Monday, 26 July 2010

The bright side of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, from then to now

"Unleash your inner desires, and got a laugh out of it!"

My obsession with Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde have taken me far and wide, and in my search for Jekyll and Hyde related stuff I have stumbled over tons and tons of Spoof’s and comedies.
I don’t think any tale have been spoofed more, and why should it not? The possibilities for spoof’s are endless. The reason why a character would want to turn into somebody else, equally endless and doesn’t necessarily have to be dark. I sincerely believe that we all have an inner smuck we just yearn to try and unleash, just one, we all have tried situations we hated and wished we could trash and crash with no worry for consequence, further more we all have people we don't like we wish we could trash down in the trash can, but our better self restrain us. or at least that happens a lot to me. I am never allowed to be as rude or mean as I kind of want to be once in a while, if there was just some way I could unleash my mean rude side without consequence....

There is even a wonderfully opportunity for farce and all sorts of crazy stunts, on that same note, it’s also really easy to make a fail in this, especially since it have been done so many times, and often instead of create new unique stories, people tend to try and copy what have been done before. I personally can think of numerous way to do a Jekyll and Hyde Spoof right now I haven’t really seen before, so why is it so hard for professional writers? I really don’t know. but lets have a look on some of the truly great doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde spoofs through time. Again, I will just pick does I like, there’s lots of suck out there.

Dr. Pyckle and Mr Pryde silent film from 1925. Starring Stand Laurel from before he started partner ship with Hardy.
Boy, this film is a pearl! You can watch it legally for free on the classic movie archive on the net, and I implore people to do so. It’s the oldest spoof movie I have ever seen, and it’s hilariously funny, its only consistent of classic slap stick, and uses the Jekyll and Hyde story as a back drop for tons of physical gags. It’s such a illuminating experience to watch Stand Laurel in this were you realize how talented the guy is, the acting in this is nothing like his Laurel character, but is so diverse and all over the place yet very funny and just great.
It is literately a spoof, it’s spoofing the 1920 silent movie I talked about in my previous article, and boy is it a pearl, a must watch for horror fans, comedy fans or just plain movie fans. As it’s only 23 minutes long and free to watch, I don’t think it’s to much to ask.

Abbot and Costello meet Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a 1953 black and white movie.
Now, Abbot and Costello was one of the many favoured comedy partner acts back in the day, though their act was mostly that the two incompetent people cut stuck in one of their many movie adventures, their biggest movie success and what is considered now a classic is the movie “Abbot and Costello meets Frankenstein” which does not only have Frankenstein in it, but Dracula, the wolf man, the mummy and the invisible man as well. Now the reason that movie today is considered a classic is not because of Abbot and Costello, but because the movie managed to collect such people as, Bella Lugosi, Lon Chaney jr, and Vincent Price to reprise the monster characters they became so famous for in the first place in a funny movie and a tribute to their prime days. And that movie was a giant hit, so it only made sense they would make other “meet monster movies” and one of does was “Meets Jekyll and Hyde” now, the movie is silly let me tell you that right away. It’s camped and silly but does manage to force some laughs for me, the truly epic thing about this movie is horror legend “Boris Karloff” in the part of Jekyll, he is an evil Jekyll who very deliberately turns himself into a monster, sadly when he turns into Hyde it’s not Boris Karloff anymore, but a stunt guy with a rubber mask. What a shame, because Karloff was a master of playing evil, and have in his carriers given evil a great deal of different faces and different personalities. So again, shame that they did not use him probably.

Doctor Jekyll and Mr. mouse 1947/ Hyde and Hare 1955
I put these in the same category as they are both funny short animation. And they are both stuff I remember fondly watching several times in television doing my childhood.
Doctor Jekyll and Mr mouse is a tom and Jerry short where Jerry discovers a portion that can turn him into a strong mouse and he then miss uses this new strength to beat up Tom, most noticeable about the episode is the scenes where Tom or Jerry mixes the poison and sparks are flying everywhere as things combusts around them, again it’s slap stick humour, and as it’s Tom and Jerry it’s really good slap stick humour, good go oll Tom And Jerry.
Now, Hyde and Hare which is a bugs bonnie short scared the hell out of my when I was a kid, the cartoon genuinely frightened me, then again I do believe kids likes to be frightened, it’s about Bugs bunny suddenly finding himself in the home of the nice gentle spirited Doctor Jekyll, of cause Jekyll eventually starts to turn into the monstrous Hyde and scares the life out of Bugs who cannot figure where Hyde’s keeps coming from and where the nice doctor went. A classical Looney toons cartoon, and very scary for small kids.

The Nutty professor, Jerry Lewis version from 1963.
This is probably the first spoof to actually have a message in it, the very obvious message by being yourself, the film is considered a cult classic by many and is considered Jerry Lewis best film ever.
In this Doctor Jekyll, or professor kelp as he is called in this movie is a little nerdy guy who gets picked on and kicked around by everyone, he develops a mixture which transforms him into the handsome yet ruthless Buddy love. Often it happens that the story steps away to focus on the gags, but that is okay as the story and the gags compliments each other well. I really love to see and actor doing something very different than what they are known for, and Buddy love is so far a stray from what you would expect of Jerry Lewis while Kelp is all you normally get from Lewis that it’s a joy to watch. He is literately playing his own counterpart.
The movie is a long run of madness that ends on an actually quite beautiful speech delivered by Jerry Lewis as his character slowly reverses to Kelp from being Buddy love, exposing who he really is to everyone.

