Directed by John Carl Buechler [Other horror films: Ragewar (1984, segment ‘Demons of the Dead’), Troll (1986), Cellar Dweller (1988), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College (1991), Watchers Reborn (1998), Deep Freeze (2002), Curse of the Forty-Niner (2002), Saurian (2006), The Eden Formula (2006)]
This film feels like a TV movie, but it’s not. I saw this once before, years and years ago on Chiller, and thought the same thing. But despite how much it really seems to be a TV movie, it’s not, which is utterly mind-boggling, as that would have gone a long way to explaining this.
Starring Tony Todd as Dr. Jekyll, this movie is atrocious in most ways. Mr. Hyde’s endless barrage of bad quips combined with the less than stellar acting of both Tracy Scoggins and Danielle Nicolet, not to mention the utter lack of true mystery or suspense, makes this quite a difficult job to get through. The story, a modern adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s work, leaves much to be desired. Some corny special effects are sprinkled throughout the film, and the gore we do get isn’t all that well done.
The highlight of this movie really is Tony Todd, who, while his acting isn’t amazing, can make you feel for the troubles of Dr. Jekyll. But Scoggins’ performance as a police officer with an aversion to guns was pretty bad, and indeed, most actors and actresses in this film didn’t do that well, though I do think that’s more the fault of what they had to work with as opposed to their own abilities.
The director of this travesty is John Carl Buechler, well known for the special effects of countless 80’s horror films (such as TerrorVision, Troll, Halloween 4, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Friday the 13th Part VII, and From Beyond) and directing such films as Troll (1986), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), and Curse of the Forty-Niner (2002) (among others, as above shines light on). While it’s not an unimpressive resume, he wasn’t able to make this movie work whatsoever, and as I said, more than anything, it’s a chore to get through. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a failure on almost every front, the one shining light being Tony Todd. But that’s not enough to save this. A subpar film in every way – it’s a shame I saw it twice.