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The Island of Dr. Moreau (Unrated Director's Cut)


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The Island of Dr. Moreau (Unrated Director's Cut) + The Island of Dr. Moreau + Island of Lost Souls (The Criterion Collection)
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Product Details

  • Actors: David Thewlis, Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, Fairuza Balk, Daniel Rigney
  • Directors: John Frankenheimer, Richard Stanley
  • Writers: Richard Stanley, H.G. Wells, Ron Hutchinson
  • Producers: Claire Rudnick Polstein, Edward R. Pressman, Tim Zinnemann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 20, 1997
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780619951
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,529 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Island of Dr. Moreau (Unrated Director's Cut)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interviews with Val Kilmer, David Thewlis and Stan Winston

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Previously filmed in 1933 (as "Island of Lost Souls") and 1977, the classic H.G. Wells story was filmed again for this graphic 1996 version. The film was roasted by critics, but it's an utterly fascinating failure, largely due to the performances of David Thewlis, Val Kilmer, and especially Marlon Brando in the title role as a mad (and in this case outrageously bizarre) scientist whose experiments in crossbreeding humans with animals have gone terribly awry. Thewlis plays the wayward scholar who is rescued at sea by Kilmer and brought to Moreau's island to discover the doctor's unnatural "children." Fairuza Balk plays Moreau's half-cat daughter, but it's Brando and Kilmer (in one scene doing a killer Brando impersonation) who steal the show, along with the astounding makeup effects created by Stan Winston. A guilty pleasure by any measure, this movie has definite cult-favorite potential, and in addition to offering a "director's cut" with previously unseen footage, the DVD includes audio commentary by director John Frankenheimer, who replaced the original director on short notice and completed this film under highly stressful conditions. "--Jeff Shannon"

Amazon.com

Previously filmed in 1933 (as Island of Lost Souls) and 1977, the classic H.G. Wells story was filmed again for this graphic 1996 version. The film was roasted by critics, but it's an utterly fascinating failure, largely due to the performances of David Thewlis, Val Kilmer, and especially Marlon Brando in the title role as a mad (and in this case outrageously bizarre) scientist whose experiments in crossbreeding humans with animals have gone terribly awry. Thewlis plays the wayward scholar who is rescued at sea by Kilmer and brought to Moreau's island to discover the doctor's unnatural "children." Fairuza Balk plays Moreau's half-cat daughter, but it's Brando and Kilmer (in one scene doing a killer Brando impersonation) who steal the show, along with the astounding makeup effects created by Stan Winston. A guilty pleasure by any measure, this movie has definite cult-favorite potential, and in addition to offering a "director's cut" with previously unseen footage, the DVD includes audio commentary by director John Frankenheimer, who replaced the original director on short notice and completed this film under highly stressful conditions. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

For it's time most of the effects in this movie are very well done.
Matthew L.
Whenever I see a really lousy movie, I can always find solace by saying to myself, "At least it wasn't as bad as 'Dr. Moreau'!"
Dave Roberts
This is a dark, well made movie that should be seen by all Horror & Fantasy fans.
Marvin Jenkins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 81 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I can't stress enough how important it is for anyone considering seeing this movie to ignore the heaps of negative reviews here. Most justify their opinions by calling this film strange, grotesque, or both. Both are fitting, but there's alot more to this film than that, and those two things in themselves are not necessarily reason to dislike a film. Quite the contrary, when Hollywood is so overrun with unchallenging, unoriginal fodder.
I could praise the movie on any number of levels. Every actor here carries his or her eccentric role with a perfectly tasteful care not to go over the top or become too cartoonish. The dialogue is free of fluff and carries quite an element of eloquence, which is fitting when considering the overall dramatic intent. On a more basic level, the creature effects used on the half human, half animal hybrid creations inhabiting Moreau's Island are handled by none other than Stan Winston and done very well, and the soundtrack is appropriately eerie, with tribal drumming used in parts to enhance the mood. And, of course, the themes explored here, despite their familiarity (the power of instnct, and the danger of playing God), are driven home with potent efficiency, probably thanks to the extreme and sometimes bizzare nature in which they're handled.
The fact that this movie carries such a human element with it is what I really like about it. It's easy to feel for the man-beasts, tragic abominations intelligent enough to know they're nothing but the waste products of a madman's search for genetic perfection. The protagonist, as well, benefits from the fact that he is very much an introvert and probably speaks less than Val Kilmer, who is less vital to the plot.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 8, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
While everyone goes on and on about Brando's overwrought performance they overlooked the rest of the cast. There's Val Kilmer, a good actor who is in a bad movie and seems to be loving every minute of it. Then there is the British actor David Thewlis, good actor who is in a bad movie and seems to want to duck behind a tree every time the camera is on him. This film is so overblown that it has earned a place as modern cult classic, and it deserves it. View with an open mind.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tressa L. Breen on January 7, 2005
Format: DVD
An ocean plane wrecked diplomat (David Thewlis) is rescued and brought to an island inhabited by a Nobel winning now reclusive scientist (Marlon Brando) and his children; the animals he has been genetically manipulating with human DNA in an attempt to create his vision of a pure species.

When this film opened it was panned by the critics. I was never sure why. It opens strong, both visually and musically. The locale is beautifully claustrophobic, appropriate for a secluded tropical island. Stan Winston's creature make up is excellent. The body language of the "humanimals" is very interesting. The underlying commentaries on the savagery of society and the morality of biological scientific experimentation are intact. Performances are excellent (Brando makes a daring, and critics said poor, choice in his interpretation of Moreau in that he plays him like an effete, physically feeble, unbelievably polite British University English Professor, more eccentrically insane instead of the usual madly insane that most crazy scientist characters are portrayed as). This is a well done film.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Wuchak on June 2, 2005
Format: DVD
Ever wonder where Col. Kurtz would've ended up if he had survived the end of "Apocalypse Now"? Well, now we know: He exiled himself to a deserted island to create humanimals -- the horror, the horror.

In light of all the bad press one would really think this is a lousy movie. And I can see WHY some people don't like it, the main portion of the flick is really INSANE. However, if you're a sucker for lost-on-an-island type yarns and appreciate the heavy mood & insanity of "Apocalypse Now," you'll probably like it. I'm not saying it's anywhere near as great as "Apocalypse Now" but Marlon Brando and the jungle insanity make the comparison inevitable.

WHAT WORKS: The title sequence is great, perhaps one of the best in all of cinema (another Amazon reviewer noted this, so I'm not alone); the soundtrack is phenomenal ('nuff said); the plot is intriguing; the humanimal make-up is fine ('Hyena' looks especially horrific); the film possesses an undeniable creative pizzazz (i.e. it's moody, atmospheric and insane); and Marlon Brando's 35 minute stint in the film is as captivating as always (you can probably tell I'm a huge Brando fan -- in particular, "One-Eyed Jacks," "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1962), "The Young Lions," "Superman" and "Apocalypse Now" [not "Redux"]).

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: The third act of the film is almost total insanity, except for the final ten minutes or so; as a result the story will lose the interest of those who have no appreciation for such artistic flair.

CLOSING THOUGHTS: I really enjoyed seeing Brando in his old age in this flick; it proves he had his magnetic charm until the end. If you enjoyed Brando as 'Kurtz' in "Apocalypse Now" you'll appeciate him in "Island;" in fact, as already noted, Dr. Moreau is a variation of Kurtz in his old age (i.e. nutjob in the jungle).

If you're predisposed for such a flick, "Dr. Moreau" is weird, but certainly worthwhile.
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