New Release: Island of Lost Souls Blu-ray and DVD

Release Date: Oct. 25, 2011
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion

Island of Lost Souls movie scene

Charles Laughton takes science into his own hands in Island of Lost Souls.

A twisted treasure from Hollywood’s pre-Code horror heyday, the 1932 film Island of Lost Souls is a cautionary tale of science run amok, adapted from H. G. Wells’s novel The Island of Doctor Moreau.

In one of his first major movie roles, Charles Laughton plays a mad doctor conducting ghastly genetic experiments on a remote island in the South Seas, much to the fear and disgust of the shipwrecked sailor (Richard Arlen) who finds himself trapped there.

Directed by Erle C. Kenton (House of Frankenstein) and elegantly shot by Karl Struss (a two-time cinematography Oscar winner for 1927’s Sunrise and 1941’s Aloma of the South Seas), the movie also features groundbreaking makeup effects and a gruesome co-starring turn by Bela Lugosi.

The Blu-ray and DVD feature a high-definition digital restoration of the uncut theatrical version (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition) from Criterion, as well as the following extras:

  • audio commentary by film historian Gregory Mank, author of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff and Hollywood’s Maddest Doctors
  • new video conversation among filmmakers John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), Oscar-winning makeup artist Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London,Videodrome) and genre expert Bob Burns
  • new interviews with horror film historian David J. Skal (The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror) and filmmaker Richard Stanley (the original director of the ill-fated 1996 remake of The Island of Dr. Moreau)
  • new interviews with Devo founding members Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh, whose manifesto is rooted in themes from Island of Lost Souls
  • theatrical trailer
  • booklet featuring an essay by critic Christine Smallwood


Buy or Rent Island of Lost Souls
Amazon graphic
DVD | Blu-ray
DVD Empire graphicDVD | Blu-ray Movies Unlimited graphicDVD | Blu-ray Netflix graphic

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.