I, MONSTER (1970) Reviews and now free to watch online

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Me, Monster is a 1970 British science fiction horror film about a psychologist who invents a drug that releases his patients’ inhibitions. When he tests it on himself, he becomes mean and dark in crime and eventually murder.

Directed by Stephen Weeks (Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Gawain and the Green Knight; ghost story) from a screenplay written by co-producer Milton Subotsky, based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s short story “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, Amicus Productions film stars Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Mike Raven (disciple of death; Crucible of Terror; Desire of a Vampire) and Richard Hurndall. Max J. Rosenberg co-produced.

The soundtrack was composed by Carl Davis (untied frankenstein; What happened to Jack and Jill?).

At the request of co-producer Milton Subotsky, the film was originally intended to be shown in 3D using the Pulfrich effect, however, the idea was scrapped during production, leaving some scenes unrecoverable during the editing process ( hence the short duration). Due to the complicated process required to shoot in 3D, previous Amicus directors Freddie Francis and Peter Duffell had already declined the project. It was picked up off the cuff by twenty-two-year-old Stephen Weeks, even though he had only made short films before.

Inexplicably, Subotsky also changed the names of the main protagonists from Jekyll and Hyde to Marlowe and Blake, although the names of the other characters remain the same as in Stevenson’s original story.

Blu-ray release:
In the UK, Powerhouse Films is releasing Me, Monster on Blu-ray via their Indicator imprint on September 28, 2020. Order via Amazon.co.uk

New 2K restoration by Powerhouse Films from original film materials
Two screenings of the film: the original 75-minute theatrical cut; and the extended version of 80 minutes
Original mono audio
Audio Commentary with Director Stephen Weeks (2020)
The BEHP Interview with Peter Tanner – Part One, 1914-1939 (1987): an archival audio recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring the famous editor in conversation with Roy Fowler and Taffy Haines
Introducing Stephen Laws (2020): An Appreciation of the Acclaimed Horror Author
Stephen Weeks at the Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films (1998): an archival video recording of the director in conversation
Interview with Milton Subotsky (1985): an archival audio recording of the famed producer
Interview with Carl Davis (2020): the famous composer talks about his score
Image gallery: advertising and promotional material
Original theatrical trailer
Kim Newman and David Flint’s Trailer Commentary (2017): A Short Critical Appreciation by Genre Cinema Experts
New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Exclusive 36-page limited edition booklet featuring a new essay by Josephine Botting, Milton Subotsky on Me, Monsteran archival interview with Stephen Weeks, insight into contemporary critical responses and film credits
World premiere on Blu-ray
Edition limited to 3,000 copies

Comments:

“At once elegant and sober, lyrical and scrupulously realistic in its Victorian-era detailing […] Weeks was severely hampered by both an obviously tight budget and having to start shooting a 3D process that was eventually scrapped. The Aurum Movie Encyclopedia: Horror

“Lee likes the dual role, but plays Dr Marlowe (Jekyll) as uptight and boring, while Fredric March and Spencer Tracy played the character as relaxed and normal. As Blake (Mr Hyde), his appearance degenerates, bordering on comical. Maybe it’s the ugly teeth or the ugly wig. Transformations are mostly cheated, either instantaneous or seen only as shadows. Black hole

“The film is kind of a struggle to sit down in many ways, with the end result being shot hazy, cluttered with superfluous foreground detail and long unnecessary cracking shots. […] Lee is excellent in both roles, aided by some really good Harry Frampton makeup effects, which get more extreme as Blake gets more degenerate. Ian Freer, The British horror film: from silent to multiplex

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