Dracula/The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Dracula/The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1973)
MPI Home Video
Cast: Jack Palance, Fiona Lewis, Nigel Davenport, Simon Ward, Leo Genn
Extras: Theatrical Trailer, Interviews

In a double-feature, MPI Home Video is presenting the 1973 television adaptation ’Dracula’ by Dan Curtis, as well as the 1968 television production ’The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.’ Both films feature Jack Palance in the respective lead roles and I was eagerly looking forward to the release. Sadly my excitement was quickly dampened as soon as I inserted the disc for review.

MPI Home Video presents both films in the original full frame aspect ratios in which they were produced. Only seconds into the films it becomes glaringly obvious however, that this presentation is unwatchable. Overly dark, the transfer on this DVD never gives you the chance to really see anything in the picture. Riddled with compression artifacts that range from banding to out-of-control pixelation, the image has no detail whatsoever, presenting itself as a dark and colorless mess on the screen.

Add to that the many video artifacts that are a result of a very poor quality master, such as excessive color bleeding and noise, as well as full drop-outs, and you have one of the worst looking DVDs I have ever encountered. I di not even bother to see how the audio holds up, to be honest.

Both, ’Dracula’ and ’The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde’ may be pretty good films, I may never know. The poor quality of this DVD made it simply impossible for me to watch either film for any length of time. It is a shame because I had heard many good things about these films, especially their atmospheric approach, but with DVDs like this, you are actually much better of watching these films on VHS or on a television broadcast.