He’s dead. You saw it. I saw a man in a mask. It was him. I want to believe you, but I have to be sure. I can’t stop until I’m certain that he’s dead.
Happy Halloween Everyone!
As I mentioned in my Leprechaun post, back in 2017, as that year had a Friday the 13th in October I had an idea to review the sequels to different slasher films in on the Fridays, with of course Friday the 13th Part II, being reviewed on the actual Friday the 13th. Unfortunately, I never finished that Horrorfest or the films I had planned to review as I had some technological difficulties with my computer and the app wasn’t fully developed.
Instead I planned to review the two remaining films later, in hopes of trying to do it again the next time there was a Friday the 13th in October, 2023. In 2017, 2023 felt like it was forever away, but of course now it is next year. As Halloween II is the last of the slasher films I need to review before next year, I thought why not end on it? I especially feel it is full circle as my first year of blogging I ended onHalloween and now my 10th year of blogging I’m reviewing Halloween II.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this film, all I remember is the “twist revelation”.
The film starts off with the end of Halloween. We see the last 10 minutes of the previous film when Michael Myers takes off and Laurie and Dr. Loomis are together. The best part of this opening is the music, John Carpenter really knew how to make something that sounded creepy!
Laurie gets sent to the hospital to be looked after her fight while Dr. Loomis is crazily searching for Michael Myers. He of course is busy killing, as several people hadn’t heard the news yet and haven’t taken any extra precautions.
At one point Dr. Loomis sees a man dressed up similar to Michael Myers, although from our viewpoint it is most definitely not him as the guy is smaller and the face mask not quite the same. He ends up getting chased by the Dr and Sheriff’s deputy, but while chase hit by another car and catches on fire. It happens so quickly I’m not sure why that happened.
So does that mean that the outfit he wears is an actual Halloween costume that can be easily purchased like in Scream? I thought it was one that Myers made himself?
One of the EMTs recognizes Laurie and gives her extra attention in the hospital. I know we should trust the EMTs but I’ve seen so many horror movies I don’t trust people, and I’m suspicious.
The police think that the case is over and that Michael has been killed, but Dr. Loomis is not so sure. He keeps saying he shot him six times and it did nothing. I know in the previous film he was supposed to bet he embodiment of the “boogeyman”, but in this he is actually of this Earth as we found in the end twist; so does that mean he sold his soul to the devil ? Or is he the Antichrist? Why does death not affect him?
This film the pacing is a little slow. In the previous film they build up the characters so we knew them and there was an emotional reaction when they were murdered. With this film we have a double barreled cat and mouse, Michael hunting and being hunted, but it die strong the same. I think because none of these characters do we really know enough to care about except Laurie.
Laurie is recuperating in the hospital when one of the nurses has a side remark that they are having trouble with the phone, oh no! It’s Michael!!!! He must be at the hospital.
The security guard goes to check it out and of course is killed. It isn’t really as surprising or as suspenseful as it was in the previous film. When the security guard is talking to the nurse in the radio while investigating, behind her in the window it looks like Michael Myers is waiting and watching. At first I thought it was him, but I think it was just a trick of the light. It would have been creepier if he was watching her.
I think that’s the issue. Michael is just running around while in the previous film he was watching and looking and that added to the tenseness and creepiness of the film. No one enjoys being stalked. In this we haven’t really seen him.
The police are busy as already tonight is Halloween and they have to worry about drunks, mischief makers, and the like; now they are searching for a serial killer, trying to talk down riots, and having to work with after tragedy hysteria.
The cops are pretty certain the man killed by car and fire was Michael Myers, even though Dr. Loomis insists it is not him. The deputy starts taking Loomis a little more seriously when some boys are searching for their friend who never made jr friend, a friend who is similar to the dead body found.
Meanwhile, Laurie is sleeping when some repressed memories resurface. She is adopted and her adopted mother wouldn’t tell her anything about her real parents.
Meanwhile a nurse and the gross EMT (not the one into Laurie but the one who talks bad about women) decide to sneak off to the therapy room to have sex. Michael sneaks in and ups the temperature. When the gross EMT goes to check it, Michael kills him. I actually like how they did this scene as we can hardly see it through the glass doors and there is no sound other than the thermal pools. He kills the girl too.
It turns out that Michael broke into the school and left a message. He’s after his sister, planning to kill her. But who is his sister? Did he kill her already or is he planning on killing her?
The EMT into Laurie goes to check on her and finds her in a cationic state. He calls a nurse and after she checks her she goes searching for the Dr. But it’s too late, he’s already dead! And the nurse is next. Nurse…did they ever say her name?
I mean I knelt that we don’t have a lot of time to introduce the characters as so much is happening in one night, Halloween, it would be nice if their was as I don’t know who and if these people are and by not knowing them their deaths little affect me.
Michael goes after Laurie, but when he tries to kill end her he find the bed full of pillows. It turns out that Laurie must of had a premonition or something as she escaped her room just in time.
Hospital staff can’t find her, but we the viewer know she is alive and hiding. The EMT and a nurse talk about what to do next and when their separate we see they were staining in front of a doctor’s screen, one where Michael was hiding behind. Michael kills the EMT before he can leave the hospital.
