Philly Film Screenings Top — 09 February 2015 » Written by

Friday, February 13th:

Danger After Dark and PhilaMOCA present:


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U.S.A., 2014
97 Minutes
Directed by David Gregory
Danger After Dark’s Travis Crawford will be in attendance to introduce the film.

Come out and see the film at it’s second tour stop!

Friday, February 13. Doors 7:30, Movie 8:00, $10 admission
Advance tickets:


About the film:
Director Richard Stanley began the 1990s with two visually striking features that became quick cult favorites among genre film fans — the TERMINATOR-influenced shocker HARDWARE, and the mystical and ethereal horror film DUST DEVIL, set in Stanley’s native South Africa. When New Line Cinema announced that they were green-lighting Stanley’s ambitious new adaptation of H.G. Wells’s novel THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, with the legendary Marlon Brando in the mad scientist title role, it seemed like an ideal match between a unique filmmaker’s passion project and a courageous studio willing to back his vision. Of course, the final result was a total disaster, and one of the worst films of the decade — and it didn’t even have Stanley’s name on it as a director. LOST SOUL: THE DOOMED JOURNEY OF RICHARD STANLEY’S ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU is a simultaneously gripping and often riotously funny new documentary that looks back at one of the most infamously cursed film productions of recent decades, a horror-fantasy with behind-the-scenes chaos that was far more nightmarish than anything that would wind up on film, and far more surreal and almost unbelievable than the most outlandish fiction. Plagued by hurricanes that destroyed the remote Australian sets, an actor (Val Kilmer) whose egomania was running rampant, and a certain sense of creative paralysis, Stanley (who consulted his personal warlock for a magic spell to save the production) was fired by New Line a few days into the shooting…but the story doesn’t end there. The studio replaced Stanley with veteran director John Frankenheimer (THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE), who was saddled with an out-of-control production he was unable to tame — Brando donned kabuki make-up and an array of inexplicable headdresses, and refused to appear unless he was accompanied by Nelson de la Rosa, “the world’s smallest man” (as well as an off-set sex maniac), and Kilmer’s narcissism was off the charts (before his death, Frankenheimer quipped, “There are two things I will never do in my life. I will never climb Mount Everest, and I will never work with Val Kilmer again.”). And Stanley? After being sacked, he never got on the plane the studio had booked for him. Instead, he simply wandered off into the jungle…and now there are rumors on set that he has returned in disguise to sabotage the film that was taken away from him. Director David Gregory’s documentary has been a festival favorite in recent months at Fantastic Fest, London’s FrightFest, and Lincoln Center’s Scary Movies, and it’s easy to see why — joining the ranks of such other non-fiction works as LOST IN LA MANCHA and HEARTS OF DARKNESS in its portrait of a film shoot that has spun wildly and disastrously out of control, LOST SOUL is the ultimate horror movie for anyone that’s ever worked in film production, and a compelling glimpse into that specific kind of creative mania for everyone else. Featuring interviews with Stanley, the surviving cast and crew members who could bring themselves to talk about the experience, and various other traumatized parties, LOST SOUL is the documentary equivalent of a freeway pile-up that you just can’t turn away from. One of the year’s best. — Travis Crawford


About Author

Ryan Silberstein

Ryan is the co-founder of Filmhash, and has been writing thoughtful film reviews and pop culture commentary on and off for nine years. He spends his days at a company named one of the best to work for in the Philadelphia area. His other interests include comics, exotic coffees, experimental beer, discovering new music, and books.

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