Monday, October 18, 2021

The Devil Doll (1936)


Paul Lavond is an escaped inmate from jail, together with disgraced scientist Marcel. They go to his house, where faithful wife Malita is waiting to continue Marcel's work-The shrinking of human beings. He believes this will end world hunger, but so far the process wipes the mind, and creates unthinking people who respond only to the mental will of another. After Marcel's sudden death, Lavond is persuaded to use these 'dolls' in his own quest for vengeance...


The Devil Doll is another gem of 1930s horror, with quite a few tricks up its sleeve. Generally ignored or belittled upon its release, the film has steadily gained a cult following, and is now given the credit it deserves. It's a fun mix of genres, with a revenge story meets mad science, and a dash of romance and family drama too.


While the core storyline is fairly standard stuff, the way Devil Doll handles it is really good. This is a surprisingly mature and intelligent film! I expected Paul Lavond to be a misguided protagonist who goes too far in his revenge, and will die at the end as punishment for his actions. But instead he's a legitimate hero! He is still ambiguous with his actions, but he has a noble streak throughout, and his relationship with his family give him a humanity. Even the way he treats the miniature people is nice, and certainly better than how Malita treats 'em!


The climax itself is divided into a couple of sections. The showdown with the last of Lavond's enemies is handled neatly, and you can feel the growing tension. From here on things take an unexpectedly well turn, meaning here hasn't really been a big spectacle for the climax. Thankfully mad Malita is there to oblige. It does feel a little sudden, and is resolved quickly, but at least t doesn't come from nowhere, and it's a reasonable enough way to end the movie's action.


I thought it was interesting how the movie actually acknowledged how Lavond's quest to prove his innocence actually made him guilty of criminal acts, instead of just brushing it under the rug, and assuming the police don't mind when you paralyse people. The ending is a poignant one, upbeat and emotional, with a bit of sadness as Lavond makes his goodbyes, but perhaps not forever.

Besides the leads, the characters here are a fine bunch, though sometimes suffer from lack of screentime. Th trio of villains who had Lavond framed all those years ago are suitably devious. His daughter meanwhile is a nice girl, but with a real chip on her shoulder, bitter about her father and what his 'criminal' acts did to the family. It's just a shame she appears so little. Each scene is a strong one, but she disappears for almost the entire midsection of the film, and only returns for the ending.


The acting here is good. Lionel Barrymore is a great lead. You really get a feel for his character. Lavond's disguise as Madam Mandilip was funny, but not so goofy that it's hard to take the film seriously. An important thing considering he spends most of the movie in drag. Rafaela Ottiano is wonderfully manic as Malita, and the Bride of Frankenstein (or Cruella de Vil) style hair is fun. Maureen O'Sullivan and Frank Lawton are both alright, though don't get as much to chew on as the others.


Lastly, we come to the effects, which should be the highlight of any movie promising devil dolls. Thankfully this more than lives up to the name. The movie is adorable at first when it's pretending these stiff dog toys are real living animals, but when it gets into the actual miniature work, it's handled really well. The little people get plenty of chances to shine, always in different ways, and they are often interacting with normal sized people, meaning the movie's never taking the easy way out. The female doll did blend a little into the little girl's nose in one scene, but it's the only glitch I saw, and even that was minor and amusing.
 

A film called The Devil Doll could have so easily been disposable pulp fluff, and I'm sure we would have loved it all the same if it was, but Tod Browning really went the extra mile with this film, and put in an admirable amount of effort, giving us a movie that can be easily enjoyed all these years later...

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Mad Love (1935)


Dr. Gogol is a brilliant surgeon, famed for his delicate operations that can bring mobility back to children, sight to the blind, and many other miracles. For months he has admired theatre performer Yvonne from afar, but is dismayed to learn she is retiring to be with her new husband. After a train accident leaves him, pianist Stephen Orlac, with crushed hands, Yvonne begs Gogol to help. He obliges, and performs a hand transplant operation. But Stephen will soon wish he hadn't, when these new hands seem to develop a life of their own...


Mad Love is one of the lesser known horror classics of the 1930s, but still a memorable picture, with many fans, and a good mark left on the genre. An adaption of the Hands of Orlac story (which has seen many straight and loose versions throughout the years, not to mention parodies)

The story gets off to an arresting start with its use of location. The house of horrors themed stage show is a great mix of fun, and theatrical ghoulishness. Everyone there has such a cheery demeanour, and the costumes the staff use are really something! This introduces us to both the leads really well, and we get an instant picture into their personalities, as well as hints for what's to come.


