Dr. Jekyll’s Dungeon of Death (1979)
Article 6063 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by James Wood
Featuring James Mathers, John F. Kearney, Dawn Carver Kelly
What it is: Much scenery was chewed during the making of this movie.
A mad descendant of the original Dr. Jekyll experiments with a version of his ancestor’s serum enhanced by Nazis. He tries to get a sane scientist to help him out by kidnapping the latter’s daughter.
This is such a cheap and shoddy little movie that one is tempted to just point to its financial shortcomings and be done with it, but that’s a little too easy. As an example, I’ve seen the movie criticized for much of it being underlit, and though I’ve occasionally criticized some movies for that very reason, that’s not a problem here; because what you do see is sufficient for the purposes of the story. No, my problem comes down to the script in that a) the story is not well told and b) even if it were, it wouldn’t be worth telling. It’s one of those movies where you know where it’s going after the first ten minutes and that most of the time spent watching the movie is waiting for the end scene where practically everyone will die. There are at least two performers here who are way over the top, and perhaps the most impressive sequences (the martial arts fights) are marred by the fact that they don’t look anything like the rage-filled acts of violence the plot requires them to be and instead look just like choreographed martial arts fights. Ultimately, the movie is a bore and never even begins to look like it might not be. A waste of time.