The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)

Cast adrift in the ocean after his ship sinks, Andrew Braddock and fellow crew mate Charlie see an island in the distance and paddle towards it.  Soon after they hit land Charlie dies and Braddock is captured in a trap and awakes under the care of the island’s inhabitant Dr. Moreau. 
Braddock is welcomed by the doctor, his second in command Montgomery and the beautiful Maria.  Something isn’t quite right and eventually Dr. Moreau tells him he is experimentating with the gene pool.  Not long after Braddock encounters Moreau’s creations, half-man and half-beasts living in a cave in the nearby mountains.  
Based on HG Wells’ novel, it’s the second adaption of the source material and there was a third one in 1996 (whose production problems are well documented).  This 1977 version was directed by Don Taylor and is heavily influenced by the Planet of the Apes series.  Taylor directed the third Apes film so this film has a familar sounding music score, make-up by Apes’ John Chambers and the creatures run a little like the Roddy McDowall apes.  
It’s pure escapism and the cast (York, Lancaster, Davenport and the stunningly beautiful Barbara Carrera who did a rather strange pictorial promoting the film in Playboy) is terrific.  A nice fun monster movie from AIP who around the same time brought us massive chickens in Food of the Gods, now there’s a bonkers film for another day.
  • Starring Burt Lancaster  Michael York  Nigel Davenport  Richard Basehart
  • Director Don Taylor
  • Distributor 101 Films