Director: David Gregory
Cast: Richard Stanley, Fairuza Balk, Robert Shaye
Spoilers Within: No
Originally posted 1st July 2016 on Letterboxd.
Call it schadenfreude because I really enjoy documentaries that detail on-set misery and disputes, and Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey… has first-person accounts of these verbal and physical altercations in cranial ice-buckets.
Based on the infamous remake of The Island of Dr. Moreau, the documentary is composed of interviews with core members of the cast and crew speaking very candidly about their hellish experience, which includes monsoons, familial suicide, hyenas, infiltrations, costumed drug parties and huge egos (mostly from Marlon Brando). The more the doc delves into the troubled production, the more bizarre it gets. Tales about Val Kilmer’s narcissism, John Frankenheimer’s hostility, and the aforementioned idiosyncrasies of Brando (who comes across as one of the most peculiar A-listers ever) keep it a brisk, informative pace, while never feeling as though it’s a personal attack on any of them. It’s an honest, balanced account of what went down on the doomed studio creation.
It’s not the most essential documentary – though it would be the most essential on this subject – but it’s an amusing insight that has enough personal anecdotes to make it worthwhile. If anything, it’s made me want to watch The Island of Dr. Moreau, and I can’t tell if that’s a wise choice or not. I’ll find out soon enough.