The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)

The Island of Dr. Moreau is a 1977 American science fiction horror film about a scientist who attempts to convert animals into human beings. It is the second English-language adaptation (after Island of Lost Souls) of the 1896 H. G. Wells novel of the same name.

via Wikipedia

The Island of Dr. Moreau is originally a novel by H. G. Wells, but has made into a movie several times, the most recent one at the time of writing is a 1996 version of the same name. This story is not new to me, I’ve watched this movie before, but watched it again since it was free on YouTube.

It it obvious from the beginning that something strange is going on on this island, but it is kept quiet at least for a little while. Our protagonist struggles with this since he has no where to go, but plays nice to his host, not fully accepting what is going on.

I will say that this is a somewhat dated story, as cinema and storytelling has moved on from “mad scientists” and “deserted remote islands”, at least to a certain degree. It is decent enough background noise for an afternoon, however.

My Ranking: ★ ★

Rogue (2007)

A handful of tourists looking for adventure get more than they bargained for when they cross paths with a massive man-eating beast in this thriller. Pete McKell (Michael Vartan) is a writer for an American travel magazine who has been assigned to write a story about vacationing in rugged Northern Australia. Pete signs up for a cruise along a river that’s home to a large crocodile population, with tough but pretty Kate Ryan (Radha Mitchell) serving as guide. Pete soon finds he’s roughing it in the Aussie wilds with an eclectic variety of travelers, including Russell (John Jarratt), who is dealing with the death of his wife; Simon (Stephen Curry), a tactless amateur photographer; and Allen (Geoff Morrell), a member of the British upper crust making the trip with his ailing spouse (Heather Mitchell) and their rambunctious daughter (Mia Wasikowska). While Kate’s former husband, who also works on the river, makes a pest of himself in the early stages of the voyage, the travelers soon find they have more to worry about when their craft is attacked by a massive 25-foot crocodile, who is just clever enough to know how to trap its prey before enjoying them for dinner.

via IMDB

Based on a true story (via another video linked below) Rogue is a creature feature with an oversized crocodile predator harrassing a group of tourists in Australia. While the real story did occur in Australia on the Finniss river which is so deep it looks black. Like most places in Australia it is prone to crocodile attacks.

However, as a movie it is not my favorite crocodile movie (that one goes to Lake Placid featuring Betty White), but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a bad movie either, it was entertaining to me. None of the actors are particularly outstanding either for their performances or notoriety. It’s not a bad way to spend an hour and 40 minutes, but there are better.

My Ranking: ★ ★

Missing 411: The Hunted (2019)

Hunters have disappeared from wildlands without a trace for hundreds of years. David Paulides presents the haunting true stories of hunters experiencing the unexplainable in the woods of North America.

via IMDB

Missing 411: The Hunted is a sequel to the documentary Missing 411. This one focuses on hunters that have gone missing or finding the unexplainable (while David Paulides does have an interest in Big Foot this documentary does not mention it specifically, just oddities that have no explanation as of yet).

Most hunters were tracking their prey and never returned, despite being avid outdoorsmen. Others encountered something they were unable to explain away, sometimes with corroborating evidence such as pictures or other witnesses.

As with the previous Missing 411 documentary, there is a playlist that continues to highlight some of the stories that David Paulides has documented throughout his research (and books!) which I continue to enjoy on YouTube.

My Ranking: ★ ★ ★

Missing 411 (2016)

A documentary that chronicles the similar disappearances of five children in the wilds of North America, across multiple decades.

via IMDB

David Paulides (wiki) is a former police officer, investigator, and author of a book series, Missing 411. These books chronicle missing persons cases from all over North America. This movie is a documentary focusing on a few of those missing person cases.

I found out about this documentary through another Youtube channel that has a primary focus on dark, disturbing occurrences that often feature missing persons. I did attempt to track down some of the Missing 411 books, but have yet to find any (I have a book review blog, if I do manage to find one, I will post there.).

Some of the missing persons are found alive, some are found dead, and some are not found at all. The weird part is how they went missing in the first place, and then where the person was found (if they were found at all).

Some persons are found several miles away from where they went missing, in a time period that does not allow for that amount of travel. Think of a toddler traveling several miles on their own within an hour or so. There’s little explanation.

The documentary features interviews with friends and family and the rescue workers and investigators that were involved in the disappearances with footage of the area where the person went missing. It’s a fascinating look at what can happen in the wilds of North America.

My Ranking: ★ ★ ★

Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

Wikipedia:

Resident Evil: Afterlife is a 2010 action horror film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. The film marks Anderson’s return to direct in the Resident Evil film series, after the first film. A direct sequel to Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), it is the fourth installment in the Resident Evil film series, which is loosely based on the video game series of the same name, and the first to be shot in 3D. It stars Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Shawn Roberts, Spencer Locke, Boris Kodjoe, and Wentworth Miller.

The story continues with Alice now targeting the head of the Umbrella Corporation along with her many clones. However, not all goes as planned, survivors are disappearing, and Alice herself has finally been cured of the T virus that has made her superhuman.

More survivors are holed up in a prison awaiting rescue from Arcadia, the ship and sanctuary promised over the radio. Alice arrives and of course all hell breaks loose forcing all involved to abandon the prison and make the dangerous trek to the Arcadia, only to find the ship seemingly abandoned as well.

The secret of the Arcadia is revealed, only leaving more questions rather than answering them altogether, but eventually giving everyone left a sense of hope for the future…

My Ranking: ★ ★ ★

Get it on Amazon

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

Wikipedia:

Resident Evil: Extinction is a 2007 action horror film directed by Russell Mulcahy and written by Paul W. S. Anderson. A direct sequel to Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), it is the third installment in the Resident Evil film series, which is loosely based on the Capcom survival horror video game series of the same name. The film follows the heroine Alice, along with a group of survivors from Raccoon City, as they attempt to travel across the Mojave desert wilderness to Alaska and escape a zombie apocalypse.

