HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
Flesh Feast
Gerald's Game
Crocodile Dundee II
Baaghi
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype In Two MindsBuy this film here.
Year: 1980
Director: Charles B. Griffith
Stars: Oliver Reed, Sunny Johnson, Maia Danziger, Virgil Frye, Mel Welles, Kedrick Wolf, Jackie Coogan, Corinne Calvet, Sharon Compton, Denise Hayes, Charles Howerton, Dick Miller, Jack Warford, Lucretia Love, Ben Frommer, Mickey Fox, Tony Cox
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dr Henry Heckyl (Oliver Reed) is a podiatrist who suffers a sad affliction: he is hideously ugly, so much so that he is shunned in the street, has no friends, and has never had a love affair. He's so depressed about this that he is considering suicide, but goes to work today anyway, if only to catch a glimpse of the woman, Coral Careen (Sunny Johnson), who takes the same bus as he does every morning. He wishes he could get to know her, but looking as he does is well aware that she would never agree to that, so what if there were some way of changing his appearance for the better?

Despite what you may think from that premise, this was a comedy, and made by Roger Corman associate Charles B. Griffith, the man who thought up The Little Shop of Horrors among other low budget cult favourites. Here he was working for Cannon who at this stage were making inroads into the global film market through sheer weight of product rather than any notable quality, and apparently even for them they knew a turkey when they saw it for Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype was barely released. Those who did catch it understood all too well why: in tying to capture the spirit of those anything goes on a shoestring efforts of Griffith's renown, they created an utter mess.

Seriously, it was barely coherent and when you could follow it, assuming you still had the inclination, the notion that this was meant to be funny the most confounding part of it. Indeed, stretches of it were played curiously straight, as if the lead character's soul searching was sincere in its examination of the lovelorn, but then Griffith would throw in a wacky scene which would embroil the film in confusion once again. As you could tell from the title, this was yet another Jekyll and Hyde spoof, one part Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll to one part The Nutty Professor; this time the doctor was given a potion rather than inventing one himself, by a fellow doctor at his clinic who is administering his creation to fat women to make them thin.

But when Heckyl takes it, deciding against the suicide option for the moment, it has an unexpected effect: he turns into Oliver Reed. Someone who looks like Oliver Reed anyway, which makes a change from Heckyl's usual pale green neanderthal appearance, but also has the unfortunate effect of making him mentally unbalanced. So when he thinks he finally has a chance to lose his virginity, he gets carried away and kills the women he's with, thus scuppering his plans and making him a fugitive from the law to boot. There's only one woman who can understand him and she's Coral, funnily enough, with Johnson - who died tragically young four years later - working wonders with a sweet, naive character.

But she's not in the story as much as she should have been, as for the most part Griffith appeared distracted either by his out of control filmmaking, Reed who was turning up to the set drunk, or the guest stars he hired to offer a touch of celebrity sparkle. These included Jackie Coogan in one of his last roles as a sergeant, Corinne Calvert likewise as a potential victim, and Griffith's old buddy Mel Welles as the mad scientist who comes up with the potion in the first place, but as nobody seemed sure of what was being aimed for here they descended into a morass of disjointed sequences and jokes that were eerily unfunny. This was just about worth watching to witness a cast all at sea, but considering the talent Cannon had assmbled you might well have expected more than the horror spoof equivalent of a car crash. And check out that ending, which seemed to owe more to Altered States than to Robert Louis Stevenson - no wonder they apologised to him in the credits. Music by Richard Band.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1106 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: