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"THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU"
(1996) (Val Kilmer, Marlon Brando) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Mild Heavy Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Moderate None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild *None Minor Mild Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: The only survivor of a plane wreck is rescued and taken to a remote island where an eccentric scientist is conducting genetic experiments creating half human, half animal creatures.
PLOT:
Edward Douglas (DAVID THEWLISS) is the only survivor of a plane crash at sea and is rescued by Montgomery (VAL KILMER), a man transporting animals to a remote island. Montgomery tells Douglas he'll have to wait until he fixes the communications equipment before they can radio for help. Exploring the jungle camp, Douglas not only finds Aissa (FAIRUZA BALK), a beautiful woman he's instantly attracted to, but also a strange and frightening array of half human, half animal creatures. Douglass is then introduced to the eccentric Nobel prize winning scientist, Dr. Moreau (MARLON BRANDO). Moreau states that he's trying to create the perfect "being" with the intelligence of man and the strength of animals that "is incapable of malice." Thus his island is filled with many variations of his experiments and he controls all of them via electrical implants under their skin. One of the creatures learns of this implant and rips his out setting into motion a creature revolt that begins sweeping the island and soon is fronted by Azazello (TEMUERA MORRISON) one of Moreau's more successful creations. From then on, Douglas must do everything he can to survive the upheaval.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Kilmer is the only real draw to kids, but some may want to see this because it looks like a monster movie of sorts.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sci-fi violence, horror and gore involving mutant creatures.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DAVID THEWLISS plays the man unlucky enough to find himself in a situation that defies belief.
  • VAL KILMER plays the animal collector and "law" enforcer for Moreau. He uses drugs and soon goes crazy.
  • MARLON BRANDO plays the eccentric scientist who has a good purpose but goes about it by tinkering with mother nature.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 4 out of 10
    While this was probably a terrifying story (by H.G. Wells) way back when, this adaption seems tame in this day and age. The creatures aren't particularly shocking and much of it reminds one of the later, and very bad "Planet of Apes Sequels." Brando is entertaining as the whacked out scientist, but he isn't developed enough (and could've used more of his Col. Kurtz persona from "Apocalypse Now"). Kilmer, whom we've always enjoyed, is wasted in this movie as he quickly and unexpectedly transforms from a dangerous, mysterious man into an out of his mind, drugged out character. When all of the strange creatures get together (obviously people in costumes and makeup) you almost feel like they’ll break into a song from "Cats." We give this one a 4 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    There are quite a few scenes that may be scary and/or disturbing to younger kids. There’s a good amount of violence and pandemonium at the end, but older kids will probably find it cool to watch. There’s very little profanity (just one "f" and "s" word each), but there is some drug use by Kilmer’s character (who smokes pot in several scenes). As always, read through the listings before allowing your kids to see this film.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Moreau and the others have wine with dinner.
  • Montgomery admits that he puts morphine into the creatures' shots to keep them happy.
  • Montgomery is seen smoking a joint (marijuana) and then is often seen smoking them and is seen "stoned." Later he’s seen offering pot to Douglas (who accepts and inhales) and to one of the creatures.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • Several dead, small human-like creatures are seen floating in large containers.
  • A half human, half horse creature is seen giving birth. Its offspring is delivered and is very bloody.
  • Douglas and Aissa find the bloody remains of a white rabbit in the woods.
  • One of the creatures bleeds from where he’s dug out the electrical implant from his side.
  • Moreau is somewhat bloody after being attacked by several creatures. Later he’s seen engulfed in flames as his body is cremated.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Moreau is altering nature, so in that sense he's disrespectful of it.
  • The creatures revolt and kill Moreau and others.
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • Several scenes listed under "Violence" can also be considered tense.
  • Douglas wanders through the compound and enters a room where several doctor-like people are working on some sort of patient. As he gets closer, he finds strange human-like creatures floating in a liquid and then sees the patient -- a bizarre creature -- part human, part horse. And it’s delivering a baby. Douglas freaks out and runs.
  • The camp’s creatures then chase after Douglas who evades capture with the aid of Aissa.
