Fragmented Fish July 2015

moreau
“This is what you want, this is what you get,” sneered John Lydon on Public Image Limited’s The Order of Death, a post-apocalyptic song for a post-apocalyptic film. We’re talking Hardware, Richard Stanley’s debut feature, a 1990 sci fi thriller about a murderous robot on the loose, slicing and dicing to an industrial gothic soundtrack. While PIL’s caustic anthem is one of the film’s lasting memories, Hardware also featured Iggy Pop as “Angry Bob, the man with an industrial dick.” Stanley followed it up with the near incomprehensible Dust Devil, before being handed the keys to Hollywood. The big budget remake of The Island of Dr Moreau starred Val Kilmer and wait for it, Marlon Brando. It’s also been ranked as one of the worst movies ever made. Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr Moreau (Monster Pictures) is the frequently hilarious account of Stanley’s nervous breakdown. Stanley wanted to create a big budget art film. The studio didn’t. So they replaced him, bringing in the autocratic John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate). Val Kilmer fresh from his Top Gun success acted like a spoiled diva, Brando meanwhile gleefully messed with every aspect of the production, painting his face white, wearing an ice bucket on his head and demanding the 71cm tall Nelson De la Rosa be included in all his scenes. Yes, Brando created ‘mini me.’ Stanley meanwhile snuck back on set unnoticed in a mutant costume. It doesn’t get much crazier than this mess.

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