Thursday, February 5, 2015

Rare Flix: Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde

So we are the real monsters then?  Today's Film is Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde, a Blaxploitation Film that has eluded me for a long time.  Unlike stuff Santo and the Treasure of Dracula, I just wasn't looking for it.  I should have been though.  Some back-story for you, since I know you love it.  William Crain is a Director who is not too well-known, but probably should.  His second Credit- following an Episode of The Mod Squad- was Blacula.  A few years later, he made this one.  In between, he Directed a Short Film about Kids pondering the meaning of Life.  Weird, right?  It is worth noting that Mr. Crain is African-American, so it is harder to be mad about this kind of stuff.  It is different than, say, Bob Kelljan (who is White) making Scream Blacula Scream instead of Crain.  So what is this Film?  A man named Dr. Pryde (really?) works on a formula to help cure diseases, while working at a Free Clinic part-time.  His formula works...sort of.  Okay, it turns out to be bad.  You had to know that though, right?  Exactly.  Is this a forgotten Classic or a piece of celluloid trash?  To find out, blah blah...
This is Dr. William Pryde (Bernie Casey).  He is a Doctor and Scientist.  Since this was made in the 1970s and not post-Cosby Show, he's not married to a Lawyer.
He works part-time at a Free Clinic and befriends a Prostitute- giving us Nudity early on.  I should also note that I watched this on YouTube so obscure movie boobs are allowed.
Unfortunately, the formula has a bad side-effect: it makes you work for Opus Dei.

Oh and it makes you a crazed Killer Albino.
Pryde tests this on himself, making him be a slightly-less goofy monster.  He retains his intelligence and gains a mean streak a mile wide!
For some reason, the Hyde personality likes to wander around at night and get into fights.  He has a reason sometimes, but not most.
He also does bad Karate- the kind that everyone seemed to do in the 1970s.  Kudos to I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka for joking about that so well.
For anyone who thinks that Albino Bernie Casey is too damn silly, consider that THIS passed as Mr. Hyde once.  Hell, this guy was the only guy to win a Best Actor Oscar for a Horror Film (and not a Thriller).
The whole thing builds to Hyde taking over one last time to chase the one surviving witness- the prostitute from earlier.  The Police show up and kill him once he climbs a Tower (for some reason).

Twas bullets that killed the beast.  The End.
It isn't all that bad, honestly.  The big thing is just that it gets a bit formulaic.  The Film reaches a point where it just breaks down into a series of Scenes where Hyde kills some people.  They are good Scenes- complete with funky music- and all, but it just gets derivative.  The actual Plot feels real enough in total though.  Pryde seems like a good person who wants to find a cure for some serious diseases, but does something bad in the process.  Before you ask, I don't know how the formula makes you into a killer white people- it just does.  I'm sure Neil DeGrasse Tyson could explain how none of this makes sense.  It is a good mix of Horror and Social Messaging though.  They are a bit heavy-handed at times, but this is the 1970s- that happened alot.  In the End, you get to see a crazy Albino Bernie Casey killing a Pimp with a Car, so what else do you need?  I mean, let's be honest- it could be worse!
Next up, I keep the Black History Month theme going with a Film I've missed for a long time.  Is this tasteless or way ahead of its time?  Stay tuned...

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