Jekyll & Hyde Together Again:
I hope that over-indulgence of cocaine is to blame for this early-'80s monstrosity, but that would be too obvious. Leaden pacing, a dearth of funny jokes, zany gags or other amusements, poorly considered outrageous humor and the most ferociously aggressive ham-sandwich of a performance ever put on film makes Together Again rather difficult to sit through.
Dr. Jekyll (Mark Blankfield) is a highly regarded surgeon with a yen to move into pure research. Seems he's been looking for a formula that will help humans explore their animal nature ... or something. Hitting some type of jackpot, he concocts a white powder that turns him into a capering disco fiend. The die is then cast, as Jekyll must choose between animalistic sex with a lounge singer-cum-hooker (Krista Erricson as Ivy) or chaste, surgeon-ly love with his betrothed; a virginal, racist, rich white snob (Bess Armstrong as Mary) who's father owns the hospital where Jekyll works. Further complicating our hero's life, (and compromising our enjoyment of the movie) low-level blackmail comes into play as Jekyll's boss holds daughter out as bait in exchange for a 'whole body' transplant Jekyll would rather not perform.
Episodic, grinding and not the least bit funny are ways to describe what happens next. After a briefly promising start - wherein the movie looks like it might turn out an affable, poor-man's Young Frankenstein crossed with Young Doctors In Love - Together Again shoots right off the rails. Actual jokes are few and far between, with tiny bits of Zucker Brothers-type comedy being the exception. What's left, mainly, are three interminable segments in which Jekyll snorts the formula, hulks out, runs off to pay for sex with Ivy with a bag of groceries, wakes up, regrets what he's done, and runs to Mary. Jekyll's transformation is mildly amusing; bling appears from under his skin and he comes equipped with coke-snorting gear, but the 20 minutes it seems to take for Jekyll to transform is unbearable. This relatively short movie feels composed of 65% hysterical mugging from this unlikable gent. Really, Blankfield makes Jim Carrey look mellow: like I said, I hope he was genuinely coked up for this. As ferocious physical effort, Blankfield's effort is heroic. Entertaining? Not even close.
When Hyde climbs the walls of Mary's mansion for some wooing, two live, African American little people - dressed-up and holding lanterns like the statues that flank wealthy people's stairways in the Deep South - comment: "Is that a white guy up there? Let him fall ..." That's so funny I knocked over my cotton gin. Ivy and other ladies who cross Hyde's path are problematic too, as they'll pimp themselves out or call themselves trash in order to get at his dangerous dong. Some of other less offensive (but no less flat) attempts at humor flail about before Hyde (further ganking from Young Frankenstein) performs a screeching, awful disco song and dance called 'Hyde's Got Nothin' To Hide' for purposes that elude me. As an horrific penultimate capper, it does this crappy movie proud. When (SPOILER ALERT) the various ladies in Jekyll/Hyde's life decide they'll share the task of 'taking care of him' I tossed my DVD player out the window.
You owe me big time for this one, DVDTalk.
Jekyll comes together with Hyde in 1.78:1 ratio enhanced for widescreen televisions. With a fairly crisp, clear image and no glaring compression artifacts the stage is set to spot consistent (but not distracting) film grain and a few bits of damage here and there. In all, the movie looks quite decent for its age. Colors aren't particularly vibrant, but are fairly natural, while dark areas are consistent but not super-deep.
Prevailing trends lead one to believe we're dealing with Dolby Digital Stereo Audio, though packaging remains mum. Deficiencies from source audio aren't an issue, the mix is fairly dynamic for stereo, and levels are balanced well too. There's no aggressive sound design, just Blankfield screaming, yelling and hollering non-stop. Oh, and the horrible soundtrack songs come through loud and clear.
Paramount's Legend Films imprint is the guilty party, cursed to sail a ghost-galleon forever for dredging up this misbegotten movie. They did it justice, however, by including no extras, save Closed Captioning and Chapter Stops.
I recall seeing the VHS box for this junker at my local rental agent when I was but a lad. It looked like crap sitting there, then, and the truth will always out. Now that I've had to watch it, I pronounce it crap. Not zany enough, too few jokes, too many jokes that are just wrong, and far more hardcore capering from Blankfield than anyone should put up with. Why didn't they pull the plug on this one while viewing rushes? It's that bad, so please Skip It.
- Kurt Dahlke
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