The nurse tries to leave but the car is dead. She plans to take Karen’s car but it has a flat tire. With nothing else to do, she goes back to the hospital where she finds Laurie, but is murdered.
Now it is Laurie versus Michael Round 2: New Location. Laurie tried to get away, squeezing through a window, up an elevator, and out the hospital. But is it enough?
Dr. Loomis has been recalled as they don’t want to get involved with the legalities. On the way out of town the person entrusted to ensure Loomis leaves let slip there was a secret file on Myers and it turns out Laurie is his sister! Loomis uses his gun to force them to go to the hospital to try and save Laurie.
Back with Laurie, Jimmy the EMT is alive? I thought he was killed? He tries to start the car. It can’t and dies? Passes out? I’m not sure which but he lands on the horn and gives away their position. Laurie gets out of the car but her adrenaline is going and she is weak and tired from the night. She see Dr. Loomis arrive and calls out to him, but he doesn’t see her. Instead she tries to get back into the hospital as Michael is after her again.
Dr. Loomis shoots again and seems to knock him out, but he’s not dead. Do you think he sacrificed his sister and parents’ lives in order to be immortal or unlikable? And that’s why he needs to kill Laurie?
Before when he was just an entity of evil I could see him being unlikable as evil never dies, but as a person with a family how come he can’t be killed?
Michael takes out the marshal and once again hunts Loomis and Laurie. Michael stand Loomis and tries to get Laurie but she shoots him in the face and this wounds him. Maybe tang is why he wants her dead, maybe his deal won’t he devil was that only those who share his blood can defeat him, home wanting to remove all those people?
Blinded by blood, Dr. Loomis uses this to gain some time by opening up ether and other aerosols. He tells Laurie to leave and then blows everything up. But Michael isn’t dead, you can’t really kill him…
So that end another Horrorfest!!! I hope you all enjoyed it!
I hope you all have a fantastic and safe Halloween!
At work everyone was talking about how it is a Friday the 13th, and a full moon.
I know that freaks some people out.
So I thought I would bring you something to put you at ease:
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper by Blue Öyster Cult
This song was written by the lead guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser and is about accepting the fact that we are mortal and eventually our time will end. In the song he tries to talk about how we shouldn’t be afraid, after all:
And that when our time eventually ends the love we have with others will carry on until we can meet again on the other side.
“And then he [the third brother] greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly.” J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
I love this song, not just for the message, but the guitar:
And the cowbell! I just LOVE it. It is just perfect.
And of course this song has been on countless films and TV shows, including Halloween (original and remake)
So I was originally going to post this yesterday, but when I saw that the film was rereleased in theaters on October 17, 1980. Even though that isn’t the anniversary of the original day of its release, October 26th, I thought that since it was an anniversary of one of its release and just a day later: I just couldn’t help but post it today. Happy 36th!
So of course growing up in the 2000s, my first interaction with the film When a Stranger Calls was the remake. I have never seen the original film, and since I needed a choice from the ’70s, I thought why not finally check this one out.
So the film starts off with creepy music and just a blank screen with nondescript text. I don’t know about others but when films do this, it actually kind of hypes up the horror/creepiness because you have no real clue what will be coming next.
We have a teenage girl walking down a dark street with her books. She arrives at the house she is to baby-sit that evening and everything seems fine. The parents are ready to go out, possibly staying out a bit later if they decide to go to a movie. The children are asleep upstairs
Now what is interesting is so far the plot of the remake actually mimics this one. I mean they begin a little different with giving her a reason as to no cell phone (as the remake is modern), but the way the parents act and the dialogue is exact.
Good job screenwriters.
With the kids sick, Jill has the house to herself to do whatever she wants. Wow, what a pretty sweet gig.
Or is it?
Little does she know what the night will hold.
So Jill is relaxing, sitting on the couch and talking to her friend about Bobby, a guy they both are crazy about. It is weird seeing Carol Kane play a teenager she has such an adult voice. Her friend too. They sound as if they are in their twenties.
She is defintely close to 30
So the phone rings and there is no one on the line.
Phone rings again but this time Jill hears a voice
“Mysterious Stranger: Have you checked the children?”
Jill thinks it is just a prank and doesn’t even bother to look upstairs at the kids. In fact, she hasn’t looked at the kids at all since she came. I know she wasn’t supposed to disturb them as they are sick, but shouldn’t she check to see if they are alright?
The call comes again
“Mysterious Stranger: Have you checked the children?”.
Then she hears a sound in the other room. Creepy music rising.
Jill is a little freaked, and heads down the hall to look around. The kitchen light is off, and nothing is there. She hears something:
Just the ice machine. Whew. And don’t say that it was lame because some ice machines are weird. My old fridge sounded like an alien spaceship landing.
So the phone rings again
“Mysterious Stranger: Have you checked the children?”
This is super creepy to hear again and again. If it were me I would have gone upstairs. Actually truthfully, I never would have been in a situation like this. It was because of films like these my parents always had to have the kids come to our house when I would watch them.
