This was the first movie I saw that made me realize there was such a thing as a “relaxing” horror movie, in this case a “relaxing” pseudo-super hero flick. Of course, I had seen others of that ilk many years prior but didn’t define them as such until Mordrid came along. I seem to think I saw this on cable in spring of 1993 and really liked it because I had never seen Jeffrey Combs play such a “sedate,” for a lack of a better word, character. Up to then I was used to his Herbert West and his Crawford Tillinghast characters as well as his cameo from Cellar Dweller (1988) and his criminal portrayal in an episode of Hunter (which for some reason is still seared into my head) that were all rather manic characters. Mordrid was nothing like any of them.
It’s short film, running only 74 minutes, but a good one.
In a flash back later in the movie Doctor Anton Mordrid (Jeffery Combs) is seen as a child when he was first learning how to focus his magical powers, with him was another child, one who’s path was clearly paved for evil. When they both matured they fought and Kabal (Brian Thompson) was imprisoned on this impressive floating fortress while Mordrid went to earth, took on an earthly form and kept watch over mankind for hundreds of years, almost anticipating a time when he would have to battle Kabal again.
It’s now 1991 and, as Mordrid feared, Kabal has freed himself, come to earth and is collecting certain gems for a spell that will herald in the apocalypse. During the movie Mordrid partner’s up with researcher, Samantha Hunt (Yvette Nipar), who just so happens to find the arcane appealing, together they track down the “evil sorcerer supreme” and in a fantastic finale that involves two giant dinosaur skeletons fighting each, courtesy of late stop motion artist, David Allen. Mordrid manages to put a final end this time to his childhood nemesis.
I had always heard this movie was supposed to be an adaptation of Marvel’s Doctor Strange, but something happened where Charles and Albert Band (Charles’ father), both of whom directed this film, couldn’t use the character so they re-worked him into Doctor Mordrid, an homage to Doctor Strange as it now stands.
The movie looked a little too dark in some scenes but other than that it’s a really good transfer without any of the usual “hiccups” that have plagued some of the other Full Moon blu-rays.
The audio commentary between Co-Director Charles Band and Actor Jeffery Combs is excellent, as I expected, but he never fully explains how the movie went from being about to Doctor Strange to Full Moon original character, Doctor Mordrid. He touches on some non-Mordrid topics most importantly what’s happening with David Allen’s unfinished The Primevals film. For those not aware David Allen was deep into post-production on this film when he died of cancer and it remains unfinished. All that needs to be done is the creation and insertion of some key stop motion scenes, but Band is going to reconstruct the movie the best he can without them and it’ll be done in a year.
He’s going to release two versions: the “finished” product and another version with Allen’s storyboards inserted at key points so you can see what he ultimately wanted in those scenes he never got to film.
Band also reveals there was a script for a sequel but because the first one didn’t do as well as he had hoped a follow-up, or a franchise, was never created.
As for extras . . .
- Videozone: Behind The Scenes “Doctor Mordrid” (8:41)
- Uncut Footage (1:32:42)
- Rare Interview (12:15)
- Trailers for Trophy Heads, Gingerdead Man Vs. Evil Bong, Unlucky Charms, Ooga Booga and Reel Evil.
Being an avid DVD collector, especially of films from my childhood and my youth, I love extra features that mine onset video from those times, and Charles Band has been pretty good in supplying just that for his on going blu-ray line of early Full Moon flicks. His Videozone series has always been an excellent look into how they made these movies putting you right in the years, and right on set, as they were filmed. They always bring back fond memories for me of life back in the 90s, 80s or 70s, depending on the movie. This one for Doctor Mordrid is no different.
In the Rare Interview William Shatner talks with Stuart Gordon, Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton. The interview is not dated but if I had to guess I’d say it’s either late 90s or early 2000s. It seems to be a segment for some kind of airing of Castle Freak (1995) but the talk touches only briefly on that with more time given to the various real life paranormal experiences each has had. We also learn the scariest movie Barbara has ever seen was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and it’s also one of her favorites.
The best extra on this is the Uncut Footage, which is on-set video of certain scenes being filmed, along with interviews with Yvette Nipar, a cameo interview with Jeffery Combs, Ted Nicolaou about Bad Channels (1992) and extensive talks with stop motion FX artist, David Allen, as well as the filming of an actress from Bad Channels being used in the marketing of Full Moon merchandise. All this is the raw stuff, with time code. before it was edited down to look all polished, where the interviewees are just being themselves and reacting naturally to the interviewer. It’s VHS quality and none of it has been formatted for widescreen televisions; same thing with the Videozone featurette.
I love this stuff!
The whole last half hour is with David Allen. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him interviewed for that long.
To this day I wish this movie had gotten a franchise.
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