The story progresses well, and while it might take a little long to get to the crux of the story, it's worth the wait, and has some nice scares and drama.

The climax is great! The film's references to Pygmalion, already a potential sign of a classy movie, pay off really well, and the way the villain is stopped is also perfect. The ending however is way too abrupt. It just stops immediately after the leads embrace. No resolution for anything else, just the villain's death, and that's it. We can assume everything that happens next, but it could've been handled in a less rushed manner.


Not so much a problem as a random thought, I did think the movie was a slight downer. This happy couple are all set to settle down, have their second honeymoon, and all that, but then his pianist hands are crushed, and they use their whole fortune to pay, but he can't play anymore, and it takes months just to recover! Oh well, that's life, and I'm sure things get happier for them afterwards. Though what he'll do with his murderer's hands is a good question. I guess he has no choice but to keep 'em. Hands don't grow on trees after all.


Dr. Gogol is a great villain. The film really delves into the psychology behind him. He's presented as a multi-dimensional character. Talented and a boon to those in need of help, but also obsessive, to the point of ignoring his patients over a visit form Yvonne. He starts out genuinely helping her by fixing Stephen's hands, keeping the whole thing hush hush (I imagine discovering your hands used to belong to a murderer is a definite turn-off). But when he sees the effect on his patient's psyche, he sees a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. It's great seeing how his plan comes together, and I appreciate that the movie takes its time with it instead of rushing things in the first act.


Yvonne is a nice, not to mention industrious. She's got a good thing going with her career! It's a shame she's giving it all up to become a full time housewife! He's also clever, picking up on Gogol's obsessive desires almost immediately. Stephen on the other hand is a bit of a mopey mildred, though for purely understandable reasons. His arc is well handled, and though his relationship with his estranged father only gets a couple of scenes, it's plenty, and we get an effective portrait of their dramas together, and how it affects them.

The main highlight of Mad Love is something that doesn't have a lot of screentime, but has gone down as the film's most memorable image-The steel-braced monster. Out of context I was always wondering what this was, and why on Earth Peter Lorre was dressed like that. In context it's a neat touch, and really works! It doesn't exactly convince you of the killer's resurrection as it does for the hapless lead, and I wish it had've appeared more, but for the couple of scenes we get, it's great. Unique, creepy, and diabolical.


One of the negatives I had with the film is that I thought many characters disappeared for large stretches. Also there were too many early on. There's Madame and Mr. Orlac (he barely appears in the first act, and all he did was pat a dog in the first 20 minutes), Gogol, the quirky autographer, the reporter, the killer, the maid with the bird, etc. Things eventually improve, and many of these characters only get a few scenes (and none are bad, mind you, some are great fun!), but the first third can be a bit confusing in this regard.


The acting is great. Peter Lorre delivers a powerhouse performance, perfectly capturing Gogol's growing mental instability, in a believable progression. Colin Clive is decent in his role, and sells the mindset of someone in this bizarre situation, as well as the tragedy of losing his life's talent. Frances Drake is the heart of the film as Yvonne, and does very well, throughout all her character's different emotions. She's a real trooper too, since she has to play the mannequin in some shots, and manages to act completely still despite the presence of a large bird on her shoulder.


On that note, May Beatty is amusing as the comic relief drunk maid, while Sara Haden is lower-key but still funny. Billy Gilbert is amusing in his short role, as is Edward Brophy, definitely playing an against type killer for a movie like this. Some have commented that Ted Healy feels like he wandered in from a different movie, but he does well, even if his character could've been trimmed with no effect. Lastly, Keye Luke gives a good performance, and is a very welcome sight, especially in this kind of role for the time.


Mad Love is a real treat of the decade, and I wish we got more horror movies like this nowadays! The genre is definitely the poorer for it. But 1930s horror can never disappoint too much with classics like these...

Baron Blood (1972)


Baron Blood was my first exposure to the works of Mario Bava. I caught the first half hour on tv as a kid, late at night on SBS. Naturally the film was in a foreign language (German, if I recall correctly), with subtitles. I had great fun with its creepy atmosphere and moments. It's just a shame I was unable to stay up any longer to watch. I was able to, theoretically, but didn't want to push my luck in case I was discovered up past my bedtime watching gruesome horror movies. Now, many years later, I have finally seen the whole picture, and am eager to discuss...


