I have 478 movies in my Netflix Instant queue. I tend to watch one thing for every five that I add, but now my library is close to being full and I have to make room. So, every Monday I’m going to pick a random movie out of my queue and review the shit out of it. But (like Jesus), I’m also thinking of you and your unwieldy queue and all the movies in it you want to watch but no longer have the time to now that you’ve become so awesome and popular. Let me know what has been gathering digital dust in your Netflix Instant library and I’ll watch that, too. One Monday for you and the next for me and so on. Let’s get to it.
What’s the movie? Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype (1980)
What’s it rated? R for mild language, implied nudity and the devouring of all scenery by Mr. Oliver Reed.
Did people make it? Written and Directed by Charles B. Griffith. Acted by Oliver Reed, Sunny Johnson, Maia Danziger, Virgil Frye, Mel Welles, Jackie Coogan, Kedrick Wolf, Dick Miller and some other people.
What’s it like in one sentence? When good podiatrists go bad.
Why did you watch it? I’ve been asking myself that question all night. Because I’m a glutton for punishment? Because BZoDThGoD recommended it and then kindly tried talking me out of it? Whatever the reason, this shit happened.
What’s it about in one paragraph? Dr. Heckyl (Reed) is a kindly but hideously malformed podiatrist who has a crush on a special lady he sees at the bus stop every day. He knows she views him as a monster and always will (as does most of the world), so one day he decides to end his own life. When one of the doctors in his building invents a serum that makes women lose hundreds of pounds in just a few minutes with a single drop, Heckyl figures that if he drinks the whole bottle it will turn him into sweet, sweet nothingness. But alack, it instead makes him look like Oliver Reed. A horny, evil Oliver Reed named Mr. Hype, who will do anything to get laid, but has trouble consummating due to his penchant for killing the women before sealing the deal. Will Hype ever round the bases? Will Heckyl be able to control his sinister twin? Will Troma remake this movie in my lifetime? All answers point to yes.
Play or remove from my queue? Absolutely watch. No, don’t. I mean, sure, why not? Probably not. One hundred percent yes. Negative. Shit. I don’t know. It depends on if you like crap. I laughed my way through some of this movie, but I also had a bottle of Makers Mark in front of me, getting emptied like a homeless guy’s bladder on public art. I’m not taking the blame for anyone spending 97 minutes of their time with this, but I guess if you like a bit of the sauce and thought Birdemic (Shock and Terror) was the best film you saw last year, then I guess you should give it a whirl of some kind. Or watch the first 5 minutes and then make up your mind. Fuck, I don’t know. Stop asking.
The late, great Oliver Reed gives this film his all and manages not to look too embarrassed for most of it, but the whole film is so ridiculously goofy and campy that no one really comes out of it smelling like a flower product of some kind. Actually, that’s not quite true, Dick Miller plays a garbageman in two scenes and is so perfectly Dick Miller that he gets a pass. Everyone else is on warning. I know that Reed has made some crap in his career, but he also made The Big Sleep and The Brood, so he should have known better. His sultry, dulcet tones almost lured me into believing this was a real film, but by the time a man tickles himself to death and a black midget with nunchucks (motherfucking Tony Cox) starts threatening people to stay out of his shadow or he’ll kill them deader than shit, I realized I was watching the dreams of a madman. Or a Cannon Group release of Golan-Globus production. Guess which one it was.
Charles B. Griffith wrote and directed this steaming pile of other piles of shit and (since he passed away in 2007) I’m not going to call him a cinematic rapist, but I will say the screenwriter of Death Race 2000 and The Wild Angels should have known better. Not a lot better, but enough to through a few more winks and nods in there so we felt like we were a part of the joke instead of like we were watching a bunch of guys in clown makeup give an abortion to our (respective) mothers. That is all.
As it sits, this movie wants to be a comedy, but all the jokes fall flatter than Chloe Moretz. It wants to be a horror movie, but it’s as scary as Michael Cera wielding flowers made of kittens. It wants to be sexy but there’s more skin in On the Record with Greta van Susteren. It’s about as R rated as that VeggieTales with the Pirate Jesus. Did I laugh? A shit ton. Did I hate myself when it was over? Only slightly less than when I made the Chloe Moretz joke. For the first half I thought I might be witnessing a cult classic, but as the film wore on I got bored and sleepy and just wanted to rub one out instead. You’ve read the column, you know I can hang with the bad shit, but this just felt endless and too slight to be worth the effort. Even as my liver screamed at me, I pounded the Makers in order to make the bad men go away. But there were no men, just a shitty movie that I could have turned off at any time. Don’t make my mistake. Or do and commiserate with me in the comments below.
Do you have an interesting fun-fact? This movie made me retroactively hate the year 1980. The year I was born.
What does Netflix say I’d like if I like this? When Nature Calls (Troma!), Teenage Catgirls in Heat (I rented this when I was 17 and failed to procure wood), Tromeo and Juliet (I wish Heckyl and Hype was half that good), Murder by Death (How. Dare. You.) and Who’s Harry Crumb (My absolute most watched movie of all time. For real).
What does Jared say I’d like if I like this? If you like this then I recommend an outpatient evaluation followed by possible death.
What is Netflix’s best guess for Jared? 2.9
What is Jared’s best guess for Jared? AIDS.
Can you link to the movie? If I must.
Any last thoughts? This is totally lame but (instead of saying one more word about this movie) I’d like to remind you guys that if you dig the column to please click the Facebook “Like” button at the top of the page. It really helps this site and also makes me feel like I’m not so alone.
Did you watch anything else this week? Green Lantern. And you, sleeping.
Next Week? Sheitan, Four Lions, Shout at the Devil or throw out some new suggestions. Just something a little less… this.