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Jacqueline Hyde
cast: Gabriella Hall, Blythe Metz, Rebekah Ellis, and James Ferris

writer and director: Rolfe Kanefsky

94 minutes (n/r) 2005
widescreen ratio 1.77:1
Warner DVD Region 1 retail

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by Ian Sales
The film industry has a rung a variety of changes on The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde since Robert Louis Stevenson's classic was first published in 1886. As well as a number of straight adaptations, there has also been Dr Jekyll And Sister Hyde, in which the eponymous doctor transforms into a beautiful but murderous woman; and Dr Jekyll And Ms Hyde, in which male perfumist Jekyll turns into a ruthless nymphomaniac who sleeps her way to the top of the company. In Jacqueline Hyde, we have chubby friendless Jackie (Gabriella Hall) turning into the murderous nymphomaniac Jacqueline (Blythe Metz). It's strange how some have read Stevenson's classic on the duality of human nature as a misogynistic sexual fantasy.

Jacqueline Hyde starts innocently enough. Jackie discovers she has inherited a house from a grandfather she didn't know she had. She moves in, learns Grandad was once a renowned magician but later turned reclusive. While exploring her new home, she finds a laboratory, and in it a fridge full of test tubes containing a glowing red liquid. One of which she accidentally drinks after she unknowingly spills some from the test-tube in her hand into her half-full wine glass. The liquid proves to be a secret formula that gives the imbiber the ability to change their appearance.

So of course Jackie metamorphoses into a beautiful woman, taking - with a stunning lack of imagination - the name Jacqueline. It's not merely a matter of appearance - her newfound beauty also allows Jacqueline to attract men that Jackie had never been able to attract before. So she becomes a sexual predator. There are so many directions the film could have taken, given this premise. Perhaps an exploration of how appearance affects success. Or maybe a comparison of how plump Jackie and beautiful Jacqueline are treated by others. Sadly, the director chose instead to go for soft porn and cheap horror. Not only is Jacqueline a nymphomaniac - so much so she even transforms herself to give herself orgasms - but also she doesn't know her own strength. When a man tries to escape her insatiable appetites, she accidentally rips his head off.

Gabriella Hall's own company produced Jacqueline Hyde. At the start of the film, there seemed something slightly odd about Hall's appearance and, given that she's actually a great deal more svelte than her character - that's how she normally looks on the DVD cover on the right - I suspected she was wearing prosthetics. I have to wonder if she picked the title role in order to display her acting chops. She might have been better playing Metz's role.

Most of the film was shot at Jackie's house - which apparently belongs to a real stage magician - with the occasional scene at a nearby, and weirdly deserted, strip-club. The ending of Jacqueline Hyde is... odd, and brings to mind Brian Yuzna's Society more than Stevenson. The film has its moments, but they're few and far between - perhaps because it's trying to be an erotic horror comedy, and the three genres make for an uneasy ménage à trois.

If you're looking for a dramatised exploration of gender politics, using Jekyll and Hyde as a vehicle, you won't find it in Jacqueline Hyde. But then, if that's what you're looking for, why would you even imagine you could find it in Jacqueline Hyde?

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