Dr. Heckyl & Mr. Hype

A film of æsthetic qualities and perceptions. Dr. Heckyl is a disgustingly ugly man but a very good podiatrist. Mr. Hype is as handsome as Oliver Reed but a homicidal maniac with “something tacky” behind his eyes.

You would think that such a work from Griffith would have been taken up with some interest by critics at large as being right up their street, in a manner of speaking, but that’s where you would be wrong. Au contraire, though Dr. Heckyl may have “hair from a Halloween mask, one red eye and one green, a nose like a half-eaten carrot” and greatly resemble Robert Morse with a hangover you wouldn’t believe, one of Reed’s best performances, in a most characteristic script by Griffith, set in San Texico (which is rather like Solvang) where the police are hot pink (their motto is “Don’t Call Us… We’ll Call You”) and Dr. Heckyl has two partners in a clinic, Dr. Hinkle (Mel Welles), inventor of a diet paste to ease the appearance of his fat lady patients, and Dr. Hoo (Kedric Wolfe), an acuticklist who is transformed by the same process into Miss Finebum, the receptionist, hardly anyone seems to have noticed at all.