A continuation of Apocalypse, Extinction proves that the T virus has spread throughout the country and survivors keep on the move to stay alive, but there may be a sanctuary out there.

However, Alice is again detained by the Umbrella Corporation, she’s the only one who has successfully bonded with the T virus and they want to know why, thus her presence is a danger to anyone she encounters.

The numbers of the undead rise to include animals, and the danger is all too real. Will Alice escape a third time? Will the survivors continue to survive? The story continues…

I like this movie series in general, but my favorite is still the original movie, because I can rewatch it again and again and not be, well bored comes to mind, but I think movie lovers will know what I’m talking about.

My Ranking: ★ ★ ★

Get it on Amazon

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

Wikipedia:

Resident Evil: Apocalypse is a 2004 action horror film directed by Alexander Witt and written by Paul W. S. Anderson. A direct sequel to Resident Evil (2002), it is the second installment in the Resident Evil film series, which is loosely based on the video game series of the same name. The film marks Witt’s feature directorial debut; Anderson, the director of the first film, turned down the job due to other commitments, though stayed on as one of its producers. Milla Jovovich reprises her role as Alice, and is joined by Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine and Oded Fehr as Carlos Oliveira.

While Resident Evil (the first one) is my favorite so far, that doesn’t mean that the sequels are bad, far from it. Apocalypse continues the plot as the virus spirals out of control from the Hive into Raccoon City above.

Milla Jovovich returns to play Alice, who is now infected with the virus herself, but in a very different way from the zombies. She teams up with the survivors to pull off a rescue mission and escape the city before it’s overrun.

It’s not that easy when zombies and lickers are around every corner, plus Umbrella isn’t just experimenting on Alice, and by morning Raccoon City will be sanitized…the story continues.

My Ranking: ★ ★ ★

Get it on Amazon

Resident Evil (2002)

Wikipedia:

Resident Evil is a 2002 action horror film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. The film stars Mila Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crewes, and Colin Salmon. It is the first installment in the Resident Evil film series, which is loosely based on the video game series of the same name.

This film is the first in a series starring Milla Jovovich, she is the only recurring actress and character throughout the series. The movies are based on the video game for the PlayStation.

It’s a zombie movie to put it simply.

But it is so much more than just a zombie movie. This first film is probably the most well known of the series and has been on TV on occasion. It’s also a bit blood and gore (dead people eating live people, gun fights, and gory injuries), but not graphic; the camera doesn’t linger on the death scenes but continues moving with the plot.

The mystery of the Umbrella Corporation, who Alice (Milla Jovovich) really is, and what exactly happened at the Hive slowly unravels throughout the movie, and at the end…well it doesn’t really end, the next movie starts (sort of).

I have previously admitted to a fondness of dark movies, and this is certainly one of those. Also, this all started because I found a 4 in 1 DVD of the Resident Evil film series, so be prepared to see reviews of all four.

My Ranking: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Get it on Amazon

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Wikipedia:

The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 American mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard, written by Akiva Goldsman, and based on Dan Brown’s 2003 best-selling novel of the same name. The first in the Robert Langdon film series, the film stars Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow, Jean Reno and Paul Bettany. In the movie, Robert Langdon, a professor of religious symbology from Harvard University, is the prime suspect in the grisly and unusual murder of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. In the body, the police find a disconcerting cipher and start an investigation. A noted British Grail historian named Sir Leigh Teabing tells them that the actual Holy Grail is explicitly encoded in Leonardo da Vinci’s wall painting, The Last Supper. Also searching for the Grail is a secret cabal within Opus Dei, an actual prelature of the Holy See, who wish to keep the true Grail a secret to prevent the destruction of Christianity.

As Robert Langdon puts it at the end of the movie, “It’s whatever you believe”, and while the question proposed throughout the movie is controversial, it does make for a good movie. I would liken it to Indiana Jones and National Treasure movies as they are all a search for “treasure” of one kind or another.

Symbols, codes, clues, and secret societies fill this movie with intrigue and interest. I also love all the history (however true it actually is) reported throughout the movie to prove the religious theory that the Holy Grail isn’t an object, it’s a person.

I also love the ending, where everything is revealed, and all the mysteries are (somewhat) laid to rest. Tom Hanks, while not a favorite actor, is one I do enjoy watching on the big screen, and Ian McKellen has been in some great movies too. Paul Bettany even makes an appearance. No matter what you believe, it does make a good story and gives us all a little food for thought.

My Ranking: ★ ★ ★ ★

Get it on Amazon.

Binge-Watching YouTube: Bondi Vet

Wikipedia:

Bondi Vet is an Australian factual television series. It follows the lives of veterinary surgeon Chris Brown at the Bondi Junction Veterinary Hospital (near Bondi Beach), and emergency veterinarian Lisa Chimes at the Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH), in the Sydney suburb of North Ryde.

Also featured on Bondi Vet are Andrew Marchevsky, a specialist surgeon at SASH, and Tim Faulkner of the Australian Reptile Park at Somersby on the New South Wales central coast.

I recently came across a veterinary series on YouTube. This is an actual TV series (see the Wiki article) that has been converted into YouTube videos. There are currently 5 seasons on YouTube (2 – 7), plus other videos and series (Vet on the Hill).

I’ve been binge watching this channel for a few weeks and am only now starting to see reruns. I love it.

It’s not a graphic series, it doesn’t focus on the surgeries, though you do see some blood and insides. They film in such a way that you don’t see the incisions or a lot of guts, but you see the outcomes and can follow what’s going on.

My Ranking: ★ ★ ★ ★

Get Season One on Amazon

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