Written by: George Pacheco on March 26th, 2014
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1971 (Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio), USA, 1972 (A Clockwork Blue)
Director: Eric Jeffrey Haims (Both Films)
Writers: Donn Greer, Bonnie Jean (Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio), Eric Jeffrey Haims (A Clockwork Blue)
Cast: Rene Bond, Sebastian Brook, Madyy Maguire, Donn Greer (Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio), Joe E. Tata (A Clockwork Blue)
DVD Release Date: April 8th, 2014
Approximate Running Times: 81 minutes (Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio), 86 minutes (A Clockwork Blue)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Both Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (Both Films)
DVD Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Encoding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $17.98
This latest double feature from Vinegar Syndrome presents an incredibly rare duo of films from writer, director and producer Eric Jeffrey Haims, the scarcity of which serves as one of the only positive aspects of this otherwise disappointing collection.
The films of Eric Jeffrey Haims are very much indicative of the ultra quick, super low budget style of exploitation filmmaking which was coming out of the States around this time; stories which revolve around home grown or easily accessible location sets, poor costuming and even worse acting, oftentimes revolving around a period piece sensibility. A Clockwork Blue and Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio both follow these parameters to a “T,” amateurish productions which were better off lost, to be quite honest, yet are resurrected here once again, via 35mm camera and inter-negatives, respectively.
Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio mixes in some quaintly artsy styled cinematography which seems very much birthed from the psychedelic sixties as we follow the narration of a detective on the hunt of a Hyde-inspired murderer who is slashing staff and subjects on the grounds of a dilapidated asylum. The death scenes themselves are decently set up, while the sexploitation elements which also permeate the film seem a bit wedged in, and fail to add anything to an already trying film.
If Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio is a trying film, however, A Clockwork Blue is almost numbing in its ineptitude, as the film sets up a number of historically based softcore sex scenes, sandwiched between awkward acting and cringe-inducing costumes and special effects. The erotic sequences are anything but, and are played more for laughs than anything else, although it must be said that an appearance from Beverly Hills 90210 actor Joe E. Tata was almost worth the price admission!
“Almost” is the operative word here, however, for both A Clockwork Blue and Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio serve up nothing but severe disappointment.
Vinegar Syndrome present Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio and A Clockwork Blue in anamorphic widescreen presentations which preserve the films’ respective aspect ratios. The camera negative of A Clockwork Blue is of greater quality than the inter-negative 2k scan of Jekyll and Hyde, yet both prints look supremely fine here on this disc, particularly given their immense scarcity and age. There are no extras to speak of here, giving this a bare bones, basic presentation from Vinegar Syndrome.