March has come and gone. A short but sweet word on a few of my favourite “mad” scientists.
The Human Centipede (first sequence) 2009
Synopsis - A mad scientist kidnaps and mutilates a trio of tourists in order to reassemble them into a human centipede, created by stitching their mouths to each others' rectums.
My Thoughts - The madness level is spot on! We have all the classic tropes included. It’s uncomfortable and disgusting without going hella over the top as the following sequences do.
Dr. Heiter’s character was mad scientist perfection. From his appearance, the switch from calm and refined to crazed and frightening. He inflicts fear in his victims without trying to actually scare them, but by explaining his dream. This is exactly the kind of mad man I want to watch on screen but hope to never encounter!
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)
Val Kilmer/Marlon Brando in the newer version
Shipped wreaked on a topical island. Is there anything more disheartening then the rush of joy you would feel finally reaching land, water, food, shade, salvation. Only then to discover a whole new fight for survival.
All appears normal at first then the terrors begin to unfold as the scientific research of the Doctor begins to reveal itself.
Ultimately the work of the Dr. takes it’s revenge on those that created and restrained them.
Not a horror movie at all in the sense of gore or intensity, leans more to sci-if.
None the less a really great story and this adaptation was well done and enjoyable to watch.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
Nominated for 3 Oscars.
Synopsis - Testing his theory that in every man dwells a good and an evil force, the reserved Dr. Jekyll (Fredric March) develops a formula that separates the two, turning him into a violent ruffian named Mr. Hyde. Thinking he has found the answer to one of life's grandest mysteries, Dr. Jekyll soon realizes he is becoming addicted to his darker self as he unleashes his violent side on earthy dance hall girl Ivy (Miriam Hopkins) and fights Hyde to regain control of his body.
My thoughts - The classic mad scientist film. Dr. Jekyll is first presented as a kind, loving and studious scientist. we’re introduced to him as he’s preparing to go out to meet his fiancée looking forward to a future with her but also pursuing his dreams in his science lab. As the film progresses he creates his elixir which allows him to tap into the more animalistic and primal side of his humanity, and it’s a very very sharp contrast between the two sides of one’s personality. Even for this time and what was capable of films in the time it’s very gritty, deep and really shows the multi facets that humans have. The struggle of impulses that we all face to keep ourselves in line on a day today basis. Of course this is exaggerated between the two faces of good versus evil but I think they did an amazing job of it in Frederick Marchs per-trail was very powerful for me. Also another thing in this film that was very unique was the early use of a point of you filming when when we first are introduced to his character he’s preparing to go out and we’re watching things through his eyes and we don’t actually see him until he’s looking at himself in the mirror getting ready to go out to meet his fiancé and I think that’s really unique. It was used a few times throughout later movies especially the one that comes to mind is bleeding in the lake but it something that sort of faded off until it came back in this new wave of found footage filled me in that’s sort of come and go on and come again but this was a really clever and unique way to use this as your seeing him as he sees himself at the beginning of the film and I found that really powerful and very very clever.
This post came so much later then I intended but it’s here and I put a lot of background work in this month to prepare for a much smoother running April/May/June with plenty of already prepped and primed content.