Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957)

Not to be confused with “Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde” (1972) or “Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde” (1995), “Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957) is a moderately interesting quickie from legendary Poverty Row director Edgar G. Ulmer. In this one, Gloria Talbott–who would find the role for which she is perhaps most fondly remembered in the following year’s “I Married a Monster From Outer Space”–learns, on her 21st birthday, that she is the eponymous daughter of the infamous scientist. This causes her and her fiancĂ©, 1950s sci-fi stalwart John Agar, some understandable angst, especially when a series of murders commences in the nearby village… To be painfully honest, there really is nothing much to this movie, but Ulmer directs with so much panache, and Talbott, as usual, is so pretty and appealing, that these two elements put the film over. Especially effective are two surrealistic nightmare episodes suffered by Talbott, as well as Ulmer’s use of fog and swirling mist; his cloud-covered moon shots are a real thing of beauty, too. On the down side, we have a surprise ending that is not much of a surprise, and a plot that would have us believe that Jekyll’s alter ego Hyde was really a bloodsucking werewolf! This film is certainly not the horror masterpiece that Ulmer’s “The Black Cat” (1934) turned out to be. Still, it IS fun, and this DVD is as crisp and clean looking as can be. Modern-day interviews with Agar and with Ulmer’s daughter make for nice extras, too.