But instead of checking on the kids, Jill goes to pour herself a drink. Bad baby-sitter bad. Bad idea.
Phone rings again….is it him?
She slowly reaches for phone, and the music starts. No one is on the line this time too. Even creepier.
Jill calls the parents to see if it was maybe them, but they aren’t at the restaurant, they left 40 mins ago.
So she calls the police and gets a Sergeant Sacker. Jill tells him about the phone calls that she’s been receiving every 15 mins; but because there are no threats or obscene language the police don’t think it a big deal, just a friend or random weirdo.
So we get great shots of the house and around Jill. The camera is always in the front or behind but never exactly her height, and mostly far away, as if we are the man watching her.
The phone rings again.
“Mysterious Stranger: Why haven’t you checked the children.”
Jill looks out the window
But outside there is only pitch black darkness. Now I have never liked my windows open or blinds up. I just don’t like the idea/feeling someone could be watching me. After films like this and real life events of people watching and attacking others, I feel even more that it makes a lot of sense to just keep them closed.
After watching that scene I just creeped myself out, and had to check all my doors and make sure my phone was beside me.
I’m ready for anything
Jill also freaks out and tries to secure the house.
I can’t believe she had the door unlocked the whole time. Then again it is the ’70s.
So she’s finally going upstairs to check on the children, but then gets another call. WHAT’S UPSTAIRS???? DID HE KILL THE KIDS??? WILL HE KILL HER TOOO??????
She lets the phone just ring and ring this time. Although she does grab a cane, good job. You should carry something just in in case. Kudos for you!!!
But she never checks on the children.
…I just thought of something. What if they are the dead kids and babysitter from the beginning of the remake? Would they do that? Reveal the end of the old in the new? Well I guess it isn’t really a reveal as you should have watched it before the new one.
But still, this is driving me crazy!!!
What happened to the kids!!! Are they alive!!!
Jill calls the police again. She tells him tht he is watching her, but the police don’t really believe her as she didn’t see him and the house is locked up. The police tell her that if he calls again they will try and trace the call. But the problem is that she will have to keep him on the phone for 1 min.
Jill sits waiting, a fireplace poker now in her hands and vigilant. BUT SHE NEVER CHECKED THE CHILDREN!!! They are dead I just know it….!!!!!!
The phone rings…
Nothing and then it is him!
“Jill Johnson: Can you see me.
Mysterious Stranger: Yes.
Jill Johnson: I turned the lights down, I can turn them up if you like.
Mysterious Stranger: No, don’t.
Jill Johnson: You really scared me, if that’s what you wanted. Is that what you wanted?
Mysterious Stranger: No.
Jill Johnson: What do you want?
Mysterious Stranger: Your blood all over me.
I SHOULD HAVE WTCHED THIS DURING THE DAY WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!!
This film is super creepy. I need a weapon near me too. In fact this guy is super creepier than the new one because he is calm the whole time as he talks to her.
Phone rings again, but it is the sergeant. They traced the call coming from inside the house. She needs to get out. But where is he? They show scenes of every part of the house she has been in and he isn’t thereeree!!!
Jill starts to open the front door, the door upstairs opens and we see a shadow as he is coming after her!!!!!!!
We then zoom in on a face!!!!!!!!!!! IS IT HIM??????????????? AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It turns out that it is the police detective. This was what the beginning of the remake is based on. So the children are dead, and we see them carried out in black bags. The damage was so horrendous that the coroner was surprised the weapon was the killer’s bare hands. They caught him in time, so the babysitter is fine, but how fine?
But we are only at the 22 min mark?!! What else is coming? So far I think this is the scariest film I have reviewed this year just based on that opening scene alone!
So now it is seven years later, and I have no clue what is coming next? Is he going to track her down and try to kill her? Try to finish the job? Hmmmm…..
So the police detective has quit the force and become a private investigator. He has been asked by the father of the murdered children to hunt down Curt, the killer, as he has recently escaped from the insane asylum he was in.
“Dr. Mandrakis: Man murders two children in cold blood. Jury declares him insane. He is sent to a state institutional facility where the security isn’t perfect and escapes.”
The detective is on the case to hunt dow Curt no matter what. He heads to the institution and goes to speak to his doctor to find more info. Interesting how in a lot of ways this and Halloweenare extremely similar.
We are now in a bar and see a man, is he Curt? Man tries to give a light to a lady but she ain’t having it. He’s British, so he must be Curt, and is trying to pick her up but she is not interested at all.
After that first part of the film which was so intense and chilling, this section is really boring.
Why should I care. Its like they made the adrenaline pump so much and now we have this bleh stuff, it just feels bad and boring.
We see a ’70s party, with the PI there. He speaks to a police officer from the force who agrees to help him.
Now you all know how much I don’t like remakes, but I have to admit the 2004 version, while their killer wasn’t as creepy as this guy, really knew how to give you what you wanted. They kept it focused on what was scary and played it up even more having the girl isolated with the house so far away and no car.
So Curt follows the lady from the bar, to right outside her door. The phone rings and she answers. He gets inside and she is not as freaked out as she should be that the guy she refused followed her home, marched into her apartment, and will not leave. Eventually she kicks him out end scene.