Peter Kleist arrives in his ancestral hometown in the German mountains, and is drawn to the Schloss des Teufels, castle of the infamous Otto von Kleist, aka Baron Blood. After making friends with Eva, the renovator for the property, Peter convinces her to help test out an old parchment he found, which will supposedly resurrect his bloodthirsty ancestor. The spell unfortunately works too well, and a gust of wind sends the spell onto a fire. Now the Baron is once again alive, and free to bring torture and murder to the land...

Baron Blood is a wonderfully spooky horror. You wouldn't actually know to start with, since the film begins in such a cheery way. Lighthearted music, a brightly lit airport, friendly locals, and nice European vistas. Sure enough though the movie does eventually adopt a fitting tone. It may take things a little slowly in that regard, but only to pace itself, and build up anticipation.


The film is a nice length, although the Baron getting two resurrection scenes felt pointless, just there to fill time. They could've been combined, and the movie wouldn't lose anything. That aside, there's never really a lot wrong with the story, and when the bodies start piling up, they do so quite quickly! And lastly, the climax is fun. The villain was diabolical, the torture dungeon was spooky, and the heroes were lucky!

The setting is great, and shooting on location really pays off. The 'Castle of the Devils' is grand, Gothic, and as the characters say it's only $600,000 dollars (including the dungeons)! I wish I could find myself a castle to buy for that much! The spookier the better!


Peter is a traditional friendly and good looking protagonist, and the exact opposite of his ancestor. Eva is likewise nice, and has a good relationship with Peter. Imagine that, doing up the castle of a bloodthirsty madman, then becoming friends and falling for his handsome descendant. She's mostly smart, though has moments of stupidity, like when she's asked if she wants to stay on her own, and only 5 seconds after saying "Yes, I'll be fine, don't worry", ends up on the run from an undead killer.

While these two are generally likeable, they both suffer from one fairly sizable problem-They are assholes! Their careless decision to resurrect a bloodthirsty madman out of curiosity results in the deaths of at least 7 people!

The psychic who briefly offers help for the gang ("I won't help, I won't I won't I won't!...Ok, I will.") is an interesting character. She does get uppity about these guys for bringing the Baron back to life, and yeah it is totally their fault, but it was your innocent witch who wrote the incantation that resurrected him! Thankfully the witch's spirit is happier about it. She bloody better be! As for the psychic, her end is a bit un-proactive. Just get in your car and drive, dumbass!


Next up is the titular Baron. He's an effective villain, violent and homicidal, but in control enough to make plans, and appear suave and well-adjusted when need be. He has a good rapport with his descendant, and is sorry to have to kill him, though will do so happily. As the film trundled along I wondered why the heroes didn't just kill him normally, if the parchment is burned, unless the witch saw fit to curse the Baron with immortality. That is indeed the case, and we see first hand a conventional attempt at killing him.

The castle's creepy manservant Fritz (it was either that or Igor) is a neat presence during the movie's third act. He dies surprisingly quickly after the Baron's resurrection, but I suppose that's ok. After all, you don't need a guy playing scary pranks when you've got the genuine article wandering about.


Peter's uncle Professor Hummel is a decent supporting character. His daughter Gretchen is one of the film's more enigmatic characters. She knows more than she could, and listens in on conversations from afar, like she's planning something. She's also adorable!

Overall the story here is satisfactory. There is one area I feel the plot does disappoint a little in though. The character of Gretchen is a spooky little girl, with some strange habits, and she knows things she couldn't possible know, such as what the Baron looked like without ever having seen his portrait (something the film makes a point to specify). As a kid, I thought maybe she was a reincarnation of the witch who cursed the Baron, and would play a part in his downfall during the climax. She's even a redhead like her! But nothing comes of this, which is a shame. It could've been cool!

There were a couple of other loose ends that left me wondering, such as what the police will do with the investigation after the end. They naturally didn't believe in fairy stories, and I  especially doubt they'll be inclined to now that the Baron's dead again. Maybe the non-existent millionaire Joseph Becker will cop the blame? Though I have an amusing mental image of the heroes explaining to the police just how he died.


The effects work in Baron Blood isn't as prominent as other films, but what there is is great! The violence isn't gory, and perhaps not bloody enough to live up to the title, but there's certainly enough of a body count. The Baron himself is a grisly sight, and he's kept in the shadows just enough. We see him enough to creep us out, but not so much that he loses all impact. There are some other good moments too, like the ending sequence.

