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Friday, June 14, 2013

Terror Is A Man (1959)

First there was Island of Lost Souls (1932) which took an H.G. Wells story and made it come alive in all its terror and horror.  Not surprisingly, someone would set out to remake it over twenty years later.  Terror is a Man is the result.  [NOTE: This was also remade in 1977 and 1996 as The Island of Dr. Moreau.]  Unfortunately, this version comes nowhere near the 1932 classic.

First of all, they start with a William Castle-like disclaimer that a warning bell will sound during the film before scenes too horrific to watch are coming up.  It is suggested that the faint of heart close their eyes until they hear the bell again.  Needless to say, I kept my eyes wide open and there wasn't a single scene that merited this kind of warning.  Boo hiss!

The main problem with Terror is a Man is that it has a weak script where not much happens for most of the film.  They needed to get into the meat of the story right away and this simply doesn't happen.  With a run time of only 89 minutes one would think it would be helpful to move the story along.  Unfortunately this is not the case.

Director Gerardo de Leon does a decent job with the material he's been given. Furthermore, the actors do a fine job all around.  The problem is that no one has much material to work with.  After having enjoyed the 1932 classic I was so disappointed in Terror is a Man.  Stick with the original and also watch the 1996 version with Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer.  They are the best of the bunch.


For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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