Island of Dr. Moreau [1996]

Director: John Frankenheimer, Richard Stanley
Stars: David Thewlis, Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, Fairuza Balk, Daniel Rigney
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 96 minutes

Previously filmed in 1933 (as Island of Lost Souls) and 1977, the classic H.G. Wells story was filmed again for this graphic 1996 version. The film was roasted by critics, but it's an utterly fascinating failure, largely due to the performances of David Thewlis, Val Kilmer, and especially Marlon Brando in the title role as a mad (and in this case outrageously bizarre) scientist whose experiments in crossbreeding humans with animals have gone terribly awry. Thewlis plays the wayward scholar who is rescued at sea by Kilmer and brought to Moreau's island to discover the doctor's unnatural "children." Fairuza Balk plays Moreau's half-cat daughter, but it's Brando and Kilmer (in one scene doing a killer Brando impersonation) who steal the show, along with the astounding makeup effects created by Stan Winston. A guilty pleasure by any measure, this movie has definite cult-favorite potential. --Jeff Shannon

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