This review is of the edited version as I believe all airings don’t have the original extreme animal violence scene anymore. Still terrible though and it would be hard to make the review any harsher because it’s so bad.
Remember that feeling of falling off of your bike and scraping your knee, only to fall again on that same knee? That’s basically what it’s like to watch this film. It’s one of those films that is so horrific, so terrible, so awful that you won’t be able to find anything good to say about this film. The fact that Britain apparently gave it an X certificate before cutting out some of the incredibly terrible animal violence is quite telling. Even the author of the book didn’t approve of the film. It’s really just filled with terrible animal violence and ultimately there is no point to the story. Even the main poster is terrible. This film really couldn’t do anything right. At least films like this make other bad titles look somewhat competent.
Parker is on a ship heading back home, but he notices that the Captain is being cruel to his animal slaves. He punches the guy, but is thrown overboard. Parker is forced to go to a haunted island where more animals are being cruelly tortured and is held against his will for a while. Parker doesn’t mind for the most part and even gives a pass to the evil doctor. After cheating on his fiancee, Parker starts to realize that this place may be having a bad effect on him so when his friends come to rescue them, he doesn’t bother to warn them of the dangers. On the contrary, he sends an old man off to fight the island’s dozens and dozens of inhabitants on his own. Once Parker is sure that the old man is dead, he heads off with the main heroine and one of the villains to try and escape, but it will likely take one more sacrifice. He’s planned for that though…
This film’s another train wreck in case you couldn’t guess by now. The only decent character here is the Captain and even he isn’t all that smart. Going outside on your own in the middle of the night in enemy territory is just foolish and drinking/eating a lot in an unfamiliar place is not a strategically wise move either. He certainly should have taken a bigger crew with him for such an expedition. He is better than the other characters by default though. Parker wasn’t a likable character for many reasons, but one of the main ones is that he is very quick to cheat on his girl friend. After that, he admits that he didn’t really care much about the animals being tortured and was content to leave the island and not do anything about it. He’s what you would call a coward. He’s worried about what might happen if he stands up for the creatures so he chooses to feign ignorance. While the animals are being experimented on, he goes back to his cabin to read a book. I was waiting for him to get knocked off, but that would only happen if this was a modern horror film. Since it’s retro, everyone else gets to die except for him and the main heroine.
Most films lose some stars and points for having mild animal violence. You can imagine how this film became a 0 instantly with the high degree that is featured here. This film is right up there with Sucker Punch as one of the worst films of all time. As bad as Awake was, this is in a whole different level. It’s not that long at least, but still tries to be as unpleasant as humanly possible. Dr. Moreau has an extremely dark ending to try and compensate for how violent and dark they made him, but it certainly doesn’t win the film back any points. There is even a trope for this kind of thing where a villain will commit some kind of atrocity and then that same atrocity happens to them by the end as a form of karmic justice. In actuality, this vicious cycle just means that the film will have the same dark moment twice and further sink it into the ground.
On the surface, you might find it appealing to see a villain like this meet an incredibly brutal end, but at that point, it is just too much. Simply have the villain die in an explosion or something, no need for him to get tortured just to prove a point. Films like this are just extremely toxic and just plain bad for you. Watching rubbish like this for a while will just give you a sour disposition and you’re better off watching something with actual good themes and light hearted moments. This film opts to be incredibly grim-dark the entire time instead.
Overall, there’s not much more to say about this film. It simply doesn’t have any class and you’ll be doing yourself a favor by skipping out on it. Animal violence shouldn’t be tolerated in any shape or form and the film better not have been using any actual animals for this. The whole thing is just unethical and if H.G. Wells typically writes books of such low quality, then I can safely say that he is extremely overrated. Most big name authors are though so I can’t say I’m very surprised. The summary tipped me off from the start that this was going to be a terrible film. Luckily, I think this is the last 0 star film at the moment, but we still do have some really negative ones coming up so prepare yourself. For every gem, there are 5 old banana’s in the trash can just waiting to be picked up. This was one of those, but at least, now I have a film I can easily mention when someone asks what some of the worst films of all time are.