The Island of Dr. Moreau is, undoubtedly, one of the worst films of 1996. The backstage drama between stars, a revolving door of directors, and constant script changes has resulted in one of the great curios of the 1990’s. The film starts promisingly before quickly deteriorating into a lackluster creature feature that thinks it’s making a poignant statement about the horror of gene manipulation. Almost nothing works in a movie that features big names doing career worst work.
The third adaption of H.G. Wells novel is reimagined to focus on an English U.N. negotiator (David Thewlis) who is rescued at sea only to becomes stranded in the tropics with a mad scientist (Marlon Brando) who makes half-human beasts.
John Frankenheimer is the man credited as director, and that he salvaged anything useable out of the convoluted mess of a shoot is remarkable, I guess. But as a movie-going experience The Island of Dr. Moreau is non-sensical, lacks continuity of character, and is over-all an awful movie featuring two of the most annoying performances of the decade from Brando and Val Kilmer. The Island of Dr. Moreau lacks the goods to even be considered a cult classic, it’s an unpleasant and boring film.
Directors: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Val Kilmer, Marlon Brando, David Thewlis