.) Other luminaries on board include cinematographer Karl Struss and art director Hans Dreier, maestros of light and shadow who respectively won Oscars for Sunrise and Sunset Boulevard. The doctor performs “creative” surgeries, without anesthetics. The soundtrack is often silence punctuated by intermittent subhuman screaming. Even Bela Lugosi gets extra freaky! Witness a true horror classic.
Dir. Erle C. Kenton, 1932, 35mm, 70 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Island of Lost Souls”!