Sunday, 25 July 2021

The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll

Wyrd Britain reviews Hammer's 'The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll'.
Between 1957 and 1964 Hammer director Terence Fisher worked his way through pretty much all the great monsters of horror - 'The Curse of Frankenstein' (1957), 'Dracula' (1958), 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' (1959), 'The Mummy' (1959), 'The Curse of the Werewolf' (1961) 'The Phantom of the Opera' (1962), 'The Gorgon' (1964) - and in 1960 he brought Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' to the screen from a screenplay by Wolf Mankowitz ('The Day the Earth Caught Fire' & 'Casino Royale') with considerably less success than he did those earlier movies.

In 'The Two Faces of Dr Jekyll'  we find Paul Massie, a Canadian actor with a short history of appearances in British movies of this time, labouring under some ridiculous fake facial hair, as the driven and slightly deranged Dr Henry Jekyll attempting to "free the creature within" at which he succeeds with, for those around him at least, terrifying results unleashing his suave and utterly sociopathic alter ego Edward Hyde.

Wyrd Britain reviews Hammer's 'The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll'.

Wyrd Britain reviews Hammer's 'The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll'.
Massie, as Jekyll, is a bit of a ham but comes alive with wide eyed malice as Hyde whilst those around him, including Dawn Addams ('The Vampire Lovers') as Kitty Jekyll, Christopher Lee as the scrounging, caddish Paul Allen and David Kossoff ('The Mouse That Roared') s Dr Littauer, flounder against an uninspired script that despite some typically garish nightclub scenes and a tour of the lowlights of London never really manages to elicit much of a spark from neither cast nor director.


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