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 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
Last week Balladeer’s Blog examined the greatest silent horror film shorts from 1896 to 1909. This time around I’m presenting even more Halloween season fun with a look at early cinema’s horror treats from 1910 to 1915.
FRANKENSTEIN (1910) – The Edison Company’s 1910 version of the Mary Shelley classic ran just 16 minutes and featured a very unique creation scene. In a high-tech chamber Dr Frankenstein caused organs and body parts to form around, and attach themselves to, a skeleton. The monster slowly took shape as the anatomy was filled in around the skeletal frame, like Freddy Kreueger when revived in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 or the creepy guy in the first Hellraiser movie. This flick ended with the Frankenstein Monster (Charles Ogle) being killed by catching sight of its own reflection in the mirror.
THE BRIDE OF THE HAUNTED CASTLE (1910) – A woman is sealed in a haunted castle to be the bride of a living skeleton. 15 minutes long.
THE DETACHABLE MAN (1910) – This 7 minute Pathe film features a man with the macabre ability to detach and reattach his various limbs… No, I don’t know if he could detach that, too.
MUSEUM SPOOKS (1910) – At night in a creepy museum the figures in the paintings emerge from their frames and cavort around the halls until sunup. 6 minutes in length.
THE QUEEN OF SPADES (1910) – Deutsche Bioscop produced this German film. It was a Continue reading