Truth be told I don’t
The PI is still investigating. You know I would find this a lot more interesting if they had flipped the film, had the babysitter attack at the end and the search at the beginning. I guess that’s why they did it that way in the remake.
So the PI tracks Curt down to the lady’ house and wants to talk to her. She doesn’t want to talk to him, but he barges his way in.
He shows her a pic of man blah blah not interested skip, skip skip
The lady is worried, as she thinks Curt might be following her, and the PI waits outside. But Curt is already indoors. It turns out he was hiding in her closet. She is making tea and when she goes to the closet Curt is not there.
Okay, this is getting creepy agin. He’s not hiding behind the closet door either. Curt doesn’t kill her though, as he wants her to be his friend. She screams, he flees, the PI chases him but doesn’t catch him. Bleh Skip. Curt goes to bathroom, naked and looks at himself and cries. Whatever. SKIP. Now at the YMCA and the cop is looking for him, Fast forward The two chase, run fight, chase, run, PI lost him again. Curt gives a long soliloquy, boring.
Next scene we are in a nice neighborhood, with cute kids running about. It turns out they are Jill’s kids. The phone rings….is it Curt?
No just her husband Steve on the phone. He’s going to take her out to dinner so Jill needs to get ready and find a baby-sitter. Two kids; one boy and girl just like the ones she lost when sitting.
Jill puts them to sleep and a teenager, Sharon, comes to baby sit. They recreate the scene from the beginning; mom and dad are heading out and the sitter staying. So similar, I mean even the house looks similar just reversed. All say good-bye.
You know I’m surprised the PI never went here. I mean doesn’t he think the guy might go after her again?
So Jill and Steve’s dinner are interrupted by a phone call. Jill goes to answer. OMG it is HIM!!!
“Mysterious Stranger: Have you checked the children?”
He’s back, he’s on the phone. He’s after her kids!!!
The husband calls the baby-sitter and they ask her to check on the kids. The police have been called and they tell them the story. They call the baby-sitter again, but the LINE IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!
They drive home with the police and everything is fine. But is it really? Or is he hiding in the house?
OMG what is going to happen next??? Is he going to kill them???
Steve pulls out gun to protect them while they sleep. Now I would not go to sleep or stay there. They are crazy! I would check into a motel asap.
Back at the police station they are talking about the call. Was it him or just a copycat. The police friend calls the PI to check it out, and makes sure there is a stakeout.
Jill can’t sleep and goes downstairs to the kitchen, the lights go out.
Never a good sign.
IT IS HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The PI keeps calling, but just gets the busy signal. Jill checks on the kids again. She sees her son with an ice cream in hand, not even melted. Where did you get it?!!!!!! It wasn’t there earlier. In fact it is the same one SHE had that night. OMG HE WAS IN THE ROOM WITH THE CHILDREN! OMG IS HER HUSBAND DEAD!!!!!!??????
Is he in the closet??? She approaches it! NOOOOOO Don’t open without a weapon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nothing is there but clothes. The PI only gets dial tone. Hurry the line was CUT!!!
huHURRYRRRRRRRYRYRYRYRRY OVERER THERE AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!
Where is he??? Where???
Jill decides to settle in bed, but can’t go to sleep. She picks up the phone but discovers that it is DEAD just like she will be!!!!!!!!!
Take the gun!!!! Grab it!!!
She hears Curt the killer’s voice, but where is he? Or is it just in her head??? She tries to wake Steven in bed, but its not her husband! It’s Curt!!!!!
He attacks her, but is shot. Who shot him???
The PI. OH No Where is Steven? Is he dead???? No just knocked out in the closet.
OH MY GOSH!!! That was way scarier than I thought it would be. That end image of his eyes over the house, always watching ooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
This was amazingly creepy film. I mean just skip the middle and this is phenomenal. It lingered in my mind and continued to scare me when it was over.
So after the film I checked that question about Carol Kane’s age. She was 27. I thought so, her voice was waaaaay tooo deep.
So it turned out that this director made the short film The Sitter, which was pretty much the first 20 mins of this film. After Halloween came out in 1978, the director decided to make a full length film based on what The Sitter was about.. So I was right. That middle section was so close to Halloween, because of Halloween.
“You became that monster tonight not of your own accord. It will happen again.
It never will. I’m sure of it. I’ll conquer it!
Too late. You cannot conquer it. It has conquered you!”
So Horrorfest this year got off to a rough start. It’s not that I wasn’t excited for it or not eager to review horror films, I was just floundering. I wasn’t sure what to do for it, I mean after all last year was the best Horrorfest I have ever done. It was planned out way in advance, was half done by the time October rolled around, had a werewolf theme, etc. How could I top that? What could I do? Should I do another theme? I was just so unsure.
So I thought and thought and begin reviewing and planning a few things. I don’t know if this year will be as good as last years, but here we go!!!
After a looooooooong deliberation, I finally chose my final post. That left the first post which created an even looooooooooooooonger debate. But I finally picked, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.
