"The Island of Lost Souls" Starring Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams. 1932, 71mins., B&W. (Screened in 35mm).
Rare 35mm Screening!
“The Island of Lost Souls” may not be among the first titles that come to mind when you think “horror film”, but it should be. Now observing its 85th anniversary, the film has retained its raw power to unnerve. That’s largely due to the vivid, sweaty amorality that Charles Laughton brings to his incarnation of H.G. Welles’ Dr.Moreau, who performs unspeakable experiments transforming animals into human form on his island-laboratory; when a survivor of a ship-wreck lands on the island, Moreau decides to expand his experiments. A lot of mad scientist characters in movies have played God, but few made it seem more morally repugnant, genuinely disturbing – and frightening believable than Laughton.
Bela Lugosi, just a year after playing the lead in "Dracula", gives a remarkable, and not a little poignant performance as one of Moreau's "manimals".
If not as celebrated as the same era’s make-up work at Universal, Paramount’s Wally Westmore's creations here genuinely resemble a grotesque middle ground between humans and animals; he gave Moreau's creations a rough, unpolished quality that suits the story perfectly. And while the film is extremely modest in its on-screen violence, the terrors and mutilations implied off-screen by the hideously pained overheard screams of the "manimals" are as frightening as the most gore-soaked scenes in modern horror movies. In its day, “The Island of Lost Souls” was considered a film that went too far (it was banned in England until the late 1960s), and its rough audacity gives it a power that hasn't dulled all these years later. It will be seen at the Loew’s in a rare 35mm screening.
Admission: $8 Adults / $6 Seniors & Kids
The Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre, 54 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ. (201) 798-6055 loewsjersey.org [email protected]" target="_blank. We are located directly across JFK Blvd from the JSQ PATH Station with trains to New York & Newark’s Penn Station. Close to NJ Turnpike & Holland Tunnel. Discounted off street parking in Square Ramp Garage.
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