Movie Review of “The Island of Lost Souls”

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1932 movie starring Bela Lugosi and Charles Laughton.

Synopsis: A shipwreck survivor is rescued at sea only to be left stranded on a remote island under the control of a mysterious scientist. While spending the night waiting for a ship home, he discovers the island is filled with half-human, half animal creatures that were created by ongoing scientific experimentation.

The movie stars Charles Laughton, Richard Arlen, Bela Lugosi, Kathleen Burke and Leila Hyams.

What I Liked About This Movie

My daughter recently started reading H. G. Wells’ stories and, since this is based on one of his books, “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” I figured it would be a good choice when she wanted to watch a movie with me.

Ultimately, I think the thing that made this movie worth our time was the surprisingly creepy human/animal hybrids that inhabited the island. Mostly because of when the movie was made, I was expecting the makeup to be somewhat weak compared to today. But, overall, I thought the characters were pretty menacing looking.

I’m a huge Bela Lugosi fan and did enjoy watching him in his “Sayer of the Law” beast man character. At first, I was a little disappointed he had that role and figured he would make a better Dr. Moreau (not that Laughton didn’t do a good job as that character). However, as it turns out, he was a pretty decent fit, though, admittedly, he was a little hard to understand at times.

Another thing I did enjoy was the fact Arlen’s character, Edward, had a somewhat interesting (and even difficult) decision to make when he had an opportunity to be unfaithful with the Panther Woman (Burke). Burke was pretty darn hot in that role but, at the same time, his fiancée (Hyams) was pretty easy on the eyes too and scored some points with me by being somewhat brave rather than the typical screaming and crying female I’m used to seeing from movies made in this time period. Yes, she would occasionally scream when startled (a common thing with movies like this). But, at the same time, she wasn’t afraid to brave a strange jungle to find the man she was going to marry.

What I Didn't Like About This Movie

As I said, there were times when Lugosi was hard to understand and, while I did chalk some of that up to his heavy accent, I noticed that was also the case with some of the other beast men that roamed the island. I’m not sure if that was just because of the sound quality in general or because of their costumes.

My biggest complaint, however, had to be the fact this movie takes what seems like forever to get started. This, in itself, probably wouldn’t have been that big of a deal. However, considering the entire movie isn’t much more than an hour in length, it does leave very little room for action. Since it is such a short film, cutting out some of the slower scenes probably wouldn’t have been a good choice. However, the filmmakers could have balanced things out a bit by extending the action.

Island Of Lost Souls Movie Poster 1932

Island Of Lost Souls Movie Poster 1932 Decorate your walls with this brand new art poster. Or make it an amazing gift. Wall Art Posters from our collections are a world class of...

View on Amazon

Final Opinion

This is an OK movie and, as I said, I thought Lugosi and Burke did decent jobs in their prominent roles. However, mostly because the film does take so long to get going with very little in terms of a reward at the end, I do have to say I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

My Grade: C 

More By This Writer

The Smallest Voice in the Congregation: More Poems of Faith

In this follow up to "Angels Don't Always Have Wings: A Sinner's Poems of Faith," Steven Helmer continues to express the things he learned in church and from his church family t...

View on Amazon

The Lonely, Shallow Grave

Beaver Dam, WI author Steven Helmer (“Love Poems for My Wife” and “Murder by Chili”) shows off his darker side with this compilation of short stories focusing on frustration, st...

View on Amazon

Updated: 01/28/2015, StevenHelmer
 
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?
1

Comments


   Login

You might also like

Gotham Episode Review: “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon”

A review of the season 1 television episode that first aired January 26, 2015.

Gotham Episode Review: "What the Little Bird Told Him"

A review of the season 1 television episode that first aired January 19, 2015.

Gotham Episode Review: "Spirit of the Goat"

A review of the season 1 episode that first aired on October 27, 2014.


Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...
Error!