Episode 41 - Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again (1982)
Jekyll & Hyde... Together Again presents an interesting argument for our love of films and nostalgia. This is no more prevalent in our art than it is today. With so many remakes and reboots of past franchises being resurrected our childhood memories are being mined by companies to squeeze out guaranteed profits. Jekyll and Hyde is the perfect example of how nostalgia can cloud our judgement and tastes.
This movie was recommended to us by our friend and contributor Chuck Rodriguez. Chuck was taken by his mother at the age of 7 to see this movie in the theater and even though many of the jokes probably went over his head, the movie and it's wacky comedic style stuck with him.
This movie by all accounts is a disaster. It's one in a long time of sight-gag-comedic-airplane-rip-off movies that were produced during the 1980's. It should have never been resurrected in modern media formats and should have remained buried in a landfill for the rest of time - a product of 1982 that would never be seen or heard from again. But that's not the case, not in today's art culture.
Would you be surprised to know that after years of obscurity this movie was eventually released on DVD and then actually given a Blu Ray release? Someone took the time to remaster this movie and re-release it; but to who? All those 7 year old's that saw this movie, remembered it being great and bugged studios on message boards and on Twitter to demand a copy of this film. Is it great a movie? Hell no. Do these people know that? Of course. But nostalgia is a powerful drug and it affects us all and despite what you might think, studios are listening when there is money to be made.
No matter what you tell me I will always enjoy the movie Rocket Man. It is probably one of the worst Disney movies ever made and actually features a joke where a man farts in a space suit but the 7th grader in me can't help but love the movie. I saw it at the right time and the right place and now I own the very difficult to find DVD of it and actually have a full sized movie poster of film hanging in my house. I could turn it on today and still enjoy every minute of it even though I know it's a pile of trash. Why? Because nostalgia is a powerful demon that affects us all.
Jekyll and Hyde is a movie that will never win over modern audiences. They will scoff at the blatant racism in the jokes, they will groan at the over-the-top sight gags, and they will wonder why people write such glowing reviews about this movie online. This is a time capsule, take any random comedy from 2016 and audiences in 2050 will be just as confused as we are today about this movie.
Despite all this I can't hate the movie. I honestly enjoyed it - maybe it was the heavy dose of cold meds - but I found myself feeling that soft spot and thinking about watching this movie if I were a kid.
Recommending this movie is tough. It's not for everyone but I think that a lot of people in our audience can find enjoyment in the pure oddity of it all. 1982 was a weird time and place - a place I know nothing about as I wasn't even alive - but that's what this podcast is about; stepping in to another time and place and seeing what the world was like through the eyes of a forgetting film. Whether it's a world we remember through our own eyes or never experienced it's our only ability to go back and see what things were like in another time and another place.
Next Week's Film
Director: Steve Carver
Writers: Michael Lanahan, David Oas
Stars: Scott Strader, Perry Lang, Mariska Hargitay