The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a fantastic Gothic horror story and I have a real soft spot for the genre: some monsters, a good omen or two and I’m hooked. So when Anchor Bay’s 2008 modernized version fell into my hands I was super excited. But oh reader beware, this film is neither good nor enjoyably horrible. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the kind of bad filmmaking that can ruin a good actor’s career, see: Bruce Willis’ Hudson Hawk. It would be kinder not to review this movie at all. It would be kinder for Anchor Bay to let this movie fade into oblivion.
Growing up, I loved reading Great Illustrated Classics – I’m certain that’s what they were called, but they were these little, square-shaped paperbacks that would adapt classic novels. On one page you’d have text, the other an illustration. They still publish them today, in fact. Larger versions, but the same adaptations and illustrations. You can find them all here. I mention this because reading Cole Haddon’s great Dark Horse series, The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde took me right back to those stories I grew up reading – War of the World, The Time Machine and, of course, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I read them all over and over, but it was Robert Louis Stevension’s great story that I came back to again and again, and which came bursting from my memory while reading Haddon’s story. 18th century England…foggy nights…an inspector in pursuit of his quarry…and Jack The Ripper? It all comes together brilliantly.
Cole Haddon was kind enough to answer some questions via email about The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde, his creative process, inspiration and much more. Listen to the chime of the ten bells…and let’s get started.