The acting here is all good. The English dub is cheesy, but amusing. Antonio Cantafora and Elke Sommer are good leads, while Joseph Cotton is nice as the human Baron, acting both suave and friendly, and intense. I wonder if he was under all the make-up! Probably not, but it'd be fun if he was. The rest of the cast is fine, including the lovely Nicoletta Elmi, who delivers a really neat performance as she puts yet another horror film on her stellar resume.


The score is a mix of different styles. You've got lighthearted and happy tunes, like it's an episode of The Saint or something. Can the kindhearted romantic Baron Blood find love in Italy? Or will his heart wither and die, like so many of his victims? But when the movie buckles down, it has plenty of tense and atmospheric tracks.


Baron Blood isn't a masterpiece or anything, but it does a really good job being what it is-A traditional low-key horror film, with all the tropes you'd want. It's fun to watch on a spooky night in, and is a great horror to introduce kids to the genre with. Might they be scared out of their wits? Perhaps, but kids can be a hardy bunch. After all, look how I discovered the movie!...

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sabirni Centar-The Meeting Point (1989)


Professor Miša is an elderly archaeologist examining some ancient ruins, when a hidden chamber is uncovered. He immediately realises the site's importance, but the strain of the whole endeavour leads to his sudden death. As his callous family moves on, arranging a funeral to coincide with a garrulous wedding, and tearing at each-other for their inheritance, Miša awakes in an ethereal location-The meeting place of the dead. Here are the spirits of all those he knew in life, and he learns about the deeds of the living that have prevented them from moving on to the afterlife...


Sabirni Centar (The Meeting Point) is a fascinating Serbian film. It's a mix of genres, from fantasy, to drama, and comedy. These all mix seamlessly, with the tone never feeling awkward. We can go from goofy in one scene, to solemn in the next,   Some have described it as a Magical Realism film, and while I'm not sure I agree (only because that's a very fiddly term), I can definitely see elements of that sub-genre at play here.


The film presents an effective commentary on human culture, shining a light on the pettiness, greed, and other 'deadly sins' that communities can commit, whether intentionally or not, and the impact they can have. Here the dead cannot find peace due to the actions of the living.

The film does a good job showing   but it's also good at making them fun to watch. If they were genuinely nasty to the core, the film could be a slog, but they're just the right kind of bad that you can have a good chuckle at.  Another thing Sabirni Centar does is show off the Serbian people's partying side/spirit. Where else can you fire a gun up in the air and go "Musica!"?


There's a strong cast of characters here. At first there are a lot of people to remember, and who is who left me scratching my head at times, but you quickly get the hang of everyone and who's related to what. You have sympathetic heroes, craven relations and townsfolk (none of whom are presented as 1-dimensionally evil), and restless but wise spirits.

The plot is a well-paced one, with some twists and turns, a few surprises, and some great concepts. I did expect Miša to do a bit more when he returned to life though. I was expecting there to be a grand adventure to be had, maybe uncovering the secret to the mysterious portal, or keeping it out of the hands of diabolical villains, but it's more low-key than that, with Miša simply returning to give his family and 'friends' a chewing out for their selfish and greedy behaviour, before abruptly dropping dead. I'm generally happy with this direction the plot goes, but I guess I just wish the old guy got the chance to do a bit more.


I also found the spirits' journey to Earth to be a little disappointing. It's great stuff, but feels almost like an afterthought. A very elaborate afterthought, mind you. While Miša just walks through a dark passage and we cut to him back in the land of the living, the others go through a variety of crazy scenes along the way. These include a great mythological gag, which spoke of the intelligent humour on display here. There are also many other historical moments. My only problem is that this section does go on a bit long, and by the time the spirits reach the world of the living, there's only 15 minutes left. They do enough when they get there, and there are some funny and quirky moments, but I did wish there could've been more, and perhaps a little sooner.


While some of what came before may have been a little hurried, the ending itself is fantastic. The loose ends are wrapped up, and everyone gets together back in the meeting place for a calm but grand final scene.


The film's comedy comes from a few places. There are some comic relief characters, like the three clumsy gravediggers(/robbers), but many other characters elicit laughs too, and the curious spirits returning to the land of the living have a lot of amusing moments too. There's slapstick here, wordplay, and more.


