Dr Jekyll and The Women 1981 ****

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel gets a wonderfully incoherent reboot in Walerian Borowczyk’s 1981 Eurotrash thriller, with the always creepy Udo Kier as Henry Jekyll. Having invited a strange group of people to his house, Jekyll transforms into Hyde, but such a linear description gives no sense of the narrative confusion. Long scenes of chat, and the endless signing in of characters in a visitors book, are interspersed with bathtub transformations and graphic sexual shenanigans, while Patrick Mcgee wanders around with a spear wrapped in brown paper. Bearing little resemblance to Stevenson’s novel, Borowczyk’s film actually has a remarkable atmosphere, brooding and dangerous, and is a one-off horror film that makes up for in writhing and murkiness what it lacks in storytelling.


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