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Film Review: Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again (1982)

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SYNOPSIS:

Dr Daniel Jekyll researching into drugs that would help mankind avoid surgery discovers a white powder that unleashes the animal in every man, and in his case turning him from a shy and timid doctor into a wild sex crazed party animal. To the delight and dismay of both his rich fiancée and stripper girlfriend.

REVIEW:

Another lost gem from the 80’s, “Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again” (1982) has been off the radar for far too long. A kudos goes out to Olive Films for resurrecting this snarky ditty from the ashes and packaging it into bluray form. No extras here, but…. a much welcome “subtitles” has been included (Thank you Olive!).

To bring readers up to speed on what was happening around that time, 1980 marked the debut of the TV series Friday’s which ran up until 1982. From this remarkable show emerged some great acting talents which by then had made a name for themselves on this skit-based late night series. One of them, the underrated actor Mark Blankfield was noted for several re-occurring characters that included the noted “Pharmacist” sketch. In the sketches, Mark plays an overexcited hyperactive counter Pharmacist that appeared to indulge a wee bit too much into the stock on hand.

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I mention this specifically due to the similar character Mark portrays in this dark comedic film, “Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again” (which performance-wise could easily be compared to his former “Friday’s” Pharmacist skit character). If you are era-savvy, you’d also remember that 1 year prior saw the release of Chevy Chase’s “Modern Problems” (which one could additionally be compared to this drug-related role). In any case, this was the climate of films during this time.

“Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again is noted as being based on the novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson.” Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again” additionally takes a slight que from the 1980’s “Airplane” franchise in that it uses alot of offbeat slapstick-style humor. Jokes are mixed in per situational comedy, cheap gags, and a general satirical look at the culture of that time (combined of course with the classical idea of Dr. Jekyll, Mr.Hyde).

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Hyde, in the case of this film, is a wacky uninhibited version of man that embraces life in excess. He is presented as the ultimate party-going night owl. The gag is further enhanced per transformations that include gags such as gold rings popping out of knuckles, a gold chain emerging from his chest, and a “bling” tooth popping into place. But getting slightly ahead of ourselves, the story begins on the note of actor Mark Blankfield playing the role of Daniel Jekyll, a highly regarded surgeon who announces that he will be leaving his profession. This comes as a shock to his superior who has already scheduled a full body transplant for high profile client, Hughes Howard.

Daniel dedicates his activities to the creation of drugs designed to help the medical world by increasing ones capacity for healing. Showcased in a cocaine-like manner, the drugs are presented in powder form as Daniel mixes formulas together. The humor here is in the presentation of Daniel’s drug-mixing and his somewhat lax approach experimentation.

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Daniel creates an accidental batch that he happens to ingest one night after falling asleep. From this intake emerges a transformed Daniel who appears slightly more animal than human. As “Hyde”, Daniel takes to the city streets and nightclubs where he falls for new-wave performer Ivy (Krista Errickson of the movie 1980 Little Darlings) embarking the 2 on a rather debaucherous relationship that caters more to cheap gags than reality. Meanwhile Daniel as Dr. Jekyll, begins to lose interest in his current relationship to Mary Carew (Bess Armstrong), daughter of hospital head, Dr. Carew (Michael McGuire).

The film “Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again”, while not receiving the respect it deserved (as a fun comedy) remained mostly forgotten until its recent bluray release (often appearing in low quality videos extracted from old VHS tapes). The movie borrows alot from its era based on the comedic style of its times often resembling a darker version of the movie, “The Nutty Professor”. It probably goes without saying but “Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again” is a great showcase for actor Mark Blankfield’s dynamic comedy work that could easily be compared to later comedian Jim Carey’s off beat style. It’s a shame that  Blankfield wasn’t given more opportunities to use his talents, however there are still old residual videos from the Friday’s TV run to look back on.

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I have always regarded “Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again” movie as a true 80’s comedic cult film that was more underrated than appreciated. In any case, Hyde is back, so go grab a copy1

“Hyde’s got nothing to hide!”

“Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again” is available on bluray per Olive Films

One comment

  1. Thanks for reminding me of an old favorite I need to rewatch. “And now for your listening endurement, Madame Woo Woo is ashamed to present… Ivy And The Shitty Rainbows.”

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