Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau Amazon Instant Video Directed by David Gregory Starring Richard Stanley, Fairuza Balk, Marco Hofschneider, and Rob Morrow Severin Films Not Rated | Running Time: 97 Minutes Release Date: February 27, 2015
Twenty years ago, the visionary South African filmmaker Richard Stanley, adored by cult and horror audiences around the world for his uncompromising features Hardware and Dust Devil, ventured into a lush, remote region of Australia to make a film version of a book he had cherished since his youth: The Island of Dr. Moreau, by H.G. Wells. The finished film was released in the summer of 1996, the time when the alien invasion blockbuster Independence Day ruled the box office, but what audiences saw was radically different from what Stanley set out to make. That’s because he didn’t direct a single frame of the film.
The more experienced journeyman John Frankenheimer (Ronin, The Manchurian Candidate) was called in to replaced Stanley only a few days into principal photography for reasons that have since become legend. David Gregory‘s new documentary Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau aims to tell as much of the horrific story behind the operatic unmaking of Stanley’s grandiose and grotesque vision for the latest cinematic iteration of the classic Wells novel as the living participants are willing to recall.
Much like the brain-craving zombies that rise from the grave to torment its main characters, The Return of the Living Dead will never die. The 1985 horror-comedy was spawned from nearly a decade of half-starts, costly lawsuits, and clashing personalities and went on to become one of the most genre films of all time.
For a forthcoming Blu-ray release of the movie in the United Kingdom, DVD distributor Severin Films, the U.S.-based company that has spread its own brand of digital Trioxin over long-buried cult classics such as the original Inglorious Bastards and Richard Stanley’s scorched earth sci-fi horror epic Hardware, has produced a trio of brand new retrospective featurettes looking back at the film’s tortured script development and the creation of its brilliant visual effects and headbanging punk rock soundtrack.