So before we start the review, let me give you a little background information. This film is based on the novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and is set in Victorian England. It was turned into a play, in which the writer added in two love interests; and then adapted into a silent film in the 1920s. This version is the first with sound, and while similar to the book has made quite a few changes. This film came out in 1931, and is a Pre-Code film. That means this film came out before the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) was created and started rating things. So this film has a lot of things that wouldn’t be acceptable later to show on the big screen, in fact when they rereleased it in theaters they had to cut part of the film (added back in on VHS & DVD).
This film also had some different ways of filming (more on that later) and landed Fredric March an Oscar for his performance. This was back when the Academy wasn’t so hoity-toity, today they wouldn’t nominate anyone in a horror film unless it was for makeup, sound, or film editing.
The Academy SUCKS!
While in the book the story is told not through Dr. Jekykll, but his friend who discovers the whole story, they changed it so that all is through his point of view.
Anyways, lets begin the review.
So our film starts out with the credits and creepy organ music that sets the mood, and shivers down your spine!
We then are shown a pair of hands playing organ music. Oh early horror movies, you almost always had an organ in there somewhere.
Dr. Jekyll (Fredric March) continues to play when his butler tells him that he must leave soon if he is to reach his lecture hall in time and teach his lesson. Dr. Jekyll doesn’t want to quit his playing, but gets up to go.
Now here is one of the things that director Rouben Mamoulian did much, much differently. The camera angles for the first three minutes of the film are shot from Dr. Jekyll’s point of view, we don’t see his face.
I know. Very unusual but the effect works. We see him doing the mundane things and talking to his butler, but all I can think is what he looks like. I mean I know what Fredrich March looks like, but will he look the same here? Will they make him older like in the book? Will he be handsome? I just have got to see his face!!!!
And when we are finally shown it in the mirror:
Wow, what a hunk.
So after we are shown his face we go back to seeing through his eyes. Throughout the film while they switch back and forth between first person and observer point of view, the film is a majority from an observer/third point of view like most films.
So Dr. Jekyll heads to the University in his horse-drawn carriage. And one thing you notice right away, everyone likes or admires him. His butler, the carriage driver, the students think he’s spectacular, and even the older scholars enjoy his lectures and ideas.
So Dr. Jekyll begins his lecture and it is not what anyone has expected. Instead of discussing a part of the physical body, he chooses to discuss the Soul of Man. Dr. Jekyll defines that every person has two pieces to them. One side is constantly striving for the nobility of life, morals, i.e. the “Good side”. The other only cares for satisfying their desires and giving in to temptation, i.e. the “Bad side”.
Both are in an eternal struggle:
The Good side wants to be good all the time, but is constantly tempted to do evil. The Bad wants to do whatever it wants, but feels remorse at the things it does. Both are chained together, with one taking more control than the other, be it bad or good. What Dr. Jekyll proposes is to seperate the two, so that the bad can be destroyed and the good be the only left.
Everyone is appalled!What could he be thinking? Why would he even consider it?
In fact, Dr Jekyll has already started his experiment and research looks as if it could be possible.
After the lecture ends, people are split in how they feel about it. The young students laugh it off as a joke, split the soul in two, not even possible. The older attendees are in complete shock! How dare he blaspheme and cross into God’s territory!!!
Dr. Jekyll’s friend, Dr. Layon, warns him to give the whole thing up. That this will not end well at all for him. But Dr. Jekyll won’t listen, as he believes that science must push boundaries. There is no lines to consider, all is fair game.
Dr. Layon reminds Dr. Jekyll of the appointment they have with the Countess, but Dr. Jekyll tells him he’s not going, but heading to the poor’s hospital. Dr. Layon tells him that he must, certain things are expected of his caliber of gentlemen, but Dr. Jekyll refuses,
Dr. Jekyll: The things one can’t do are the things I want to.
So he goes to the hospital and helps a poor girl, put down her crutches and overcome her fear of walking. Dr. Jekyll would rather help someone who truly needs it, than a hypochondriac that just wants attention.
He is planning on operating on a woman, when Dr. Lanyon comes to bring him to dinner at General Carew’s house, with Jekyll’s fiancé Muriel. But Jekyll refuses dinner, saying he must operate now. So Dr. Lanyon leaves.
After dinner there is dancing and Muriel has had to do with other men, as Dr. Jekyll is still not there. He finally arrives, but Muriel is justifiably upset.
She quickly forgives him and they go off to the garden to talk. Here we see another side of Dr. Jekyll. He’s no longer the cool, collected, serious doctor; but giddy, adorable, and in love. In fact he wants to get married now.
It must be so strange for a genius who has been solely concentrated on science, logic, cold hard facts; to find himself with this sudden rush of emotion and desire. It’d be like if Sherlock Holmes met a woman he wanted to marry and have babies. So sudden, strange, and hard to control.
The General won’t let them marry immediately as he feels that such a short engagement would be indecent (hint: mean that his daughter is not a virgin, is pregnant, or has done other promiscuous/indecent things.) In his defense, he is trying to protect his daughter’s reputation, but this has disastrous results.
