Tag Archives: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

HALLOWEEN WITH DAN CURTIS

Jack Palance and THE Billie Whitelaw in Dan Curtis' Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Jack Palance and THE Billie Whitelaw in Dan Curtis’ Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Dan Curtis was well-known for his Dark Shadows television series, the original Night Stalker telefilm and its sequel The Night Strangler. Throw in The Norliss Tapes, Trilogy of Terror and about a dozen more made-for-tv exercises in the macabre.  

In keeping with Balladeer’s Blog’s overall theme here’s a look at four of Curtis’ overlooked horror productions, ranging from excellent to laughable.

Dr Jekyll and Mr HydeDR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE (1968) – Believe it or not Jack Palance does a decent job as the dual title figure in this made for tv movie which also starred Denholm Elliott, Oskar Homolka and BILLIE WHITELAW, who was introduced in this production. 

This rendition of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is top quality for a 1968 television effort and reflects the best elements of Curtis’ then-current Dark Shadows but without the frequent on-air gaffes that plagued that live broadcast.  

The story is very nicely adapted with just the right amount of foggy London streets, murders and increasingly obscene behavior from Edward Hyde. One of the best features of this Dan Curtis treasure is the way it retains Robert Louis Stevenson’s oft-neglected point that it was Jekyll behind the horror all along – Hyde was simply the “mask” that gave free reign to the dark urges Jekyll suppressed in his everyday “respectable” life. Continue reading

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BAD MOVIE PAGE: DR JEKYLL’S DUNGEON OF DEATH (1979)

This poster is much more exciting than the movie itself

 DOCTOR JEKYLL’S DUNGEON OF DEATH (1979)- CategoryEnjoyably bad but not fun-bad enough for my highest rating.        

 It’s a heart-warming little movie about a mad scientist (are there any other kind?) who is a descendant of the original Dr Jekyll. He’s using a new version of the family formula on human guinea pigs who then engage in fierce martial-arts battles in his dungeon laboratory. Some of those unfortunate human subjects are provided to him via a covert arrangement with the local prison while others are snatched off the street for him by his regulation  hulking, simple-minded lab assistant.  

The best part is that he plans to use these kung-fu versions of Mr Hyde as super-soldiers to help win the Vietnam War! Well, it’s better than anything either Johnson or Nixon came up with! Actually, the movie goes to great pains to Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies