The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996 film)

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996 film)

Infobox Film
name = Island of Dr Moreau (1996)

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = John Frankenheimer
producer = Claire Rudnick Polstein Edward R. Pressman Tim Zinnemann
writer = H. G. Wells "(novel)"
Richard Stanley
Ron Hutchinson "(screenplay)"
starring = Marlon Brando
Val Kilmer
David Thewlis
Fairuza Balk
Ron Perlman
music = Gary Chang
cinematography = William A. Fraker
distributor = New Line Cinema
released = August 23, 1996 (US)
November 15, 1996 (UK)
runtime = 100 minutes
country = United States
language = English
budget = $40 million (estimated)
amg_id = 1:136549
imdb_id = 0116654

"The Island of Dr. Moreau" is a 1996 film, the third major movie version of the H. G. Wells novel "The Island of Doctor Moreau", a science fiction horror story about a scientist who attempts to convert animals into people. The film stars Marlon Brando, features Val Kilmer, Fairuza Balk, David Thewlis and Ron Perlman, and was directed by John Frankenheimer. The screenplay was written by Richard Stanley and Ron Hutchinson.


In the year 2010, Dr. Moreau has successfully conquered the impossible: to use human DNA in animals to make them more humanlike and regress their animal instincts and make the divine human, free of malice and hatred. After many attempts, only one experiment was successful and now the unsuccessful ones are given drugs every day to keep them from regressing into their animal forms. They are also controlled through shock therapy to keep them in order.

However, one of the creatures has found a way to stop himself from receiving shock treatment and when he informs others of this, the animal hybrids break loose on the island.

One of Dr. Moreau's allies is Dr. Montgomery, a physician gone mad with devotion to Moreau and intense drug abuse.

United Nations negotiator Edward Douglas, the sole survivor of an airplane crash, is brought ashore on Moreau's island — against his better judgement — by Dr. Montgomery, and eventually becomes his prisoner. Horrified by the doctor's monstrous experiments and fearing for his own life, Douglas seeks the help of Moreau's lovely daughter, Aissa, in escaping the island, but is foiled at every turn by Dr. Montgomery and his man-beast lackeys.


Director's Cut

Eventually, a director's cut was released on DVD containing four minutes of extra footage from the theatrical release. Some highlights:
* An extended prologue. Douglas and the two men in the life raft fight over the last canteen of water as in the theatrical version, but with a more violent ending. It begins as usual. One man pulls out a knife and stabs another in the back. The wounded man pulls the knife out and stabs his attacker in the stomach. They continue to fight as Douglas threatens one man with a flare gun. He is unsuccessful, but the other two men are knocked overboard while a hungry shark bites into one of the men. The other man that escaped the shark appears out of the water to attack Douglas, but he bashes the man's skull in with one of the oars in the raft. The film continues as usual.
* Dr. Moreau's death. His death lasts a bit longer and more graphic. Hyena eventually rips off his arm by the wrist.
* Douglas shoots at Hyena. Following the previous extension, before Hyena runs off, he throws Moreau's arm down.
* Azazello's implant removed. Azazello in the theatrical release says that he knows where there's more of "the fire that kills". This scene explains the blood spot on his left chest in the rest of the film. Hyena and his followers rip out Azazello's implant in his chest.
* Montgomery's death. There is a more graphic shot indicating what really happened to Montgomery. He is shot in the chest. In the theatrical release, this is where the scene ends. In this extension, Hyena takes Azazello's gun and shoots Montgomery's dead body several more times.
* Hyena's destruction of Dr. Moreau's office. There is a shot of Hyena shooting aimlessly in a circle at the walls of Moreau's office.
* Hyena tortures Douglas. Although Hyena never physically tortures Douglas, he uses the implant shock treatment to psychologically torture him in the theatrical version. In this extension, several of Hyena's followers shoot innocent mutants on the ground to death, scaring and making him fear Hyena even more.


The screen-writer and original director Richard Stanley was fired from the film, which was believe to have been influenced by Val Kilmer and replaced by veteran director John Frankenheimer. He did, however, return to the set in full costume as one of the many human-animal hybrids, at Marlon Brando's request. Stanley later showed up at the film's wrap party where he ran into Kilmer, who was said to have apologized profusely for Stanley's removal from the film. Frankenheimer and Kilmer had an argument on-set, and reportedly got so heated, Frankenheimer had stated "I don't like Val Kilmer, I don't like his work ethic, and I don't want to be associated with him ever again". [ [,,292752,00.html Psycho Kilmer] ] Frankenheimer also reportedly clashed with Brando and the studio, as they were concerned with the direction he was taking the film.

Kilmer has stated that the time filming on-set was "crazy." He was served with divorce papers from his then-wife Joanne Whalley, Brando was dealing with the suicide of his daughter Cheyenne, as well as the implications of a French nuclear test near the atoll he owned.

David Thewlis skipped the film's premiere by choice.


The film was met with bad reviews, [ [ The Island of Dr. Moreau - Movie Reviews, Trailers, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes ] ] and grossed $49 million worldwide, only covering the $40 million budget. [ [ The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) ] ]

"The Island of Dr. Moreau" later got seven nominations for the Razzie Awards including Worst Picture, "winning" Worst Supporting Actor for Marlon Brando (Val Kilmer was also a nominee in this category).The film also got nominations for two Saturn Awards: Best Make-Up and Science Fiction Film.

See also

The two earlier versions of the story:
* 1933's "Island of Lost Souls (1933 film)" starring Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi
* 1977's "The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977 film)" starring Burt Lancaster and Michael York


External links

* A draft of the films screenplay, dated April 26th, 1994

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