"Dr. Moreau's House of Pain"
Ladies and gentlemen,
it's time to be afraid. Be very afraid.
Not because of the scariness
of the content you're about to see if you're dumb enough to rent
you a copy of "Dr. Moreau's House of Pain," but
because of how magnificently puerile and lousy the content is.
The only thing scary
about "Dr. Moreau's House of Pain" is that it got made
in the first place.
So what we have here
is the story of a young man with a rare blood disease. And
when that young man heads out to get that rare blood disease cured
by a fellow named Dr. Moreau, he goes missing.
His brother, thusly,
sets out in search of our diseased young man, and what he finds
defies explanation--an island populated solely by half-human, half-animal
beings called "manimals" and their deranged genius creator,
Who am I kidding? This
doesn't defy explanation. This no more defies explanation
than the number of fingers on our right hands. It says right
on the back of the box that this is some kind of sequel to H.G.
Wells' classic literary work: "The Island of Doctor Moreau."
Which, frankly scares me, and I'll tell you why shortly.
So then, the brother,
Eric, manages to find his brother, who has become a manimal himself,
and thus convinces the other manimals to rise up against Moreau
and rejoin civilzation.
Which is a pathologically
stupid idea anyway--where, exactly, will they go, the suburbs? I
can just see that one:
see the new family who moved in across the street? I swear
the husband looks like a pig and the children have been digging
in our garbage for the last three hours. They killed a raccoon
that was going after it about fifteen minutes ago."
So as to why this scares
me green, in case you haven't been reading the above captions I
add in, or you haven't seen them yet, this has been directed by
Charles Band. Longtime horror divas will know right away,
Charles Band is the man responsible for a goodish chunk of Full
Moon Entertainment's direct to video library, among them the entire
Puppet Master series, Tomb of Terror, Birth Rite, and a horde of
others, on display here for the truly obsessed among you:
You're going to put a
classic work of literature, from H.G. Wells, no less, the father
of modern American science fiction, in the hands of a man whose
primary responsibility for the last thirty odd years has been direct
to video titles that virtually no one has ever heard of.
Why am I forced to think
that this can't possibly end well?
This is like putting
a Ferrari in the hands of a Hyundai repairman. This is roughly
akin to having a Piper Cub pilot fly an SR-71 Blackbird. Just
because he can work a calculator, he is not qualified as a quantum
physicist. It just doesn't WORK.
And it really doesn't
work well. The first ten minutes watch like a poorly done
forties detective picture, complete with lines like "dame,"
"gumshoe," and "clam up." In fact, the
more you watch, the more it looks like Dick Tracy with more blood,
primary colors and DeSotos and all.
And of course, it's not
a Charles Band picture until an unknown actress removes her top.
Charles covers this particular waterfront within the first seven
The ending packs more
blood, violence and disgusting things than you thought could be
packed into a measly five minutes of film. There's even a
small but not too unexpected surprise waiting.
The special features
include merely a pair of trailers for Doctor Moreau's House of Pain
and Puppet Master: The Legacy.
All in all, Doctor
Moreau's House of Pain is indeed what you'd expect from the truly
brainless idea of giving the keys to major literary fiction to a
Z-grade hack who wouldn't know quality cinema if it crawled up his
pant leg and started licking him.
House of Pain
Peter Donald Badalamenti II .... Gallagher
John Patrick Jordan .... Eric Carson
Lorielle New .... Alliana
Steve Quimby .... Johnny Q
GRADE: 1 star *