‘The most violent creature ever made by man!’
I, Monster is a 1970 British science-fiction horror film about a psychologist who invents a drug which will release his patients’ inhibitions. When he tests it on himself, he becomes evil and descends into crime and eventually murder.
Directed by Stephen Weeks (Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Gawain and the Green Knight; Ghost Story) from a screenplay written by co-producer Milton Subotsky, based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, the Amicus Productions movie stars Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Mike Raven (Disciple of Death; Crucible of Terror; Lust for a Vampire) and Richard Hurndall. Max J. Rosenberg co-produced.
The soundtrack score was composed by Carl Davis (Frankenstein Unbound; What Became of Jack and Jill?).
At co-producer Milton Subotsky‘s behest, the film was originally intended to be shown in 3-D utilising the Pulfrich effect, however, the idea was abandoned during production leaving certain scenes unsalvageable during the editing process (hence the short running time). Due to the complicated process required to shoot in 3-D, previous Amicus directors Freddie Francis and Peter Duffell had already declined the project. It was taken on at short notice by twenty-two-year-old Stephen Weeks even though he had only directed shorts previously.
Inexplicably, Subotsky also changed the lead protagonist’s names from Jekyll and Hyde to Marlowe and Blake, although other characters’ names remain the same as in Stevenson’s original story.
In the UK, Powerhouse Films is releasing I, Monster on Blu-ray via their Indicator imprint on 28th September 2020. Order via Amazon.co.uk
New 2K restoration by Powerhouse Films from original film materials
Two presentations of the film: the original 75-minute theatrical cut; and the extended 80-minute version
Original mono audio
Audio commentary with director Stephen Weeks (2020)
The BEHP Interview with Peter Tanner – Part One, 1914-1939 (1987): an archival audio recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring the celebrated editor in conversation with Roy Fowler and Taffy Haines
Introduction by Stephen Laws (2020): an appreciation by the acclaimed horror author
Stephen Weeks at the Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films (1998): an archival video recording of the director in conversation
Interview with Milton Subotsky (1985): an archival audio recording of the famed producer
Interview with Carl Davis (2020): the renowned composer discusses his score
Image gallery: publicity and promotional material
Original theatrical trailer
Kim Newman and David Flint trailer commentary (2017): a short critical appreciation by the genre-film experts
New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Josephine Botting, Milton Subotsky on I, Monster, an archival interview with Stephen Weeks, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
World premiere on Blu-ray
Limited edition of 3,000 copies
“Both stylish and restrained, lyrical and scrupulously realistic in its Victorian period detail […] Weeks was severely hampered by both an obviously shoestring budget and having to begin shooting a 3-D process which was eventually abandoned.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror
“Lee enjoys the dual role, but plays Dr Marlowe (Jekyll) as uptight and boring, whereas Fredric March and Spencer Tracy played the character as relaxed and normal. As Blake (Mr Hyde), his appearance degenerates, bordering on comical. Perhaps it’s the nasty teeth or the nasty wig. The transformations are mostly cheated, either instantaneous or seen only as shadows.” Black Hole
“The film is something of a struggle to sit through in many ways, the end result being murkily photographed, cluttered with extraneous foreground details and long, pointless cracking shots […] Lee is excellent in both roles, aided by very good makeup effects by Harry Frampton, which becomes more extreme as Blake becomes more degenerate.” Ian Fryer, The British Horror Film: From the Silent to the Multiplex