Island of Doctor Moreau (1996)
Directed by John Frankenheimer

Starring Mark Dacascos Marlon Brando Peter Elliott Val Kilmer

This oft-told tale got big-budget treatment in 1996 with a kick-ass cast and hot make-up effects by Rob Bottin.

Brando is fantastic as the brilliant Doctor Moreau, who has used gene splicing to create a half-animal, half-human race of beings that he keeps on a secluded island. It's his belief that he's somehow creating a species that's better than man. These beings worship him like a God (shades of Colonel Kurtz there) and he uses a high-tech shock device implanted inside each one to keep them under control.

But when one of the human-animals removes the device and kills Moreau all hell breaks loose on the island. Brando is killed off in the film way too early, but his nuttiness is quickly picked up by Kilmer, who plays a corrupt employee on the island. In one of his best scenes, he does a hilarious Brando imitation

David Thewlis is positively dull as the shipwrecked visitor who witnesses the breakdown of order on the island. The film is worth catching, but nothing to twist and shout about.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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