My Island Bro, Dr. Moreau


Other Worlds Austin’s next Orbiter screening is the Texas premiere if ISLAND ZERO on Wednesday, September 20 at Flix Brewhouse.

In the film, a fishing community on a remote Maine island finds itself suddenly cut off from the rest of the world after the ferry stops coming. When people start to vanish, the terrified survivors realize that someone - or something - is hunting them.

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What if you were cut off from the world, stuck on an island with no electricity or cell service and food dwindling? Oh, and something terrifying is hunting you. Who would you want by your side? More specifically, what ONE fictional scientist would you want helping you in this situation and why?

Some of the OWA staff gives you their answers. Next up is Michael Thielvoldt, Programmer and Tour Director:

For my island buddy, I’d choose the incarnation of Dr. Moreau realized in the 1996 adaptation of the H.G. Welles novel of the same name: The Island of Dr. Moreau. An odd choice, perhaps, but let me guide you through my thought process.

The most likely scenario would see Dr. Monreau and myself as the only survivor of some kind of ship catastrophe. In this scenario, I’m assuming Moreau already has the DNA and test subjects necessary to begin his ungodly experiments. From there, the following list ticks off the motivations of my particular choice:

  1. Dr. Moreau is a man of science, a vivisector savante, which is a kind of biological engineer. His specialty is the combining of different animals, often with humans, in the creation of whole new super-species. To put it mildly, he knows how to put things together, an altogether handy trait for someone trapped on an island. The engineering challenge inherent in creating a hyena-swine or satyr-man--for instance--is inexplicably complex and would make say the construction of a coconut radio (a la Gilligan’s Island) peanuts by comparison. Thus, with Dr. Moreau around, we’d surely have a veritable island technoland complete with all the modern-day amenities up and running in no time. Sure, every clunky vehicle, hat, and record player would be perfumed with the saccharine scent of their coconuts parts, but hey that’s the price to pay for island comfort.
  2. Dr. Moreau is the kind of mad scientist who consumes himself in his work. And, while I like to have conversations from time to time, I’ll be damned if I find myself stranded on a remote island only to spend my days ducking some insufferable chatty Cathy. No worries with the surly, work obsessed Dr. M as my island mate. He can play with his bamboo beakers and thermal cyclers while I--I don’t know--build sand castles, or some shit.
  3. Of course we wouldn’t be complete recluses. I’m sure the doctor would need help collecting specimens for his experiments, during which time we could enjoy leisurely tracking/hunting walks while basking in the many discoveries we’re sure to come across on our treks.
  4. Once acquired, these wonderful creatures will become whole new wonderful creatures (well...not exactly “whole” but new...definitely new). Dr. Moreau likes his vivisecting, which means puma-ladies, ape-men, want a sloth-creature? they’re all on the table. The limit is your own imagination! As a result, marooning on an island with Dr. Moreau exploits a hypothetical loophole in that one Dr. Moreau will quickly turn into one Dr. Moreau plus many, many interesting animal-esque friends with which to pass the time. Yes, I concede that a slew of animal-human hybrid beings means that Dr. Moreau and I are not technically alone on the island. But, hey, in verbiage alone two people can never be alone together, technically speaking. And what are hypotheticals really for if not contorting the wordage into an answer whole against the premise? Also, since they’re hybridized creatures and not strictly human, I am considering their presence as something akin to the native island animals from which many of them would be partially constructed.
  5. Now, with a whole band of animal-creatures and a little bit of persistent prodding, I’m sure I could convince the cat-people population to help me realize my long-gestating, live-action, Old Hollywood-stylized musical adaptation of Thundercats: “A Snarf is Born.”
  6. Perhaps it comes from hanging and communicating with so many different species, but a little-known talent of Dr. Moreau’s is that he is a hell of an impressionist, which is a skill and entertainment source that needs no mainland amenities in order to enjoy. He can do a number of different monkey and bird species; he has a surprisingly convincing hippopotamus; a goat; a yak; and even a number of human celebrities. His aging Marlon Brando impression, for instance, well...let’s just say you’d have to hear it to believe it.
  7. Finally, I must consider that heretofore unaddressed detail that the island contains a predatory threat. With Dr. Moreau using the island as his personal genetic melting pot, any native predator wouldn’t stand a chance against an ox-boar, a wolf-bear, or a mare-rhinoceros-man, and thus Moreau’s creations would serve as protection against just about anything that lame natural selection could come up with on its own. In all likelihood, however, that stalking threat would be one of the doctor’s beloved creatures. And, if I have to be perfectly honest with myself, if given the opportunity to go at the claws of a fox-bear witch, I’m going to take it. Because that is a death worth remembering.