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Doctor Mordrid DVD Review

Doctor Mordrid DVDDirectors: Albert Band, Charles Band

Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Yvette Nipar, Jay Acovone, Brian Thompson, Keith Coulouris, Ritch Brinkley   

 Running Time: 74 Minutes

Certificate: 15

Extras: Videozone Behind The Scenes

There is one thing that is impossible to ignore about DOCTOR MORDRID, and that is the fact it was originally set-up as an adaptation of Marvel’s Doctor Strange. In the mid-late 90s, we were getting loads of Marvel made-fot-TV movies, and this was probably set to be one of them. As is often the case, the rights fell through, but Full Moon Entertainment’s Albert and Charles Band weren’t going to let that stop them and with a few alterations, some swears, and a boob shot, we got DOCTOR MORDRID.

DOCTOR MORDRID (Combs) is an alchemist who guards Earth from the impending arrival of evil alchemist Kabal (Thompson). Mordrid has fitted into society, but keeps himself to himself, but soon finds himself helping out the police before becoming their number one suspect after a series of murders. The plot unravels fairly slowly for a 74 minute feature, but this was most enjoyable. It was confusing, sure, but there was no attempt at forced exposition in the form of an opening scroll or narration. The film simply unfolds and explains its mythology as the story progresses, almost as though the makers had faith in the audience being willing to accept the premise. It’s something I wish we had more of in today’s films.

A cheap B-movie it may be, but DOCTOR MORDRID does the most with what it’s got. Combs, most famous for his role in RE-ANIMATOR, makes a very convincing hero, lacking any sense of entitlement. He feels as though he could easily fit into society, and plays the role as subtly as possible. The rest of the cast are also a fun watch, making sure that they hit all the necessary notes.

Effects wise it will certainly seem dated to many, but I loved the use of the stop-motion animation in a very inventive climax that sees the hero and villain bring prehistoric skeletons to life in order to do battle. It was a nice change, and the script could have easily called for a simple battle of bright beams fired back and forth. Instead, despite the limitations, the film pushes the boundaries and is all the better for it.

DOCTOR MORDRID proves that films don’t have to be perfect in order to entertain. The cinematography may not be that great, and there is certainly a veil of cheapness that hangs over the whole production. Fortunately, the father and son duo of Albert and Charles Band have pushed forward with a vision and a story which impresses due to its refusal to be looked down upon. Filling the roles with competent actors and merging the modern day (at the time) with the more fantastical elements is done even more smoothly than many recent blockbusters.

[usr=3] DOCTOR MORDRID is released on DVD on 17th February via 88 Films.

Luke likes many things, films and penguins being among them. He's loved films since the age of 9, when STARGATE and BATMAN FOREVER changed the landscape of modern cinema as we know it. His love of film extends to all aspects of his life, with trips abroad being planned around film locations and only buying products featured in Will Smith movies. His favourite films include SEVEN SAMURAI, PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, IN BRUGES, LONE STAR, GODZILLA, and a thousand others.

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