Midweek Mad Scientist Movie Madness I: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920) & The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

For Christmas I received a couple of box sets, each containing fifty films from their respective genres.  The first collection I cracked open, Mad Scientist Theatre, consists of, well, fifty films about science and scientists gone wrong (or mad, I should say).

I’ve decided to write reviews of the films from these collections throughout the course of the year semiregularly.  Son of Sonnet is taking a bit of a hiatus from writing for the time being, so these midweek reviews seemed like a good way to fill the void his pen has left.  I don’t plan on writing these reviews every Wednesday, but maybe once or twice a month.

Also, I’ll be making the meat of these reviews for subscribers only.  That’s not to cut out my lovable band of regular readers, but to further sweeten the pot for existing subscribers.  I thought about doing these posts for $5 and up subscribers, but as of this past weekend, I finally have a subscriber at the $3 level.  Because I think she will enjoy these oddball film reviews, I’m going to make them available starting at that level.

That said, I will still provide a substantial portion of these reviews for non-paying readers, as their energy and enthusiasm in the comment sections really keep the blog alive and fresh.

So!  With that lengthy preamble out of the way, the first two flicks on the first disc of Mad Scientist Theatre are both silent films from 1920:  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.  You don’t need Mad Scientist Theatre to watch these films, either, as they’re both in the public domain (indeed, they’re both 102-years old, which is wild to contemplate—film is a young medium, but it was around and commercially viable a century ago).  You can view both on YouTube:

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (with the original color tinting, which is not on the Mad Scientist Theatre collection):

These are quite different films, but each interesting in their own way.  The themes and situations explored in each are eerily prescient for those of us living through our own “Roaring Twenties,” with all this decade’s excesses, licentiousness, and absurdity.

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20 thoughts on “Midweek Mad Scientist Movie Madness I: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920) & The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

  1. On our watch list already. I think Audre mentioned both of these films when she was plugging Carnival of Souls, also excellent.

    Tina and I had a Carpenter night last night – The Fog, Escape From New York and The Thing. Classics. I started writing a parody on Escape last night but I’m not sure if I’ll finish it.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I love that movie, way more than the original. Kurt Russell is just brilliant and I love that bit of petulance when he loses at chess to the computer at the start – ‘cheating b****,’ he utters as he pours his whiskey into the system. Class!

        One of the aspects I love about the film, apart from the paranoia and isolation, is the question of survival; human and the thing. The latter does whatever it takes to survive and protects itself vehemently and so do we. However, as humans we have the capacity to love and will do what we can to protect others from harm, even if we don’t know them, hence the scene with Blair when realising what the thing could do to the world’s population, smashes up all the equipment to ensure they can’t contact the outside world.

        A lot of those types of film really do make the audience think.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, I have not seen the 1950s original, but Carpenter’s version is surely an example of the remake besting the source material. I, too, love Kurt Russell (right up there with Nicolas Cage in my esteem, though for quite different reasons), and that scene with the computer is classic.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. ‘I guess because of the age difference, I prefer the original. When I saw the remake, it really grossed me out, lol!’

    You watch The Walking Dead and the remake of The Thing grossed you out?! See something of a problem there? 🙂 🙂 🙂

    There’s that classic scene in the remake where a character’s head detaches itself from the body, grows spiders legs and scuttles off, another character noting ‘you’ve got to be f****** kidding me!’ I love stuff like that! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Apologies for putting up an off topic but I’ve just read a story from the States that made me giggle.

    It appears we’ve been missing a trick, Tyler, in our responses to the other side politically. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (not to be confused with Elizabeth ‘occasionally Cherokee’ Warren) responded to videos showing her going maskless at a party in Florida by saying that Republicans were sexually jealous of her! A new one for me and one I’m going to have a lot of fun with in the future! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I’ve said to Audre and DA on a few occasions that whenever one of our politicians says something stupid, you have AOC, who just takes the biscuit! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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