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Island of Lost Souls

Screening on Film
Directed by Erie C. Kenton .
With Erie C. Kenton, Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen .
US, 1932, 35mm, black & white, 70 min.
Print source: Universal

While Universal is rightly considered the home of the Hollywood horror film, Paramount’s leading entry in the genre has lost little of its power to shock. Like its contemporaries The Most Dangerous Game and King Kong, Island of Lost Souls takes place on a remote island that harbors a dreadful secret. This adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau stars Charles Laughton as a particularly and peculiarly depraved mad scientist. The film rivals Tod Browning’s Freaks as the best example of the viciousness of the pre-Code horror movie; it would go on to influence both George Romero and Devo.

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Gene Hackman crouched beside a toilet with audio equipment

From the HFA Collection...