Dr. Jekyll is a man that once he gets an idea, strives constantly until he come to a conclusion or figured a solution to his problem. He isn’t used to “waiting”.
To make this even worse, this is a man who has denied himself any kind of passionate emotions. He has always strived to be a good person, but even more so, he has denied himself all emotions for logic, science, etc. Now Muriel has awakened a side of him that he had locked up and all these emotions are coming out.
It is something that Dr. Jekyll has no way of gageing or keeping in check. And instead of having the ability to wait or hold on, he wants it NOW!
Now as I mentioned before, in the book Dr. Jekyll isn’t engaged, his only love was knowledge, science, etc.: so this question only applies to the film. But if the General allowed them to get married now, would Dr. Jekyll have continued his quest for splitting the soul? Or would he have been too preoccupied with married life?
After Dr. Jekyll is shot down by the General, he and Dr. Layon leave. Dr. Jekyll is so angry and incensed that he is being denied. Why must we be unable to have the things we want?
He is so angry he thinks about strangling him.
While he and his friend are discussing this, he witnesses an altercation with a low-class woman and a low-class man. It might seem a little odd to us now to see such opulence next to such depravity, but a lot of cities were like that for a while, think of 42nd Street in New York, “where the underworld can meet the elite” [from musical 42nd Street].
The good doctor picks her up and carries her into her room. While the film never addresses it, or says exactly what she is, this woman, Ivy, is; but based on the way she acts (and the amount of men she is with) it is safe to say she is a prostitute. In later films and musicals, they make it more definite.
Anyways, when he gets her in bed, she shows him where the man hurt her, bruising her leg, and not just her leg but upper thigh. Yep, this where the liberties of the pre-code begin.
He tells her all she needs is rest, and Ivy insinuates she’d like him in bed with her.
He of course moves away from the bed, but Ivy hasn’t given up yet. She likes that he is a gentleman and gives him a strip tease before she gets into bed.
She sticks out her bare leg, BARE LEG, for Dr. Jekyll to examine as her knee is “broken”. When he comes over, she kisses him, and Dr. Jekyll doesn’t stop the kiss.
As they are kissing, his friend walks in. They leave, with Ivey swinging her leg back and forth and inviting Jekyll to come back anytime.
In fact as the two leave, her leg continues to swing back and forth over them slowly dissolving and showing how both men are still focused on it.
So the film presents these two women show the duality that Dr. Jekyll will become.
On one hand we have brunette Muriel, demure, sweet, kind, innocence, a lady: that has awoken feelings of love that he has never been aware of before. On the other hand we have the low class, brassy, blonde, who is highly sexual. She has awakened a lust in him and he wants her to satisfy his longing, but doesn’t want anymore than that.
So he and his friend leave, with his friend appalled at his actions.
Dr. Lanyon: Perhaps you’re forgetting, you’re engaged to Muriel.
Dr. Jekyll: Forgotten it? Can a man dying of thirst forget water? And do you know what would happen to that thirst if it were to be denied water?
Dr. Lanyon: If I understand you correctly, you sound almost indecent.
Now the problem in Dr. Jekyll’s case is not the Puritan viewpoints of the Victorian Era, a lot of people fall into that misconception. You see a man releasing his sexual drive with prostitutes was actually expected. Sex with a wife was viewed more for children, not “fun”. Dr. Jekyll’s problem is that he does not want to be a regular person who suffers from temptation and desire, he wants to be rid of it completely. He wants so badly to be perfectly good, hence all his charity work, and he wants to remove the ability to even “fall into sin”. Instead of having to make a choice, he wants to remove all need for morality as all would be good and make “good decisions.” He wants to be more than a mere, average, man.
The problem is that what he strives for is impossible, he is only setting himself up for failure and going to cause an extreme downfall.
Dr. Jekyll returns to his lab working day and night, not sleeping or eating, all in his quest to split the soul. He makes the potion and decides to test it on himself.
But in his defense, he does pen a letter telling Muriel he loves her and that he died in the pursuit of science.
If my love went this way, it wouldn’t make me happy but at least you know he was thinking of you.
So then he looks into the mirror and drinks the potion down.
As he is doing that, he goes through all those emotions he has been trying to ignore: wrath, lust, greed-they all swarm around him.
He looks in the mirror and we see this ugly thing. Now Dr. Jekyll was a tall, strong, good-looking man . This side hasn’t been used as much so he’s hunched, shorter, also doesn’t look as strong as Jekyll does. He’s more animalistic, apelike, covered in hair, large giant teeth.
Now something you might have noticed is the large amount of mirrors in this movie. There are so many to symbolize the duality of man. The mirror only shows the outside of a person, not their true inner self. The mirror is supposed to show our reflection, but sometimes people see only what they wish to see, not what is really there. The mirror is the only way we are able to see what everyone else sees, and a way in which we can construct what we want people to see in us.
I could go on longer, but let’s get back to the film.
So the first thing that his darker self, Mr. Hyde, does is cheer about how happy he is to be free. So long has Jekyll kept him crippled, living a good life, and denying the dark side. But now that he las let him out, will he be able to contain him again?