The cast do neat jobs, with various different kinds of performances. Rade Marković is a good lead, and while he may look like a frazzled Albert Einstein here, he gets across the drama of the story well, while also having his share of amusing moments. Anica Dobra is beautiful as Miša's deceased wife. Longtime Yugoslav actor Danilo 'Bata' Stojković has a funny role as the leech-enthused town doctor, Taško Načić is reliably quirky as the [town mayor], and Goran Daničić is good as a [gung-ho] soldier ghost. There are many more, and no bad performances as far as I could see.


The direction by Goran Marković is superb! Sabirni Centar always looks good. I liked a lot of little touches, like how it used empty spaces, filling them up as the camera pans around. The film also does a subtle but cool effect when a lot of the spirits move. Instead of walking, they glide. It's not a big effect, which makes it very nice to see. And lastly, I thought the colour of the many black funeral suits contrasts very well with the pale yellow of the meeting place.


The locations are just as gorgeous. The majority of the film is shot in Yugoslavia, with the earthly ruins being filmed in Gamzigrad while the scenes at the meeting place were filmed all the way in Tunisia. It's not just the locations that amaze too, but the vistas, namely one at the end, which captures the twilight clouds in such a stunning way.

The score in Sabirni Centar is great. We've got spooky and ominous tracks, comedic ones that really fit the mood, as well as solemn and beautiful pieces, namely the song at the end that plays the movie out. This is really something special, and composer Zoran Simjanović should be proud.


Sabirni Centar is one of the best Serbian movies I've seen, and well worth checking out. It's hard to find with English subtitles, but the resourceful will be rewarded, I'm sure. It might make you think, and even if it doesn't, it'll make you laugh anyway...

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Dr. Jekyll and His Women (1981)


Esteemed young Doctor Henry Jekyll has invited some guests over for his engagement party. He entertains friends and family with his fiancee Fanny, until the party is spoiled by news of a nearby murder. The tension immediately grows as the household itself is invaded by a psychotic and lustful intruder. As the men of the house gather weapons to defend themselves, Fanny sneaks off to follow her fiance, witnessing Henry make a horrifying transformation...


French based Pole Walerian Borowczyc specialised in sexually and religiously transgressive films, often exposing what he saw as the hypocrisy among the elite, and in society as a whole. Some of his moves garnered considerable controversy on their release, such as the period piece The Beast. 1981's Dr. Jekyll and His Women is perhaps his darkest films, and certainly one of the more adult and eyebrow raising adaptions Robert Louis Stevenson's classic chiller ever got! Where else could you see Mr. Hyde with a hilariously fake 9 foot long penis?

*Or 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne' as its creator originally intended. Bit of a wordy title, and not as grabby as the ultimate name, but respect to Arrow Films for restoring it for the spiffy DVD-Blu-ray release.


For the first third, Dr. Jekyll and His Women is quite boring, consisting almost entirely of extremely dry conversations. There is enough time where a boring movie can redeem itself before that point of no return. Thankfully this does just that, and the remainder of the film is more entertaining. The pace is still languid and the events minimal, but they are presented and spread out well, and the fact that things are actually happening now make it automatically more enthralling than a bunch of stuffed-shirts gabbing on/blethering on. It's not perfect by any means, and there are still a few moments where my attention dipped, but it was alright at least.

There's a disappointing climax, that makes little sense. It is an impactful final scene, but it requires every character involved to be an idiot. If Jekyll doesn't have any more antidote, why did he draw another formula bath to begin with? There's also a montage that crams in as much 'shocking' material as it can within 5 minutes. Where was all of this during the first 85 minutes?


In theory this is a good representation of the source material. It's not a literal adaption, but more of a spiritual one, and you can tell that Walerian does understand the story's ideas, in a way that some people haven't. But do I think he did it well overall? Not so much. The way the story is told felt a bit slipshod, taking forever to do some things, and omitting many key moments from the book.

Dr. Jekyll and His Woman has clear moral themes to show, and my problem with them is that ultimately it's all a bit simple. The theme really just amounts to "Society toffs can be real perverts behind closed doors, right? Right?". Yes, they can, we know. Do you have anything else of substance to tell us? A movie doesn't necessarily need the most complicated of themes to be successful, but when the whole point is built around something that can take 5 seconds to explain, and you get the picture only 10 minutes in, you have a problem.

