The Island of Dr. Moreau

August 23, 1996 0 By Fans
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Still of David Thewlis in The Island of Dr. MoreauStill of David Thewlis in The Island of Dr. MoreauThe Island of Dr. MoreauStill of Val Kilmer in The Island of Dr. MoreauStill of Marlon Brando, Fairuza Balk and David Thewlis in The Island of Dr. MoreauStill of Val Kilmer in The Island of Dr. Moreau


After being rescued and brought to an island, a man discovers that it's inhabitants are experimental animals being turned into strange looking humans, all of it the work of a visionary doctor.

Release Year: 1996

Rating: 4.2/10 (16,291 voted)

John Frankenheimer

Stars: David Thewlis, Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer

This remake of the 1977 film stars Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, and Dragonheart's David Thewlis. Set in the year 2010, Dr. Moreau (Brando) has successfully combined human and animal DNA to make a crossbreed animal. Well, as usual, something goes wrong and David Thewlis must try to stop it before it is too late. Originally rated R, but cut by Frankenheimer to allow "a wider audience".

Writers: H.G. Wells, Richard Stanley


Marlon Brando

Dr. Moreau

Val Kilmer


David Thewlis

Edward Douglas

Fairuza Balk


Daniel Rigney


Temuera Morrison


Nelson de la Rosa


Peter Elliott


Mark Dacascos


Ron Perlman

Sayer of the Law

Marco Hofschneider


Miguel López


Neil Young

Boar Man

David Hudson

Bison Man

Clare Grant

Fox Lady

Through DNA experimentation Dr. Moreau has upset the balance of nature. By turning animals into humans, he's turned heaven into hell.

Release Date: 23 August 1996

Filming Locations: Australia

Box Office Details

Budget: $40,000,000


Opening Weekend: $9,101,987
(25 August 1996)
(2035 Screens)

Gross: $42,000,000

Technical Specs


(director's cut)

Did You Know?


John Frankenheimer was tapped to take over as director by New Line Cinema after Richard Stanley was fired after four days of shooting.


Prior to injecting Douglas' I.V., Montgomery places the syringe cover between his teeth. Following the injection, Montgomery retrieves the syringe cover from the bedside table.


Dr. Moreau:
Do you hear Lo-Mai?… Do you hear?
[Upon hearing the accusation in Lo-Mai's trial]

User Review

Go rent it! WAY better than the negative reviews…


You will have to chalk me up as belonging to that camp of viewers who
actually *wanted* to see a truly horrid film (as based on all the negative
reviews) only to discover to our delight that there was a gem of a movie
hiding there all along.

For me, watching the film was a *great* escapist experience. I felt
what the character played by David Thewlis would have felt, had I been in
similar "lost in the middle of the ocean, end up on a strange island" sort
of predicament. The movie did a superb job of instantly whisking me away
a strange and beautiful and ominous place – the Island of Dr. Moreau – and
found myself staying with the fantasy the whole way through.

The cinematography was just beautiful, and if you have ever been in or
the tropics, the filming and the movie setting did an awesome job of
conveying that hot, thick, humid, teeming-with-life feel that can only be
found in the tropics.

I really enjoyed the eery background music, it really added to the overall
creepiness of the whole weird "mad-science-gone-amok" theme of the story.
Plus that scene where David Thewlis first encounters Faruiza Balk, and she
starts to dance to that utterly hypnotic and awesome Balinese music, was
just too spine-tingling for words. I only regret that I haven't been able
locate any soundtrack information yet on the movie, so I don't know who
played that song, but the whole scene was absolutely and truly memorable.
I'd watch it again just for that song and dance scene alone.

I noticed that many people didn't like the acting or the
I, on the other hand, felt that the four main characters (Brando, Kilmer,
Thewlis, and Balk) were flawless in their depiction of a familiar tale.
Brando was admittedly "weird" – but hey, give the guy his due, he was
SUPPOSED to be a weird, crazed scientist. What were you expecting, the
Maytag Repairman? Kilmer was deliciously evil, can't say enough good about
Val Kilmer, he's always been one of my very favorite actors, and he DID
disappoint in this film, either. Balk, as mentioned above, was just
(and I REALLY liked the scene where she and "father" Brando had their
of emotional bonding). Thewlis was right spot-on with his interpretation
an innocent "sane" observer who barely made it off this mad-house of an
island without totally losing his own sanity. I think I would have done
exactly as he had done, in his circumstances. Well Acted!

One scene that didn't work for me was early on when the man-beasts were
shown to be delivering a hideous-looking baby from a hideous-looking
beast-woman. I don't know, but somehow I felt that it should have been Dr.
Moreau and Montgomery (Brando and Kilmer) who should have been the doctors
doing the delivery. Nevertheless, it was a truly creepy

Finally, I thought the movie was well-stocked with thought-provoking
comments on the morality of scientific experimentation. The scene at the
dinner table, where Brando expounds on his personal views, comes to mind,
does the final parting comments, voiced by Thewlis. I had to watch the
several times just to hear those words. They will REALLY make you think. I
truly believe this movie should be seen and actively discussed by students
at high school or college level – not just in science prep classes, but
philosophy and social science courses as well. I don't care what the
naysayers have to say, this was by no means an empty or shallow

So, go take a trip to the Island of Dr. Moreau. You won't come back