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Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde
Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde / Dr. Black and Mr. White / The Watts Monster

USA 1976
produced by
Charles Walker, Manfred Bernhard (executive), William Crain (associate)
directed by William Crain
starring Bernie Casey, Marie O'Henry, Rosalind Cash, Ji-Tu Cumbuka, Milt Kogan, Stu Gilliam, Elizabeth Robinson, Della Thomas, Marc Alaimo, Sam Laws, Judith Angeline, Janed Day, Eric Washington, Dan Spelling, Cora Lee Day, Bob Minor, Rai Tasco, Nancy Middleton, Adrienne Richard, Wilson Bryant III, Kajo Thomas, Buff Brady, Gregory Awosika, Sam Nudell, Fred Johnson
written by Larry LeBron, based on a story by Lawrence Woolner, music by Johnny Pate

Jekyll and Hyde

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The black Dr. Pride (Bernie Casey) is a successful and rich surgeon who loves his work and even dedicates his spare time to research - but, as one of his patients, Linda (Marie O'Henry), your neighbourhood prostitute with a heart of gold who's (not so) secretly in love with him, points out, apart from the colour of his skin, he's gone completely white ... Funny thing is, when Pride later that day tests a drug he has just developed on himself, he really goes white (though he looks more like Bernie Casey after an over-exposure to flour), and he goes violentbeating up Linda's pimp Silkey (Stu Gilliam).

Later that week, Pride has a proper date with Linda - even though he's romantically involved with his colleague Billie (Rosalind Cash) -, tells her that despite his good job, good life and everything he can never shake the shame of his mother having beebn a prostitute, and then asks her to be the guinea pig for his drug (yup the one that turned him white temporarily). Linda refuses, understandably, and persuades him to test the drug on himself first ... which he actually does, and soon he turns white again and starts killing prostitutes (not Linda though).

When one of Linda's best friends (and fellow prostitutes) is killed as well, Linda turns to the police, telling them about her suspicions and giving away the name of the man she still loves ... but for that, Pride - as his white, Hyde self - goes after Linda, soon captures her and drags her around town ... until he is cornered by the police, climbs a tall tower to escape arrest but is gunned down (even though he previously was impenetrable by bullets) and dies like King Kong - and once again it was beauty who killed the beast ...

 

This little horror flick with a very exploitative (blaxploitative ?) title is actually an attempt to blend horror and blaxploitation motives with social commentary - but as honourable as this attempt is on paper it ultimately backfires when the screenplay has no more to say about Afro-Americans than some old over-used clichés that aren't even used in an entertaining way - which makes the film not only fail as a social commentary but makes it also way too preachy to succeed as a blaxploitation/horror hybrid. And then there's of course Bernie Casey made up as a white man, which looks nothing short of ridiculous (but not in a good way) and doesn't help the film one bit either. Definitely not worth your while.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD