Dr. Black & Mr. Hyde
Dr. Black & Mr. Hyde

“THE FEAR OF THE YEAR IS HERE”... or so says the movie poster tag line for the film.

Well, if not the fear, for sure, the laugh riot of the year.

No, that’s not Michael Ealy in the photo (Sorry I couldn’t resist that. It just came to me), but Bernie Casey in the 1976 blaxploitation horror nowhere-near-a-classic Dr. Black & Mr Hyde, which, as you can surmise was an all black version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1896 classic horror novella about a doctor who, through drug experimentation on himself, develops the split personally of Mr, Hyde, a psychotic murderer who terrorizes London.

The film, as you can guess, is set in “da hood,” with a climax that takes place at the Watt Towers in Los Angeles; and being an “urban” take on the story, it means that the film is a lot more violent that previous versions.

The film was directed by African-American director William Crain, who, just a few years earlier, directed Blacula with William Marshall. However I’ve always been uncertain as to whether Crain tackles the story with a tongue-in-cheek approach, or if he was he dead serious.

For sure, whoever cut the trailer for the film knew what was going on. Just listen to the Rudy Ray “Dolomite” Moore inspired narration and it’s obvious they thought it was done for laughs.

And if the trailer intrigues you, you’re in luck. The film is available in an exclusive 35th anniversary special edition DVD from VCI Entertainment - although you should hurry because Amazon says they only have 3 left in stock!

But the film again proves what I’ve said several times - that the 1970s were the greatest period for cinema.