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Trailers from Hell: John Landis on UK-Banned, 1930s Horror Classic 'Island of Lost Souls'

Photo of Trailers From Hell By Trailers From Hell | Thompson on Hollywood October 22, 2012 at 4:42PM

Pre-Halloween Horrors! week begins at Trailers from Hell with director John Landis introducing 1932's "Island of Lost Souls," starring Charles Laughton as the gleefully maniacal Dr. Moreau overseeing his House of Pain, and Bela Lugosi as "part man... part beast!"
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"Island of Lost Souls"
"Island of Lost Souls"

Pre-Halloween Horrors! week begins at Trailers from Hell with director John Landis introducing 1932's "Island of Lost Souls," starring Charles Laughton as the gleefully maniacal Dr. Moreau overseeing his House of Pain, and Bela Lugosi as "part man... part beast!"

"They're restless tonight," mutters the insane Dr. Moreau about the vengeful natives on whom he's been doing presciently Mengele-like experiments. Philip Wylie was one of the screenwriters who adapted H.G. Wells' anti-vivisectionist screed, which was remade in 1977 and 1996, with uncredited ripoffs in 1959 (Terror is a Man) and 1973 (Twilight People). For a movie banned in many countries for years this has been a very influential film. Musical impressions ensued from bands Oingo Boingo, Devo, Van Halen and Manimals. One of the greatest and darkest of the early '30s horror cycle.

This article is related to: Video, Trailers, Trailers from Hell, Classics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.