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The Island of Dr Moreau

The Island of Dr Moreau – 1977
Don Taylor

H.G. Wells – novel
Al Ramrus – screenplay

Burt Lancaster
Michael York
Nigel Davenport

Review by Wayne Malin

A rightfully forgotten AIP movie,

A shipwrecked man (Michael York) ends up on an island where Dr. Moreau (Burt Lancaster!) lives with his helper Mr. Montgomery (Nigel Davenport) and the required beautiful, sexy woman (Barbara Carrera). It seems he’s doing some strange experiments on animals. York is horrified to discover that he is trying to turn animals into men and, instead, comes up with half-man half-animal mutants. And it looks like York might be next…

I saw this as a kid and thought is was a little dull but OK. Seeing it as an adult it’s VERY dull and not even remotely OK. The science in the film is just ridiculous as is the reasoning behind it. The acting wavers. Mostly everybody is OK (especially York and Davenport) but Lancaster walks through his role and Carrera (a stunningly beautiful woman) is no actress.

It is a well-made, elaborate movie beautifully shot in the Virgin Islands but way too slow and dull. The saving grace is the scenery and some excellent makeup on the animal men. Nice score too. No where near as good as the 1933 “Island of the Lost Souls” but slightly better than the 1996 remake. I give it a 3.

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