Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again (1982)
Director: Jerry Belson
Starring: Mark Blankfield, Bess Armstrong, Tim Thomerson, Krista Errickson & Michael McGuire
Released by: Olive Films
Reviewed by Mike Kenny
Turning the classic tale on its head, Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again centers on the brilliantly shy Dr. Daniel Jekyll (Mark Blankfield, The Incredible Shrinking Woman) whose experimental research developing a drug to substitute all surgeries accidentally works its unexpected magic on the reserved surgeon. Morphing into a wild and crazy ladies man known as Hyde, nonstop partying and a skyrocketing sexual appetite unleashes the beast within the doctor formally known as Jekyll. Bess Armstrong (My So-Called Life), Tim Thomerson (Near Dark), Krista Errickson (The First Time) and Michael McGuire (Hard Times) costar.
Unfathomably produced by Hollywood heavyweight Paramount Pictures, this painfully unfunny modern desecration of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella is a chemical catastrophe of epic proportions and lamebrain hijinks. Uptight and awkward, Dr. Daniel Jekyll’s reputation as a master surgeon is unanimously respected by his peers while, his passion has been rerouted to medical research leaving hospital director and his future father-in-law (McGuire) enraged. Struggling to conceive a substance that would eliminate all surgeries, Jekyll dozes away in front of his experimental powders and ridiculously snorts the concoction triggering a total personality alteration. Sprouting chest hair, gold chains, a quintessential 80s stache and a handy coke nail, the intoxicated freakazoid, guided by his raging hormones, falls for punk rock singing hooker Ivy Venus (Errickson) before his chemical high wears off, reverting him back to his serious self. Juggling his commitment to his prissy fiancée (Armstrong) while unable to kick the addiction to his wild Hyde side, Jekyll’s extensive research earns him a whopping $500,000 prize to be awarded in London where he demonstrates a trailer trash impromptu performance in front of royalties finest and his two contrasting lovers.
Scripted by no less than four writers including, co-creator of The Cosby Show Michael Leeson, Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again manages to only invoke laughs of pity at how poorly conceived its flat jokes and cheap gags bomb. Featuring minor appearances from Cassandra Peterson (Elvira: Mistress of the Dark), Lin Shaye (Insidious) and Barret Oliver (The NeverEnding Story) in a blink and you’ll miss role as a child in a supermarket, this lab disaster of a picture fittingly ends with Stevenson’s rotting skeleton turning in its grave, summing up the anything but humorous feature exquisitely.
Olive Films presents Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Presumably recycling the same transfer from Legend’s 2011 release, video quality is respectably healthy with skin tones and color choices in hospital scrubs and other standout attire striking nicely. Age-related artifacts are minimal with only minor speckling seen during nighttime sequences leaving the film in an otherwise pleasing state. Equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix, static is present during the film’s opening organ music before steady and clear dialogue levels right the ship. Ivy’s performance at Madam Woo Woo’s is surprisingly robust and thunderous while, arcade ambiance of Pac-Man sound effects and the like make fitting compliments to the track. No special features have been included on this release.
A comedic experiment gone severely wry, Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again fails on every conceivable level to be funny or even mildly interesting. Retrospectively notable for its major studio promotional campaign that poked fun at the very rampant cocaine consumption of the decade, this frustratingly flat feature is a total buzzkill and will certainly smash anyone’s high. For still curious viewers, Olive Films at least curates an appreciatively decent presentation albeit without any supplements.