Sight and Sound - 02/01/2005
"[A] vivid and well-crafted variation on JEKYLL AND HYDE..."
A remarkably faithful adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, director Stephen Weeks' first feature film--made when he was only 22--is also a surprisingly good one. Christopher Lee stars as Charles Marlowe, an early 20th Century psychologist who has discovered a drug that appears to diminish inhibitions. When early tests prove fatal to his vermin subjects, Marlowe takes the next logical course of action and ingests the medication himself. Meanwhile, the doctor's lawyer Frederick Utterson (Peter Cushing, STAR WARS) has learned of Marlowe's friend Blake, who is prone to fits of violence. After trampling a young girl in the street, Blake rushed to pay off the girl's father--with a check written in Marlowe's name. As Marlowe's experiments spin out of control, Utterson comes closer and closer to discovering the horrible truth. Though made on an obviously tight budget, the film is supported by Lee's complex performance, unexpectedly good sets, and the introduction of overtly Freudian themes to the classic story. It also boasts an entertaining amount of cheese, due in part to the fact that the project was originally intended to be presented in 3-D.
Description by Image Entertainment:
In this chilling twist on the classic Jekyll and Hyde story, psychologist Charles Marlowe (The Lord of the Rings' Christopher Lee) invents a drug which releases his patients' inhibitions - but tests on himself result in the cruel, immoral Edward Blake, who wreaks crime and murder upon the city. Marlowe's lawyer, Utterson (Star Wars' Peter Cushing), believes Blake is blackmailing the good doctor but soon uncovers the horrifying truth.