HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
   
 
  Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde Battle Of The Sexes
Year: 1971
Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Ralph Bates, Martine Beswick, Gerald Sim, Lewis Fiander, Susan Brodrick, Dorothy Alison, Ivor Dean, Philip Madoc, Tony Calvin, Irene Bradshaw, Neil Wilson, Paul Whitsun-Jones, Dan Meaden, Virginia Wetherell
Genre: Horror, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is night time in Victorian London, and there is a killer stalking the streets preying on young women. Despite warnings not to go out alone, one prostitute leaves a pub by herself and wanders off home, only to be attacked as she ventures down a shadowy side alley by a tall figure wearing a black cloak. The murderer is none other than Dr Henry Jekyll (Ralph Bates) who hurries back to the laboratory in his home with the organ he has cut from the woman and settles at his writing desk to pen his confession. What experiments has he been conducting? Only a revolutionary new elixir that he hoped would prolong life, but actually has a very different effect...

If awards were given out for film titles, then Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde would have won for its year, at least in the horror category. One of the films produced for the Hammer studios by the team behind The Avengers on television, Brian Clemens (who wrote the ingenious script) and Albert Fennell, it makes you wish their work for the company had yielded more fruit as for the greater part of its running time it proves inventive and slyly humorous. Taking Robert Louis Stevenson's celebrated novel and putting a clever twist on its well worn contrivances results in Dr Jekyll not turning into an animalistic brute, but an attractive woman, supposedly his sister Mrs Hyde (Martine Beswick).

Superbly cast, the film has Jekyll explaining in flashback of how his good intentions went horribly astray. He started out trying to create a panacea for all the diseases striking down Victorians, but his older friend Professor Robertson (Gerald Sim on top form) points out that by the time he's cured them all he'll be an old man - and may even die before completing his task. So Jekyll decides to change his studies to concentrate on prolonging existence, and searches for the secret to eternal life. His first subject is a housefly which manages to live the human equivalent of two hundred years after taking of the potion.

However, there's a special ingredient in the potion that proves hard to find, probably because it can only be drawn from the organs of young women. Here the first of Clemens' real life borrowings is evident, as Jekyll joins forces with infamous grave robbers Burke and Hare (played with sleazy relish by Ivor Dean and Tony Calvin) to get his hands on the bodies he needs. Unfortunately for Jekyll, and yet more unfortunately for the women, Burke and Hare resort to killing to do their work and Burke ends up hanged in the street, giving rise to the amusing observation, "Burke by name and berk by nature!", an allusion to Cockney rhyming slang of the era. Jekyll has an interesting, "by any means necessary" view of his work, really meaning he's prepared to make sacrifices as long as they don't involve his personal security.

So the Jack the Ripper story is brought into play as Jekyll starts killing as his potion takes hold. He is a killer before he initially changes his form, meaning some of the potency of the idea is a little lost, but nevertheless the devious Hyde tries to gain the upper hand when it looks as if she can take over completely. The film may be low budget, but works wonders with use of mirrors and camera trickery to make the transformations believable, and is not afraid to show Jekyll getting in touch with his feminine side as he grows all the more sexually confused. Bates does well as the priggish doctor, but Beswick is a lot more fun as the predatory Hyde, and amusingly conniving. If there's a drawback, it's that once the complications of the situation are set out, the film has nowhere to go but kill off the players, but the presentation is impish enough to carry the flaws. Music by David Whitaker.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6843 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Roy Ward Baker  (1916 - 2010)

Reliable British director who worked his way up from teaboy to assistant to Alfred Hitchcock to overseeing his own hit projects from the 1940s to the 1970s. Making his debut with The October Man, he continued with Morning Departure, Don't Bother To Knock, Inferno, The One That Got Away and what is considered by many to be the best Titanic film, A Night To Remember.

After the failure of The Singer Not the Song in the sixties he turned to television, including episodes of The Avengers, The Saint and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), then to Hammer, where he directed many of the later favourites associated with the studio: Quatermass and the Pit, The Anniversary, The Vampire Lovers, Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. He also made Asylum, Vault of Horror and The Monster Club for Hammer's rivals, then returned for the remainder of his career to TV with episodes of Minder and Fairly Secret Army, among others.

 
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 star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: