Dr Strange is out now and thus we are now well into phase three of the Marvel cinematic universe, complete with brand new intro which does away with those pesky comic books in favour of the shiny, new and much more successful movies, which will take us from here to ‘The Infinity War’ and possibly into the ‘Inhumans’ depending on whether the t.v and movie side of Marvel can kiss and make up. Not to mention that right now Marvel are actually well into production on phase four.
For some this can be a lot to keep up with; not only in terms of continuity and plot but also money. After all as soon as most major cinema chains get a whiff of a Marvel release they hike up the prices for the next few weeks knowing that you’ve got to see it or you’re out of all office gossip for the next two months or until the next major release comes along. Even Dorris the lunch lady is questioning you these days on how much of Mar-vell they are going to get into the Captain Marvel movie and will T’challa be leading the then current line up of the Avengers.
But what are you supposed to do? You’ve just ordered twelve graphic novels off Amazon, in a drunken stupor, so you would be able to follow this movie. Were they just a waste of money?
Fear not true believer! Is this the movie you want? No but it’s the one you deserve. For this is………………………………………………………………………………………..
A legally distinct entity in much the same was as Monald Muck and Rickey Rouse; Doctor Mordrid came from Full Moon Entertainment in the early nineties. You know how Fantastic Four has always suffered due to the time limit Marvel has given everyone to make a movie in or risk loosing the rights. Well Dr Strange was at one point in the same position. Now while Roger Corman was helping rush through a movie, that would not only allow them to keep the rights whilst only spending a shoe string budget and yet somehow years later prove to be possibly the best live action Fantastic Four to date, Full Moon took a different approach. When they realised that they didn’t have enough time left to get the production through on time, they renamed the character, crossed out a few lines dropped Stan Lee’s obligatory cameo in the bin and carried on regardless.
Straight off the bat the movie wins over the 1970’s take by having a far better opening theme. They then loose compared to the 1970’s version by realising they didn’t have any money left to give us a decent title card and also by making the most of this theme by making us sit there for a good two and a half minute pan around a library.
Meanwhile in Rio de Janerio a truck driver is killed for the crime of not speaking English. The valuable contents of the truck are stolen and talk is spread of someone seeking the Philosophers stone. Apparently early cuts were going to call it a sorcerers stone but seen as how everyone thought that was pointless, condescending and stupid it was quickly dropped. Meanwhile Mordrid is informed of the return of his old rival and possible brother by Orson. Of course once he comes back from his outer space tete-a-tete he finds the crime report being broadcast on his wall of t.v screens so either Orson is a bit shit or maybe he’s just a bit lonely since Mork got lost in time.
Either way; now Dr Mordrid is on the case and flips open his bust of William Shakespeare to reveal the cape and charm behind the bookcase, no pole needed. Not that he will be able to do this alone of course. Well he probably could but it would be a bit of a boring movie and fairly short if that were the case and so he ropes in the local research consultant for the police department who lives two doors down. That was probably an unwise move as she just makes the whole thing more complicated by making him appear to be the main culprit in a string of murders that leads to his arrest at a most inopportune moment. There is also his now blind prison guard friend making sure the ultimate evil does not escape from his imprisonment in an ancient dungeons and dragons module. He manages to be worse than the police consultant.
Not that evil is working alone either of course for just as Mordrid has a police officer and a blind man they have two sexed up bikers. One of which will be granted the gift of invulnerability which he will use to torch a cop car and get arrested.
The movie ends with reanimated dinosaur skeletons coming to life to fight meaning that Dr Mordrid may have gone on to teach a young private investigator from Chicago a thing or two. In truth though the movie ends with a bit of an open ended kind of feel that makes me wonder if they were looking to expand this out into a series to rival the Dresden file books, though hitting closer to the show. Heck with the run time this manages to feel more like a pilot than any decent stab at a movie especially seen as you can easily cut the odd swear word and random flash of tit the movie throws our way to make itself seem cool and edgy to get this down to a solid hour. Taking in mind the time they were made the previous Doctor Strange is arguably better and its easily closer to the source material for obvious reasons but I think if I were to recommend one of these to anyone it would be this one. This still carries the charm of schlock b-movie fun with the always watchable Jeffrey Combs while the other has dated and been more or less forgotten.