Blood Capsule #74


Stop talking, you guys.  I need to focus.  I'm tackling another Hammer heavyweight (well, it's akin to a middleweight, if I'm being honest), and my editor will have my anus flesh if I don't personally deliver this capsule to his escritoire by tomorrow morning.  The fact that I am my own editor is beside the point, and quite frankly, it's none of your business.  It's none of MY business.  So let's get down to business!  The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll is one of three Hammer adaptations of the Robert Louis Stevenson novella.  I haven't seen the other two, but whether I visit them or not, there are entirely too many variations on the Jekyll/Hyde theme.  Wasn't it fundamentally perfected before World War II?

Paul Massie is tasked with carrying the dual role.  He gives a strong performance, but he doesn't hold a gas lantern to John Barrymore or even Fredric March.  The plot is detail-oriented.  The viewer hears a great deal of dialogue that, while admittedly well-written, is prioritized at the deprivation of atmosphere.  This is going to sound idiotic, but I wanted more fun stuff.  Faces barely feels like a horror film.  I couldn't tell that it was directed by Terence Fisher, a Hammer padlock who may have been spread thin around this time.  Maybe he wasn't.  I'm just trying to think of a reason why The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll is visually barren.  It's not a total loss, however.  Christopher Lee is clearly enjoying himself as a randy dog.  Sans fangs.

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