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Crewman Andrew Braddock (York) survives the wreck of the sailing ship The Lady Vain. After several days at sea in a lifeboat, he reaches the shores of an island governed by the mysterious scientist Dr. Moreau (Lancaster).

Though welcomed as an honored guest by Moreau, Braddock finds his contact with the natives increasingly disturbing, for they are not like any men he has ever seen before. Eventually, it becomes apparent that these men are, in fact, the hybrid products of Moreau s experiments upon various species of wild animals. Braddock becomes so shocked and curious that Moreau explains to him that he has invented a serum with a genetic human gene that can transform many wild animals into human beings giving them human characteristics. Braddock finds himself threatened by both the manimals and the sinister Moreau, who he suspects has plans to experiment on him.
(Taken from the official synopsis).


101 Films' release presents an AVC-encoded 1.85:1 image that appears to utilise a dated master, but it looks pretty good for the most part. The film features a rather subdued, almost muddy palette that is well-rendered on the Blu-ray. Flesh tones look natural enough and the jungle environments provide a bit of colour now and then. Detail is reasonable, if not exemplary, and the image hasn't been scrubbed of grain. With that said, the grain doesn't look entirely natural, instead looking coarse and overly-processed. I honestly can't rule out a bit of sharpening here, but there don't appear to be any terribly obvious edge halos and the like, so it's possible that it's just noise baked into the master. There are a number of film artefacts, but nothing too distracting given the film's age. The screen captures below provide a fairly good indicator of what to expect with this one. It's not going to blow your socks off, but if you're a fan it should prove a better option than one of the old standard-definition releases.


A functional if uninspiring LPCM 2.0 track is included, but in all honestly I can't imagine that The island of Dr. Moreau had a particularly fantastic sound mix to begin with. The Stereo track does the basics well enough though, delivering strong, intelligible dialogue, even if dynamic range and presence are limited. There's not a lot of separation (if any) and a lack of bass means that there's no real weight to any of the effects, but again I suspect that to be due to the source more than anything else. Thankfully distortion, hiss or other audio artefacts are not an issue, so we should at least be thankful for small mercies. I'm honestly struggling for something to say about this track; there aren't any major audio issues, but neither is there anything memorable about it.


Not a sausage.


This marked the first time I'd ever watched The Island of Dr. Moreau from beginning to end, and although I'm glad to have crossed it off of the list I won't be returning to it any time soon. It's a perfectly acceptable 'cautionary tale' that sticks reasonably close to the Wells novel, with decent performances from Lancaster and York, but it simply didn't float my boat. In all honestly it struggled to hold my attention for the duration, and I found myself drifting in and out at times. It's the sort of movie that one could easily have on in the background on a lazy Sunday afternoon while doing other things. 101 Films' disc is decidedly average on all counts, but that's somewhat mitigated by the budget price-point so you still might want to check it out if you're a hardcore fan.

* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

 The Island of Dr. Moreau
 The Island of Dr. Moreau
 The Island of Dr. Moreau
 The Island of Dr. Moreau
 The Island of Dr. Moreau
 The Island of Dr. Moreau