The film also highlights the sexual repression of the era, where well-behaved innocent Victorian ladies secretly harbour kinky fantasies. I am sure most ladies of the era were indeed innocent and pureminded, but these are the same women who made The Sheikh popular, and regularly had rape fantasies about Arab sheiks kidnapping them, so Walerian clearly understands his time period well.

This is very much a character driven story, and in some ways they are decently written, but boring in others. The titular lead sadly feels like a background character in his own movie. Mr. Hyde is even less of a character for the most part, being so animalistic you can't imagine how he'd even hold a normal conversation. I would've been interested to see him at the reading of any will!

The film is nearly over before we get any insight to why Jekyll is doing any of this. And he's so brazen! How does he think he'll get away with all this, when he's not even trying to hide it. The process of transforming into Hyde isn't an easy one either, nor does it happen automatically. Jekyll has got to run a bath of water, make a formula, drink some, then fill the water with spooky bath salts until it looks like red pond slime, then bathes chaotically. In the climax when he begs his mate Lanyon for help to get him back to normal, you lose sympathy for the guy when you see just how many steps he deliberately took to do this.


The most notable guest is the general, who's a boisterous and authorative fellow, immediately taking charge when the house is locked down. There's a hilarious moment when he recklessly guns down the family coachmen, then has to sheepishly admit responsibility to the lady of the house. He then proceeds to try and justify it by saying this is like war. Tell that to the coachman's wife, dumbass!

His daughter is a naughty girl who must really have it in for her dad. She shows herself to be loyal to the home invader, though we never see her corrupted by Hyde. She's just suddenly infatuated enough with him to torment her father, then help stick him with arrows. And the girl ends up shocked that Hyde wants to kill her too. Awww, really? I am aghast, dear lady. Her death scene is incredibly weak. Hyde just fires some arrows offscreen, and we hear her going "Ah. Ah."

Dr. Jekyll's friend Dr. Lanyon isn't the most memorable of characters, but he is one of the only ones left by the climax. He has a terminal case of stupidity when he has Hyde at gunpoint, but allows himself to be dissuaded. This allows for a dramatic transformation, after which he suddenly drops dead in surprise. I was fully expecting Hyde to kill him, but nope. It feels like the character just magically dies because the script had no further need of him.

And lastly, there's Fanny, Jekyll's beleaguered fiancee. She's a fairly innocent girl, but makes an abrupt turn near the end. After a whole movie of getting the crap beaten out of her, shot by arrows, and threatened with murder, she then decides that being evil is awesome, and she wants in on it. It's a fairly predictable turn, and though I was looking forward to seeing how it'd play out, it's not as fleshed-out as it could've been.


The acting here is ok. Udo Kier is decent, but it's a bit of a thankless role really. Despite being the lead, he's barely onscreen, and he doesn't get to take part in the wild shenanigans of Jekyll's other half, absent altogether from the ending. Doubling as Hyde is Gerard Zalcberg. I was gonna say, the make-up job they did to Udo Kier made him look like another actor! That's because it is. Although they did still do something to the guy's face to make him look as uncanny as he does. Marina Pierro is decent in her role, and gets to cut loose in the last few minutes. Patrick Magee is funny as the general, while euro-horror regular Howard Vernon is a welcome presence.

As for what language to watch this in, I'd recommend the first half hour in English, and the rest in French. It's worth seeing Patrick Magee's performance in his original language, with all his amusing bluster, but otherwise the original French track is superior, if for no other reason than Udo Kier gets to use his real voice.


Walerian does a great job with the direction, shooting his actors and locations competently and with style. I really dug the running theme of mirrors and doubles. Although he overdoes the motif after a while, and I began thinking it'd make for a fun drinking game. Take a shot each time a character looks longingly or enigmatically in a mirror.

The score to Dr. Jekyll and His Women is really special. It's a unique and experimental collection of tracks, that really build up an offputting atmosphere. They feel right out of something like Shadow Man (N64)  My only qualm would be that it sounds a little modern, clashing with the antique time period. I kept wondering if I was watching an updated version with new soundtrack. Small quibble though. Bernard Parmegiani really did a stellar job here.


Overall, Dr. Jekyll and His Women has its good sides for sure. It's interesting in some ways, and as a horror film it does its job reasonably well, even if it is aimed specifically at the arty crowd, rather than the casual moviegoers who are content with simple hack and slash fare (not meant as an insult, I adore such films!). It has its flaws too, and all in all it's a real mixed bag...