I, Monster (1971)

Amicus productions made the best non-Hammer Hammer horror films, and this one is one of their better efforts.

Here we have Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in an interesting adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, although the names have been changed to protect the innocent.  The SF content of versions of this story varies dramatically, although I can’t say I’ve ever seen one that chose this particular tack before, interpreting the story in terms of Freudian Analysis.

Freud, of course, lost that new car smell a long time ago, and commands little respect among psychiatric professionals anymore – although, of course, he’s still being used to justify the sexual revolution.  We can’t give up on that, after all.  Facts or no facts.

But it does give us an entirely unprecedented slant on the story, where the good Doctor develops his drug to use as a therapeutic tool and speed up the usual process of analysis.  He even administers it to at least two of his patients (apparently successfully!) before deciding to make more extensive tests on himself.

While not the most horrific or intense film Amicus ever made, it is quite watchable and almost indistinguishable from the real Hammer product.  Perhaps the most intriguing detail is that Lee handles the initial transformation without makeup – and even the later makeup remains heavily restrained, unlike the “Wolfman” look that crept into our vision of Hyde, probably thanks to Spencer Tracy.

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