The mask, from 1994.
Okay, this is not officially a Jekyll and Hyde movie, nobody have ever said it’s a Jekyll and Hyde movie, but it really is a Jekyll and Hyde movie. It truly is.
Also, it’s the spoof Hyde the most like a prober Hyde in my head.
Meaning, I think Hyde’s are peoples madness unleashed, when Jerry Lewis turned into buddy love a cold restraint which we don’t normally see with him comes above him, when Jim Carrie turns into the mask, he is unleashed in wild madness!
Meaning he turns into a human Looney Toon, which he always were so I guess that’s just perfect casting.
This is a fun movie, very bright and very colourful, on the same time as it spoofs lots of movie themes, it carries the obvious message of “being yourself” but never over exposés it as the movie just want to move on with the funny plot, the imaginary scenes and other less used themes.
An inventive aspect of the movie as that the Mask unleashes a persons wildest desire, the character of Stanley which Jim Carrey’s plays is just such a to the heart nice guy that went he puts the mask on, he at best turns into a wild maniac and sort of a revenging bully, but no one really gets hurt when he have the mask, because his heart is just that pure, so the main issue of the movie is keeping other people away from the mask, who knows what might happen when they put it on, real bad things indeed.

Doctor Jekyll and Mrs Hyde, 1995.
Okay, this is by no means an overly good movie, but it presents an issue I just real badly needs to address. It’s something that have been done tons of times, but never in a good way, especially not in spoofs, and this just happens to be the best try, though that is not saying much.
Sex change.
Now, I love the idea of a female Jekyll and Hyde, I am female and I would love to play that part, I mostly love the idea of a female Hyde, a female savaging beast unleashed, which is the one thing I am never ever getting in any movie nor television show, no one simply dares to write a savage female character without grace, we are never allowed to be Looney without maintaining some grace, which is basically why I started doing my own stuff in the first place. I am to weird for any female character I could get otherwise.
Also this lady Hyde is a restraint graceful lady, who of cause is evil, again, stuff like that was only fun the first ten times, now it’s old. I need over the top.
The most laughable in this movie and what I find that’s the trouble with lots of this kinds of movies is the ending quite, as Hyde for the finale time have turned into Jekyll, Jekyll states, and I quote
“the only way I could ever understand a woman was to become one”
Yeah, that is true. I believe that, but hers the laughable thing, the movie had three writers and non of them was a woman. Please, it can’t be that difficult, when writing a film dealing with this sort of stuff, bring in a woman.
It’s actually policy in Hollywood than we you write about black people, just bring in a black guy to write, why is it not the same with this sort of stuff? I really don’t understand. If you want to write about women bring in a woman, you guys have no idea what we are doing when we are alone with each other. …. Even know I believe the guys who read my last sentence is thinking very wrong and kinky thoughts, if you didn’t do then you do know. You bastards.
btw, when is it gonna be a womans turn to turn into a man? it's always a man turning into a woman not virsa versa.

The Nutty Professor, Eddie Murphy version, 1996.
Yep, this is a remake of the Jerry Lewis film. Though made with Jerry Lewis blessings as he actually did act as executive producer.
It has an interesting idea, now the good hearted professor is over weight and that is what makes him insecure.
Almost all Jekyll and Hyde spoofs features a kindly hearted insecure doctor, but normally he just seems very scrawny and geeky, this is the only place where I have seen them dealing with the mentally of somebody being over weight, that is a very brilliant idea. Being over weight is a horrible feeling and state, even though I have never been down right over weight, I was slightly fat as a kid and teenager, I can very much relate and his early scenes are very emotional for me really, very subtle and very sad.
Then he invents a poison that is supposed to make him loose weight rapidly, and it works as it turns him into the very thin “buddy love” though the split personality comes as a side effect rather than the intent. Though again to my delight, buddy love comes across as the inner beast released while Klump is a very subtle and quite character.
Thankfully the good execution makes an story that have been made a thousand times before very enjoyable and nice. It’s far from being my favorite version of the story, but it’s a nice add to the story.
Sadly, the same thing cannot be said for the sequel, “The Klumps” which is from the era where Eddie Murhpy really went down hill as an comedian, actor and writer. The movie is real bad and has little to do with “Jekyll and Hyde” on the same time of completely lacking the heart that made the first movie stand out for me, and made it worthwhile.

This was my pick of best, most influential and most enjoyable spoofs, probably also the most well known.
I do firmly believe that Doctor Jekyll and Mr.H yde will be around forever, I firmly believe the main idea will be used forever, in comedy and drama alike. Even the drama is best when it’s dark comedy.
The mentality of a multi facaded is somewhere inside of all of us, there is somebody we see ourselves as inside, and then someone we show to the world. I think we would all would love to try and unleash the person we would love to see ourselves as inside of ourselves. That is what I am occasionally trying to do in my videos.
And I also think anyone would love to try and be somebody else for a day or two.
Though, the message the story brings still stands, no matter how much films try to undermines it the message will still be present.

“You don’t need to be someone else, you are good enough!”

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