Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau (2014) 720p

Movie Poster
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau (2014) - Movie Poster
Adventure | Documentary
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
97 min
IMDB Rating:
7.5 / 10 
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Directors: Richard Stanley [Director] ,

Movie Description:
A behind the scenes chronicle of how clash of vision, bad creative decisions, lack of interest and really bad weather plagued the disastrous production of the infamous The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996).


  • Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau (2014) - Movie Scene 1
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  • Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau (2014) - Movie Scene 1

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Jungle Madness

As fascinating as this documentary is, one is left feeling that it barely skims the surface of the madness that prevailed during the production of The Island of Doctor Moreau. Yes, there are great anecdotes about Brando being crazy or mischievous or, as one more acute observer puts it, displaying utter contempt for his own profession. You get to hear how vile Val Kilmer was. And there's John Frankenheimer stomping around like a parody of an egomaniacal old-school director. And yet you just know that there are worse stories to be told, and that there was seemingly no end to the cluelessness of almost everyone involved in this benighted shoot. So while Lost Soul is one of the better documentaries about a disastrous film shoot, I was left wanting more and wishing they'd dug a bit deeper and provided a more thorough account of the shenanigans, the treachery, the foolishness and the folly of the nightmarish six-month jungle shoot. Even so, Lost Soul is infinitely more entertaining than the movie it documents.

Hilarious and tragic.

As a novice film reviewer of absolutely no repute whatsoever, I had never heard of Richard Stanley prior to the events surrounding the creation of 1996's 'The Island of Doctor Moreau'. When first viewing him here, he struck me as someone who fancied himself a little arty, weird and interesting. Indeed, other crewmembers interviewed for this documentary regularly describe him as being 'unusual'. My feelings toward Stanley went from that to feeling desperately sorry for him: a director, for whom a series of unimaginable catastrophes lost him his reason. 100 minutes later as the end credits rolled, I found myself liking him a lot, and feeling pleased that the disastrous happenings behind the scenes of the 1996 film didn't seem to have irretrievably broken his spirit.

In fact, it is with some relief that none of the cast or crew interviewed seemed to remain undamaged, and have not lost their sense of humour, after their experiences recounted in this compellingly documented diary of miss-haps.

'The Island of Doctor Moreau' is one of HG Wells' greatest stories, building on horror and ego and great tragedy when one person tries to become God. Not a million miles away from Frankenstein in that regard - and not a million miles away from the incredible egos of two of the film's main stars, that had long since transcended any effort to contain them.

For all those interviewed, I was surprised that David Thewlis, one of the main players, was mentioned so briefly - just once, as I recall, with a cursory mention of him being brought in to replace another actor who had grown completely and understandably disenchanted with the shambolic nature of the filming.The anecdotes range from hugely unfortunate to laugh-out-loud hilarious, as recalled by Marco Hofschneider, Fairuza Balk and Stanley himself, amongst many others, all hugely personable and full of incredible remembrances. It is entirely possible that, with Stanley's inclusion, and the lack of Kilmer, Brando or replacement director John Frankenheimer (the latter two having passed away), that memories are presented in Stanley's favour - we'll probably never know - but the results form the basis of one of the most fascinating and bizarre behind-the-scenes documentaries I have ever seen. It doesn't matter if you have never seen the 1996 film, I recommend this unreservedly. My score is 9 out of 10.

A story about a properly decent weirdo getting over basically by his antithesis.

It's refreshing to hear about another doomed project from the mouth of the original Director and progenitor.

There's no artistry behind this documentary, it's more just a structured telling of the process, but it's informative and fun and edited well.

Absent is any information on David Thewlis, which is a shame, and there's a lot of missing information about the reception of the film and the actual nuts and bolts changes to the script and there's conspicuously a decent chunk of missing information that could have elevated it, and made it more personal throughout instead of just on behalf of the Director.
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