Jekyll & Hyde...Together Again

by Robert Newton

National Film Editor

Wednesday July 16, 2008

Jekyll & Hyde...Together Again

Another of Paramount sub-licensor Legend Films' long-lost '80s gems (see also our review of "Student Bodies"), 1982's Jekyll & Hyde...Together Again is finally out on DVD, and man, is it a whole lot of fun.

The movie was a great showcase for comedian Mark Blankfield, the "Fridays" star who could have upstaged any of the pre-Eddie Murphy era cast members of ABC's rivals on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Blankfield, whom comedy fans will also know as the blind Blinkin from Mel Brooks's 1993 spoof "Robin Hood: Men In Tights," plays dual roles in this loosely based adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel. (There's actually a scene at the very end where the famous author actually rolls over in his grave.) While the mild-mannered man of medicine, Dr. Jekyll (Blankfield), is engaged to a pretty rich girl named Mary (Bess Armstrong) and lives meekly, Mr. Hyde (Blankfield), the result of a lab experiment exploring man's survival instinct, is a sex-crazed, drug-addicted wild man (and provides most of the movie's many laughs).

Co-written and directed by the late TV veteran Jerry Belson, "Jekyll & Hyde...Together Again" mirrors the fast-living attitude of the early '80s, and is sure to click with fans of Cheech & Chong who haven't discovered it already. The role was a perfect one for the hyperkinetic Blankfield, who performed the same sort of hard-edged comedy on the short-lived "Fridays" (which actually beat out the coughing-up-blood "SNL" in the ratings at one time). The movie actually features a brief and memorable role (hubba hubba!) by Cassandra Peterson, who is best known as the busty horror hostesss, Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark (she's the one with the big red lips painted on her surgical mask). All of Belson's trademark physical and slapstick is in full effect here, from Hyde's antics to the scene in which the fey plastic surgeon Dr. Knute Lanyon (comedian Tim Thomerson) overinflates a female patient's breast implants to ridiculous effect.

There are no special features of which to speak, but fans will attest that having such a clean-looking print of a forgotten treat from over a quarter-century ago is special enough.

*SPECIAL FEATURES: None (but fans will be happy to have the movie on DVD...and looking so good).

Robert Newton is the National Film Editor for EDGE. He is also Editor of North Shore Movies Weekly, and a film and TV writer for a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites. He is also an award-winning novelty recording artist (aka "Fig"), and runs The Cape Ann Community Cinema on the island of Gloucester, MA.