This was the first disc I got with my GreenCine membership [not because it’s something I was desperate to see], and the little review on the label said: “a mix of disgusting sex and gore that would have Stevenson spinning in his grave.”
Now, do they mean that it has disgusting sex, as well as gore? Or that the sex and gore are equally disgusting?
I will tell you that I rented this based on the pic of the sleazy mustachioed guy on the cover, and the inference that he would turn into an even sleazier sex maniac once he took the “Jekyll Juice,” [to modify a phrase from Michael Jackson], and I WAS RIGHT! So if you, like me, are attracted to sleazy mustachioed 70s scumbags who say things like “Can you handle a BIG man like me?” then this movie is for you. If, however, you like the ladies, there’s still plenty of tits on display.
I think I read somewhere that this film is a product of the brief time after Deep Throat where people thought that porn and regular movies were going to fuse together, and this was a brave attempt to pioneer that trend. It is not successful by any measure. There’s not enough sex [and enough sex in which you SEE anything] to make it interesting to porn enthusiasts, and everything else is so clangingly bad no one would bother to sit through it. Except me, I guess.
The story concerns this scumbaggy 70s doctor who goes to this used bookstore with his fiancée. He finds a book and becomes obsessed with it for no apparent reason. He goes back in the middle of the night and kills the shopkeeper to get the book. He reads a little, and then we have a flashback to ye olde Londone [with commensurate production values] where he [as Mr. Hyde] picks up a prostitute, whips her, ties her up, and rapes her. At this point she supposedly begins to ENJOY it [he such a stud, see], and he kills her by shoving a red-hot iron poker up her snatch. This is when the ‘fun’ aspect of this movie starts to drain away, and you start to feel a little guilty for the many crimes of mankind.
The doctor, who apparently a) has a full bedroom and bathroom just off his office, and b) keeps a full mad scientist set of bubbly glass beakers filled with steaming red liquid at the ready, decides to take the potion himself. This will, we are told, reveal his true self, which, wouldn’t you know, is a hot blonde woman. Apparently on the first night he decides to just stay home and masturbate with his new body, but soon enough he’s taking his new boobies out on the town.
First he [as a woman] abuses the secretary he was also having an affair with as a man, allowing the movie to have a lesbian rape scene! Clever dirty men. Of course the secretary comes to enjoy it. There is also a flashback in which Hyde fucks and then kills a woman, again with a large spiky object shoved up her pussy.
By this time, you, the viewer, are starting to feel a little dirty. And not in a good way.
Anyway, there’s some gesture toward a murder investigation for the killing of the shopkeeper, so the doctor decides that the best disguise would be to become the woman. Which he does, and promptly goes out and picks up a sailor who looks like a biker. At this point you might be thinking: “Okay, but this is a MAN in a woman’s body! And he’s going to have sex with another MAN, so how does he feel about that?” Such questions will get you nowhere, as the only thing this film is interested in is whatever titillation it can stir up in that moment, and gender politics were NOT invited to the party. The man-as-woman goes and strangles his fiancée, THEN feels up her dead body, and ALMOST gets it on with the cute detective investigating the case [I was hoping they’d go further], before abruptly falling out of a window and ending the story with no warning, sense, or reason.
While this gets points for being a curiosity, and DID supply me with a lot of that sleazy-guy-man-talk [that I LOVE], it was just so inert in every way [including our main character’s dick] that it just became kind of a burden. Fast-forwarding was frequent. The mild sadism I don’t mind [it’s an exploitation flick], but once you shove a hot poker into a woman’s vagina, you’ve kind of crossed a line. It’s kind of amazing to me that a movie—any movie—could so casually just include that act, then just continue on its business. The rest of it never really crosses the line to ‘hilariously/fascinatingly bizarre’ from ‘sickeningly bizarre.”
I guess they DID mean “disgusting sex.”
No. But you’re an adult, you can do what you like.