Hollywood Gothique
The Vault

Jekyll and Hyde – Together Again?

It seems there is yet another version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s perennial tale of the duality of man. I’m reminded of John Malkovich’s dismay in the film OBJECT OF BEAUTY: after sitting through a late night flm with his wife (played by Andie MacDowell), he wonders aloud, “How many times can they remake DR. JEKYLL AND MR HYDE?” (Of course, Malkovich hardly helped matters by going on to appear in the MARY REILLY, a piece of Jekyll-and-Hyde revisions told from the point of view of a made in the Jekyll household.)

Anyway, the new version is directed by special effects supervisor John Carl Buechler, whose previous directorial experience is with slasher movies like FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART 7 (you know, the one with the girl with psychic powers, who kicks Jason’s ass?). Not surprisingly, the offical website for the movie features a gore gallery.

What is interesting about the film is that Tony Todd (known to horror fans for the title role in CANDY MAN) plays Jekyll and Hyde in this version of the tale, which has a contemporary setting. No one ever tells Stevenson’s tale as written (who can blame them when most of the interestng action takes place off-stage?), and this one is no exception, adding bloody murders, a few female characters, and making Jekyll’s transformation an unintended side effect of his search for a cure for heart disease.

In today’s market, when low-budget films get little if any theatrical play, this sounds like a direct-to-video title, but the film is getting a few playdates this Friday, September 29, in Memphis, Nashville, and Norfolk. There is also supposed to be a Los Angeles screening in October, but no details are available yet.

To drum up interest, the film is holding a contest. Four silver-topped Mr. Hyde canes have been hidden in the four cities scheduled to screen the film (Nashville, Memphis, Norfolk, and Los Angeles). Clues and rules are available on the film’s website. The winner gets $4,000.