  • The appearances of the strange and bizarre looking creatures may be scary and/or disturbing to younger kids (and may give little ones nightmares).
  • Douglas goes on board a boat to attempt an escape but finds that some strange creature is on board with him. He slowly begins looking for it (just like in a horror movie) and then finds what he was looking for: A pack of half human, half rats. He freaks out and dives overboard.
  • Several creatures, led by Hyena, visit Moreau and want to know what they are. Obviously they’re not happy and end up attacking and killing him.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handgun: Pointed at Douglas by Montgomery, but Moreau tells him to give the gun to Douglas. He does and Douglas fires it into the air to get everyone’s attention. He then runs up and aims it at Moreau but Aissa steps in front of him.
  • Handgun: Used by Azazello to shoot, execution style, another one of the creatures that has broken the cardinal rule of the island -- no killing. (Of course Azazello has also just broken the same rule, but appears to be given some slack since he’s one of Moreau’s right hand "men").
  • Rifle: Fired by Montgomery at Hyena after he’s shown that he longer has the electrical implant in him.
  • Handgun: Used by Douglas to scare away the creatures that are feeding on Moreau.
  • Handgun: Held on Montgomery by Douglas as he tries to get information out of him.
  • Handgun: Used by Azazello to shoot Montgomery dead.
  • Machine Gun: Used by Hyena kill Azazello and then to threaten the other creatures and then to kill his own supporters.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Montgomery breaks a rabbit's neck, killing it, in front of Douglas.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A creature suddenly runs over the top of Douglas’ foot on a boat.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • The movie is full of moderately scary and tense music.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 1"f" word, 1 "s" word, and 2 uses each of "Oh my God," "Oh God," "Good God," "Christ," and "God," and 1 use each of "For God's sake," and "My God," as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A half human, half horse creature is giving birth and the human breasts on it are seen as it lies on the delivery table.
  • A half human, half animal creature speaks to his followers and is heard saying "...to make love to more than one, every which way..."
  • Once Moreau is dead, the creatures are celebrating and several are making sexual movements with others (but it can’t be seen whether they’re actually having sex or not).
  • SMOKING
  • None, other than that of marijuana (see "Alcohol/Drug Use").
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Moreau’s "children" grieve over his death in their own, half human, half animal way.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Playing "God" by altering genes and combining species.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Three survivors are seen in a life raft. Two of them begin fighting over the last canteen of water and several punches are thrown. The two then fall overboard and a shark is seen approaching (seen from underwater), and then the two men are gone and Douglas is all alone.
  • Montgomery breaks a rabbit's neck, killing it, in front of Douglas.
  • Moreau has placed electrical implants into all of his creatures and often shocks them with a remote control to keep them in line. When he does, the creatures writhe in pain.
  • Azazello shoots another one of the creatures execution style with a handgun.
  • Hyena, one of the creatures, digs out the electrical implant from the side of his body and then bleeds from the wound.
  • Montgomery fires his rifle at Hyena as he escapes the compound.
  • Some creatures, led by Hyena, attack and kill Moreau. Douglas comes upon the scene and fires at them, scaring them away.
  • Douglas slaps Montgomery (who’s stoned) and then aims a handgun at him to try to get information out of him.
  • The creatures pour gasoline on the dock and light it on fire. The blaze burns down to a boat at the end of the dock and it explodes.
  • Azazello shoots Montgomery dead.
  • The creatures drive a truck through the compound knocking things over and spilling fuel barrels. They then shoot a flare that ignites the fuel and blows up one of the buildings.
  • Aissa fights with the other creatures as she becomes more catlike. Eventually a rope is put around her neck and the shadow of her body being thrown off a landing and then swinging back and forth (ie. She’s been hanged) is seen.
  • Hyena shoots Azazello with his machine gun.
  • Douglas confuses Hyena and makes him believe that the other creatures might worship them instead of him. So he takes his machine gun and shoots down all of his "men." They return fire and he’s injured and the other creatures beat on him. Eventually he stumbles back into a burning building and is consumed by the fire. A torch is then thrown onto a leaking fuel canister and it ignites and blows up another building.



  • Reviewed August 19, 1996

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