Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 16 - Movie 1

On her 21st birthday, Janet (Gloria Talbott) visits her benefactor (Arthur Shields) and learns that she's the daughter of the infamous Dr. Jekyll, and that his lycanthropy might be hereditary. She then begins to experience strange dreams in which a feral version of herself is slaying people who are found dead the next day. She becomes more and more troubled, and the locals more and more determined to destroy her. Only her fiancé (John Agar) believes her innocent and must find out the truth before it's too late.

There are a number of goofy elements to this film, and it's six day shooting schedule kept this from becoming a masterpiece, but Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957) has a few things going for it. Director, Edgar G. Ulmer brings plenty of strong visuals to the film from fog shrouded woods and mansions to Janet's weird dreams. Gloria Talbott also turns in her best performance aside from her outstanding performance in I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958) as a woman falling apart from the strain of wondering if she changes into a killer monster at night. Bewildering is John Agar's striped jacket which makes him look like he should be selling ice cream.

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