So Hyde is excited to be out and plans to roam the streets, when his butler knocks on the door. Hyde talks to him, but even though he is Dr. Jekyll, he doesn’t sound like him anymore. The butler is afraid and about to come in, so Dr. Jekyll changes back into his true self.
Dr. Jekyll has done it, he has actually done it.
But while he is pleased his experiment worked, at the same time he is afraid to let the dark side out. But it starts haunting him, tempting him.
He goes to Muriel to plead with her to marry him now. He is afraid that without her, he might make some very bad decisions. But Muriel and her father are leaving for a trip to Bath for a week.
Muriel asks him to wait for her, and he agrees, but you can see in his face he doesn’t really want to wait. What he really wants is to be satisfied NOW!
Dr. Jekyll is in a tizzy. That swinging leg is still in his mind, along with his potion and he is worried that without Muriel to remind him of what he truly wants, he may give into the temptation.
He then receives a letter from Muriel stating that their week trip, is turning into a month.
Dr. Jekyll has been sitting in his lab, moping and withdrawn from society and his patients. His butler is worried for him and tells him he should go out.
Butler Poole: You should go out, sir. London offers many amusements for a gentlemen like you, sir.
Dr. Jekyll: Yes, but gentlemen like me daren’t take advantage of them, Poole. Gentlemen like me have to be very careful of what we do or say.
Now Poole, the Butler, is trying to get Jekyll to go to the opera, museum, see a play, visit with friends, etc.: something not in the house. But Dr. Jekyll think of those things? No. Immediately his mind goes straight to sex. He cannot control this emotions, and I think that if he could just admit to himself that he is a man and has faults, instead of trying to make himself be perfect being he wouldn’t struggle as hard. Yes Dr. Jekyll, you are good, but just because you are good doesn’t mean that you don’t have flaws, you need to accept that.
And you know Dr. Jekyll could choose something else to do with his time, but that’s not what he wants. He wants to be with a woman. But he as Jekyll does not want to ruin his reputation, his good name, so instead he looks to another avenue.
Man this transformation looks so painful, I wouldn’t want to do it. This time he looks even uglier, more monstrous, brutish.
He goes after Ivy, the girl who has awakened his lust. She’s not home but out at the nearby tavern, so Hyde heads there. Even the way that he moves is brutish and apelike.
He meets up with Ivy:
So he tries to be a “gentlemen” as that is what Ivy wants, but can’t pull it off as Hyde as he is too dark in his actions.
He wants her to be his mistress and while Ivy refuses initially, Hyde makes it clear he gets what he wants.
He grabs her acting like an animal, and threatens her. Tells her he loves her but all he wants is sex. In reality he doesn’t love her, he’s attracted to her but wants a placeholder for Muriel.
In the next scene we see Ivy has agreed to being a kept woman, but not because she wants a nice home or things, but because she is scared out of her mind that Hyde will kill her.
Hyde comes to visit her, and we see that he is taller, standing upright, and much stronger looking then before. He is also uglier. It seems that Jekyll has been living Hyde more and more making him much stronger than the good Jekyll side.
As soon as Hyde enters the room, he heads straight to the bed, reading the paper. In there he notices that Muriel will be returning.
He forgot about that pesky fiancé of Jekyll, this means bad news for Hyde. Here we see that Dr. Jekyll has actually failed. He wanted to separate the two so that one can be destroyed and the good can only endure. But in fact that is not what has happened. Jekyll, when present is always conscious of his desires the Hyde. Hyde while bad and does what he wants, he too is conscious of the good Jekyll, not always choosing to follow. So he never split them, they still are in struggle, he just gave more of himself and power over to his dark side.
In fact the only real difference is that he feels okay being bad as he is not “Dr. Jekyll”. No one knows who he is, so he can do whatever he wants. Kind of like those people who get on the internet and feel free to do whatever as no one knows who they are.
Anyways, so Hyde makes sure Ivy doesn’t think about leaving him, being emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive to her.
Then he heads home as Dr. Jekyll wants out. Muriel is coming home, so he takes the potion and returns.
But we see all is not well, as his eyes are CRAZED. Dr. Jekyll is losing the war and Hyde is taking over.
He goes to Muriel who is upset that he hasn’t answered any of her letters. He apologizes and tells her he has been sick in mind. He begs her to marry him now instead of later as he NEEDS her. She agrees and the beg her father, who finally gives in. They invite him for dinner the next night, when they will announce to everyone that the two are to be married the next month.
Finally something GOOD!
Meanwhile, back in Ivy’s house, her landlady is helping tend to her wounds done by Hyde. Dr. Jekyll, feeling remorse for what has happened has sent over £60. Ivy isn’t sure who Dr. Jekyll is, as she didn’t now the name of the doctor who saved her earlier, but decides to see this man in the hopes he can stop Hyde.
Dr. Jekyll goes home, happy and plays the organ. And this time it isn’t light and airy, but dark and creepy. Hyde is still lurking, strong.
He is interrupted by Ivy who has come to see him. She begs him for help, ripping her top off to show him the whipping that Hyde gave her.
