Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s The Island of Doctor Moreau

Director - David Gregory

Cast - Richard Stanley, Fairuza Balk

Country of Origin - U.S.

Discs - 2

Distributor - Severin Films

Reviewer - Scott MacDonald

Date - 08/15/2015

The Film (4/5)

     Richard Stanley was one of the premiere horror directors of the 1990's. The two feature films he completed in that decade Hardware and Dust Devil were some of the most vastly original works of the period. His next project was a dream come true for the director, he had managed to convince New Line Cinema to allow him to direct an adaptation of H.G. Well's the Island of Doctor Moreau, a book Stanley had been a great fan of since he was a child. The production was to put it mildly a disaster, and Stanley within the first week was replaced by John Frankenheimer. The finished product did not live up to the vision set forth by Stanley, and is known as one of the worst films ever made by a major studio.

   David Gregory's documentary Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Doctor Moreau follows last year's wonderful Jodorowsky's Dune into the bizarre production of a film that was never made, or at least not in it's intended form. At the heart of the film is interviews with Richard Stanley whose perspective anchors the piece. When Stanley is interviewed in general he is almost always fascinating, and that is no different and possibly more so here. I don't want to give too much away to viewers who have not seen the film previously, but he tells tales ranging from working with Marlon Brando to utilizing witchcraft to keep the film under his control. Aside from Stanley we also get plenty of other participants from actors, producers, and other crew who worked on the film. By the documentary's conclusion you understand why everything that went down occurred, but you also are still left wishing Stanley's vision had been able to reach the big screen.

 

Audio/Video (4/5)

   Severin Films presents Lost Soul in a 1080p AVC encoded transfer. The transfer here is hard to gauge so the 4/5 is essentially for the newly recorded documentary talking head footage which looks quite suitable for what it is. The audio is an LPCM 2.0 mono track in English, and is quite audible throughout.  The rest of the film comes from a variety of sources and the quality varies on those.

Extras (4/5)

   There are 2 versions of the film a 2 disc, and a 3 disc House of Pain edition. We received the 2 disc to review, and the set includes a number of out takes, galleries with concept art, additional interviews, deleted scenes and much more.

Overall

   One of the most fun, intense, and rewatchable cinema documentaries made in recent years. Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Doctor Moreau is a fantastic release from top to bottom. It features solid A/V with top notch extras. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.