May 14, 2011
I, MONSTER (1971) - Cushing and Lee do Jekyll and Hyde... in 3D
The title is presumably a pun on Roger Corman's I, Mobster, missing out on the opportunity to sell the movie as Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in a classic horror tale, with Lee adding to his formidable gallery of monsters. Besides the veiled title, the central characters' names have been changed from Jekyll and Hyde (to Marlowe and Blake), but Robert Louis Stevenson still gets a screen credit - a strange case indeed.
If the camera circles around the scene from right-to-left, the 3D works very well. The most spectacular 3D is in the daylight scenes (a misfire because most of the film takes place in the shadows of night and Lee's dingy house) when the camera circles a huge birdcage in a park. A variation is where the subject spins around - like the scene where Lee holds the mirror up to look at himself.
The third main example is Dr Marlowe's study, dominated by a long desk stacked high with a wall of chemical lab equipment - this layer of glass between the actors and the camera is the central example of the layered, deep-focus sets, carefully laid out for Pulfrich 3D. Any movement between the subject and the camera (like a knife) will 'kick out' in 3D.