I listen to a lot of movie podcasts. I first heard about the film Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau, which has a 7.5 out of 10 stars on IMDb and 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, from one of those podcasts and it sparked my intrigue. I remembered seeing pieces of The Island of Dr. Moreau when I was in high school on HBO or Showtime and thinking how odd it seemed. I was never able to sit through it, but hearing that the film was made despite crazy circumstances made this documentary sound super interesting.
The film focuses on Richard Stanley, who in the early 90’s was a young, ambitious director who wanted to do an adaptation of H.G. Well’s Island of Dr. Moreau. The documentary shows how New Line Cinema was going to give Stanley his chance to fulfill his dream, but how things quickly spun out of control. Lost Soul goes on to show Stanley taken off of the picture and replaced with John Frankenheimer as director and the trouble that both men had with the stars of the film.
I love documentaries like this that show the inside of the industry that makes products that I’m a huge fan of, but whose business practices often seem despicable. Stanley’s directing career basically seems to have ended since this debacle of a film and that’s sad. I’ve not seen any of his other movies, and my experience with the documentary make him seem a bit off, but it’s sad that the industry was able to crush the passion out of anyone.
The most interesting part of the film has to be the stories about Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer’s behavior. Both seemed determined to make the film ridiculous, but through different means. Brando was convincing Frankenheimer to make odd changes to the script and to his character. The stories are crazy and have made me really want to watch Listen To Me Marlon, which is a documentary on Brando.
I watched this film on Netflix and I’m really glad that I did. If you’re a fan of films, curious about the film industry, or just like well-made documentaries then this film should be on your watch list. I give Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau 8 out of 10 dog men.