Thursday, 9 February 2017

THE JEKYLL AND HYDE PORTFOLIO

CONTAINS SPOILERSSSZZZZZZZZZZZ

It's easy to throw that "Worst film ever!" line around. That latest thing with Seth Rogen and/or Adam Sandler and/or Jennifer Aniston and/or Will Ferrell may be absolutely terrible, but it'll have some technical sheen to it that at least means it's in focus and the dialogue is audible. There's a lot further to fall: through the headbanging idiocy of Transformers and the like, anything with Danny Dyer, most of the cheerless British Sex Comedy genre, shonky 50s drive-in horrors from Edward D Wood Jr, Old Mother Riley films, a thousand public domain quickies from the dawn of the sound era. Sure, Sex Lives Of The Potato Men is lousy, but how many Al Adamson movies have you seen?

Beyond all that - stupidity, incompetence, artlessness, ugly people with their clothes off - there's still the ultimate crime of boredom. The very least a film should try and do is stop you from falling asleep at seven o'clock in the evening, and there are a few that can't even manage that. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Jekyll And Hyde Portfolio, a wretched slasher nudie from 1981 in which a mad killer is on the loose at some sort of home for wayward girls in drab woodland. Most of the ladies get their kit off, there's the occasional badly staged murder, a lot of blather, and a severed head. Meanwhile one of the tutors is having a high old time dissecting live frogs in macroscopic detail (for real, so a BBFC certificate seems unlikely). Or maybe I dreamed it all...

Eventually the murderer is unmasked as someone or other, and after just two days I can't recall who it was or why they were doing it: it's already faded from memory because the film somehow bypasses your conscious mind entirely and aims for the unexplored recesses of the subconscious, emerging as just disconnected fragments that make no more (and no sense) than when they were strung together as a hopeless excuse for a narrative. On a technical level it's astonishingly shoddy, none of the cast can act even slightly (granted, none of them were hired for their dramatic abilities and nobody went to see it for the high-calibre thesping), and the pacing is all over the place as whatever slasher mystery might be afoot keeps getting put on hold for yet another lumpen sex scene or another lingering look at what a frog's innards look like. Entirely sarcastic gratitude to Vinegar Syndrome for restoring it to its original lack of glory and Amazon for charging me no money to watch it.

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