Rent Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau (2014)

3.7 of 5 from 77 ratings
1h 40min
Rent Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
In 1995, visionary writer/director Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil) got the green light for his dream project: An epic adaptation of H.G. Wells 'The Island of Doctor Moreau' starring Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer. But only days into production, an unprecedented storm of natural disasters, monstrous egos and disturbing imagery - along with chaos, insanity and witchcraft - would trigger perhaps the most infamous behind-the-scenes catastrophe in modern movie history.
Now director/producer David Gregory (The Theatre Bizarre, Plague Town) reveals the untold story behind 'one of the all-time greatest cinematic train wrecks' in this 'wonderfully weird and gripping' documentary featuring never-before-seen footage, startling new interviews with actors Fairuza Balk, Marco Hofschneider and Rob Morrow, studio executives, crew members and - for the first time ever - the notoriously reclusive Stanley himself...
Actors:
, , , Graham Humphreys, , , , , , Bruce Fuller, , , , , , David Grasso Jr., , , , Oli Dickson
Directors:
Producers:
Carl Daft, David Gregory
Writers:
David Gregory
Studio:
Severin
Genres:
Documentary, Horror, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Special Interest
BBFC:
Release Date:
10/10/2016
Run Time:
100 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
None
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Formats:
NTSC
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Outtakes - Interviews with Richard Stanley, Marco Hofschneider, Graham Humphreys and others Graham Humphreys concept Gallery, with Commentary by Richard Stanley
  • Archive Moreau Interview with John Frankenheimer
  • Barbara Steele Recalls Moreau - Audio Interview
  • The Beast of Morbido - Featurette
  • The Hunt for the Compound - Featurette
  • Bear Man Diary - Featurette
  • Trailer
BBFC:
Release Date:
10/10/2016
Run Time:
100 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
None
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Outtakes - Interviews with Richard Stanley, Marco Hofschneider, Graham Humphreys and others Graham Humphreys concept Gallery, with Commentary by Richard Stanley
  • Archive Moreau Interview with John Frankenheimer
  • Barbara Steele Recalls Moreau - Audio Interview
  • The Beast of Morbido - Featurette
  • The Hunt for the Compound - Featurette
  • Bear Man Diary - Featurette
  • Trailer

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Reviews (1) of Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau

Animal Crackers In The Soup - Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau review by Count Otto Black

Spoiler Alert
18/11/2016

The greatest documentary feature film ever made about the failure of a movie to reach its full potential (or indeed get made at all) is "Lost In La Mancha", the story of Terry Gilliam's doomed attempt to make his version of "Don Quixote", shot by a film crew who happened to be on set making what was intended to be a documentary featurette about the finished movie. Instead, they managed to capture the disaster as it unfolded.

This film is in a different league entirely. Shot two decades after the critical and commercial failure of a truly abysmal adaptation of H. G. Wells' "The Island Of Dr. Moreau" (by far the best version to date is "Island Of Lost Souls" from 1932), it consists almost entirely of middle-aged or elderly people who had some degree of involvement with the movie, mostly very minor, talking about what went wrong, or simply reminiscing about all the fun they had off-set. Richard Stanley, director of "Hardware" (remember that?), "Dust Devil" (you might actually have seen that, but it didn't exactly set the world on fire), and almost nothing else, who was supposed to direct this film but didn't, gets an enormous amount of screen-time to ramble on about his incredibly idiotic New Age beliefs and how unfair it all was, while various other people comment about how great the film would have been if he'd directed it after all, or point out that he was (and obviously still is) a very weird person who simply couldn't handle a major film shoot on the strength of directing a couple of low-budget horror movies and having a friend with magical powers who could fix everything by Sufi voodoo. It should be noted that extras and low-ranking crew members he made friends with on set tend to take the former view, and industry professionals the latter.

Conspicuously missing are comments from actual director John Frankenheimer (who has the excuse of being dead), star Marlon Brando (likewise), and co-star Val Kilmer (remember when everybody somehow thought he had talent?). There isn't even much footage from the movie to illustrate the points being made (though the fact that there are a few brief clips proves there could have been), so in order to fully appreciate this documentary, you'll need to go back and watch a film nobody likes on any level just to see what they're talking about. And while the Australian lady who played The Sow Woman seems like a very nice person, the amount of screen-time she gets just because she was on set only highlights the complete absence of comments from anyone who really mattered. In fact, the only real actors interviewed mostly whine about how their part should have been bigger, or was cut altogether.

It does pick up in the last half hour, when we get to hear some moderately amusing anecdotes about what a bloody awful human being Marlon Brando was and Val Kilmer no doubt still is, but about two-thirds of it is essentially Richard Stanley going on about how great this film would have been if he'd been allowed to make it, despite the complete absence of evidence that he's a genius, while other people who know what they're talking about point out that directors aren't taken off films that are already in production without a very good reason. Overall it's a bit dull, and feels as though it might have been made by a close friend or relative of Richard Stanley. And since nobody really cares about the movie whose failure it documents, it's hard to see why it needed to be made in the first place.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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