Review: I, Monster
Blu-ray: I, Monster (1971)
Directed in 1971 by a very young (only 22) Stephen Weeks as his feature debut for Amicus Productions. Interestingly Amicus usually made vignette films, multiple stories in one film, but this time opted for a a full length adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ (but the names are changed to Marlowe and Blake).
Christopher Lee, who we normally associate with Dracula, gives an almost reserved ‘English Gentleman’ performance as the conservative Dr Marlowe, and this is well contrasted by his almost childlike personification of evil alter ego Edward Blake (Hyde). I kept hoping for a transformation scene to see the disintegration of his face and character as his vices take control and Blake overwhelms any goodness left in Marlowe. Peter Cushing has a smallish part playing Marlowe’s friend Utterson and is the moral compass of the story.
It’s obviously low budget but is one of those great British horrors, and does have a few grisly (though you don’t actually SEE anything) scenes in it. It’s all done by suggestion, and works really well.
Indicator have again produced a comprehensive set of extras on this disc, the new commentary with director Weeks is fabulous as are all the other extras, of which there are many as it really is a packed to the hilt release.
INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
- New 2K restoration by Powerhouse Films from original film materials
- Two presentations of the film: the original 75-minute theatrical cut; and the extended 81-minute version
- Original mono audio
- Audio commentary with director Stephen Weeks (2020)
- Audio commentary with Weeks and film scholar Sam Umland (2005)
- The BEHP Interview with Peter Tanner – Part One, 1914–1939 (1987, 75 mins): an archival audio recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring the celebrated editor in conversation with Roy Fowler and Taffy Haines
- I, Maestro (2020, 18 mins): renowned composer Carl Davis discusses his score
- Introduction by Stephen Laws (2020, 6 mins): appreciation by the acclaimed horror author
- Stephen Weeks at the Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films (1998, 16 mins): archival video recording of the director in conversation with Stephen Laws
- Interview with Milton Subotsky (1985, 182 mins): archival audio recording of the famed producer
- Image galleries: publicity and promotional material
- Original UK and US theatrical trailers
- Kim Newman and David Flint trailer commentary (2017, 2 mins): short critical appreciation by the genre-film experts
- New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Josephine Botting, Milton Subotsky on I, Monster, an archival interview with Stephen Weeks, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
- World premiere on Blu-ray
- Limited edition of 5,000 copies
Review by Tina from a disc kindly supplied by Powerhouse Films.