Heere Dr. Jekyll is forced to look at the consequences of his actions. He thought it would be okay to have the Hyde do what he wants, and Jekyll what he wants. But no, as both are a part of him, both are connected and cannot be separated.It was all an illusion to think so.
Jekyll promises Ivy that Hyde is gone forever, he will never bother her again. And Dr. Jekyll intends to keep it that way as he is to wed Muriel, he no longer needs Hyde.
He’s gone for good
But that’s where you are wrong Jekyll. You have given Hyde too much power, and now you will be unable to control him.
Dr. Jekyll walks to the General’s house for dinner when he spots a pretty robin singing. As he looks at him a cat eats him, which upsets Jekyll. And as that happens, Jekyll starts to become Hyde.
You see Hyde cannot easily be kept down and he does not want to be. Jekyll has given him too much power and liberties. All he needs is for Jekyll to feel dark things: anger, greed, lust, violence, etc and Hyde will come out.
I know some of you might be tired of all the Star Wars memes and quotes and think I need to cool my obsession, but in a way Star Wars is similar to Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, particularly Anakin Skywalker. Dr. Jekyll is a man that doesn’t quite follow the rules. There is a moral code to science he should follow, but chooses to ignore it and continue in his experiment, one that ends up having him release his dark side and live out all those emotions and desires with no thought on how this will affect others. With Anakin, he too follows his own code as he doesn’t agree with all the Jedi rules. One of which is not to marry as the powers you have, when tied to emotions, can do some pretty bad things. Both people give into those darker sides, ultimately completely going over to the dark side.
Anyways, so now with Hyde out, he heads over to see Ivy. Hyde hates Dr. Jekyll, as Dr. Jekyll has kept him contained for so long, and still tries to imprison him. Ivy going to him is the ultimate betrayal, and for that she must die.
So as he is heading over there we get a great camera view. They split the screen so that in the upper left Hyde is heading off to get Ivy, and in the lower right, Muriel is waiting for Jekyll. As the camera pans in Muriel, we see that she not happy at all. Then Murial is in the lower left and Ivy is in the upper right, celebrating the end of Hyde.
Except Hyde is not quite finished:
Hyde kills her, but as he is escaping, the others in the building have heard what he has done and follow him.
Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!
He sneaks to Dr. Jekyll’s house, but the butler won’t let him in. So he runs to the tavern and writes a note (as his handwriting is the same), asking his friend for chemicals and saying Hyde will pick up the package.
His friend follows the instructions, but when Hyde comes, he won’t let him leave, unless he promises to take him to see Dr. Jekyll. As Hyde can’t, although let’s be honest Dr. Jekyll is coming through in this moment as he wants to be changed back, and takes the potion, warning his friend about what he will see.
Mr. Hyde: Think before you decide, I tell you! Do you want to be left as you are, or do you want your eyes and your soul to be blasted by a sight that would stagger the devil himself?
When the Dr. Lanyon sees the transformation, he is in utter shock.
He tells him that he warned him not to do it, that he should have listened to him. Dr. Jekyll agrees, but says that he can control it now. That he will never, ever again become Hyde. Dr. Lanyon warns him that is not true. It is over, he is no longer in control.
Dr. Lanyon: You’re a rebel, and see what it has done for you. You’re in the power of this monster that you have created.
Dr. Jekyll: I’ll never take that drug again!
Dr. Lanyon: Yes, but you told me you became that monster tonight not of your own accord. It will happen again.
Dr. Jekyll: It never will. I’m sure of it. I’ll conquer it!
Dr. Lanyon: Too late. You cannot conquer it. It has conquered you!
They both agree that he must give Muriel up as he might kill her like he did Ivy. The next night he goes to Muriel and tells her that it is over.
But Muriel doesn’t want to end the relationship, she loves him. But Dr. Jekyll knows it is best to set her free. She tries to hug, him and he doesn’t want her too, as he is afraid it will release Hyde, He is completely broken in this scene as he loves her so much, but knows that any further involvement means death for her.
Dr. Jekyll: I have no soul. I’m beyond the pale. I’m one of the living dead!
She grabs him and they both sob, but then he leaves, and she continues to cry.
As she is indoors crying, Jekyll changes into Hyde, and Hyde sneaks into the house attacking her. When she screams her father and butler came after Hyde, who attacks both of them, beating the father.
He runs home to change back into Jekyll, but it is too late. Dr. Lanyon looks after the General and sees the broken cane Hyde dropped, recognizing it as Dr. Jekyll’s.
They return to his house accusing him of being the murderer. When Dr. Jekyll becomes scared and angry, he turns back into Hyde.
You can’t help but feel bad for Dr. Jekyll. He was a good man that wanted to do something for the good of all, but as they say: “The Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions.”
So marks the first post of Horrorfest and there are many good movies coming along. Stay tuned!
As it has become a yearly tradition, my facebookcover/mini poster.
Then last year, Horrorfest III: The Revenge was the best Horrorfest I have ever done. I was able to get it halfway completed, before October 1st even came around. Last year I did a Werewolf theme: I started with The Wolf Man (1941) and ended with The Wolfman (2010), and making nine out of the thirty-one reviews Werewolf related.