Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A Strange Case of Duality...Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde

When I was a kid I remember a seasonal show I absolutely love, love, loved.   Years have gone and I have seen not hide nor hair of this masterpiece.

It was called Mad Monster Party It was by the makers of Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer...thats right Rankin/Bass productions.  This little stop animation treat features the voices of Boris Karloff and as herself Phylis Diller.  The reason I was so fond of it was...of course...because it had Monsters!  You name it they were featured...Frankenstein, Invisible Man, Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc. etc.  I mention this because it is funny the types of things you never forget.  This show is permanently etched in my memory.  I recall lying on my grandparents floor in California, being engrossed for 90 minutes.  I have to admit it sends a twinge of nostalgia through me just thinking about it...oh how great it would be to relive that moment.

The question is...why monsters?  What is it about monsters that we love...well, I shouldn't speak for everyone...I love.  Frankestein, King Kong, the seems to me that each one of these has a basic morality tale...each one is no different than myths from years gone by.   I would assume in 200 or 300 years people will look back on our Dracula and Godzilla as the folks of old might look back on Medusa, Lilith, or the Golem.  Time gives reverence.

So this brings us to my latest little creation...

I call it "A Strange Case of Duality"

We all know the basis for this creation.  It is the story of these guy.

There is a great quote by Jekyll in Stevenson book, "My devil had long been caged.  He came out roaring".    The movie versions are interesting variations of Hyde...not so much in personality but rather in appearance.

Okay here we go...1920 John Barrymore.  A skinny Hyde.

Kind of reminds me of  the creepy woman in "Drag Me to Hell"...don't laugh that movie is actually pretty darn fun.

Next is Frederick March...who, from my perspective is the closest to the appearance that is described in the novel.  In the novel he is described as "troglodytic"...i.e. a caveman...yep...that is pretty much what he is here.

Next, Spencer Tracy has a go at it...Crazy eyes!  

More recently....this is a stogie smoking Hyde from Van Helsing.

There are oodles of is one you might have missed:

Love the descriptions...."once again he will change sexes and kill, kill, kill!"
Wow...that's a lot of killing.

Now here is one of my favorite Gilligan's Island episodes.  
It is the one where in a dream sequence Gilligan is transformed into Mr. Hyde by the mere mention of food...and by the they did not find a way off the island in this episode.

Okay enough's what I have been working on for the last week or two.  
"A Strange Case of Duality"
Some of you might recognize elements from the Mad Alchemist's Cabinet class sample...that's because I am a canibal and I dissected it.   So here is my new creation, first,  the exterior.

Open the door and what do we find?  Ah a nice grungy Victorian room.   With a nice portrait of Mary Reilly on the wall...(another film and novel based on this theme and characters)

...and who is that I see?  Dr. Jekyll!  

Yes he is a cyclops.  That is because he looked better this way.  It gave a nice steampunk/crazy invention sort of quality plus I decided I wanted him to have a secret society I guess he must be a Mason..which he probably would have been.

But wait...that's Mr. Hyde!

where did he come from...

yes...that is right Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Play-set comes complete with spinning head...depending on which personality you want.  I call it Spin-o-Rama

One minute a mild mannered scientist

The next minute...the evil Mr. Hyde. 

Hoped you liked story time.  Sweet dreams.


Karina said...

Hi Michael

I love this new piece. I also wanted to tell you that i love reading your blog entries. They are always full of so much fun stuff and things that bring me back. You rock!


BloggingQueen said...

Ha! I would spend hours spinning the head around. And I could change the head according to my mood swings!

I totally remember the Rankin/Bass kiddie movie, esp. Phyllis Diller. She was my favorite character. But that "Sister Hyde" movie poster... wow, can you tell it was shot before transsexuals were commonplace in our society?

zoe said...

awesome! i never expected that spinning head, great work!

Jen Worden said...

hmmm...mild mannered cyclops scientist huh? I guess it could happen. ;) Great piece Michael. And Happy New Year!

Chris said...

Okay, can we talk?

I loved Mad Monster Party!! And that's MY favorite episode of Gilligan's Island! And Drag Me To Hell was a GREAT film!

But what I really want to say is that this was a great idea and it's been executed fabulously.

sorry about the excuted part.

Amy Rozeboom said...

This is absolutely amazing!

Sue McGettigan said...

How totally cool is this?? (it's TOTALLY cool!!) Love the spinning head and the wonderful facial expressions!

Also, loving the intro - the eyes, the teeth, the parental warnings - just classic :) You're a very sick man Mr. deMeng ... please don't stop.

yona said...

HA! so funny michael... and i love the whole linda blair thang, totally captures the moodiness of dr. J. and mr. H.... and all your research of the various incarnations of the two...your da man de meng... demented or not...

Andrea Saujani said...

This piece is very freakin cool! I love the background stories you have for each piece too...each bit leads you along the path right up to the big surprise ending. Fabulous! I'm taking notes :-)

Jen Crossley said...

Michael This is so cool love this latest piece just Amazing

ArtSnark said...

What fun!

Have you seen the previews for the new Wolfman flick yet?

deMeng said...

thanks you guys...glad you like my twisted mix of the macabre and pop culture.

Also glad to see some of you remember the Mad Monster Party and, Chris, the episode of Gilligan's Island.

and yes....I have seen the previews for the Wolfman...looks killer! In fact I just watched the original Lon Chaney Jr. version last night. I love that movie...I just wish it wasn't him in the title role. Now Benicio...he should be great!

craftcast said...

Hey Michael,
Love this post. Working on the ad and material for our class together. It's Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde inspired!
Show you something soon.

Iva Wilcox said...

Love the new piece! And OMG...I loved those Rankin/Bass productions. In fact, we have a video copy of Rudolph! The Monster show I hadn't seen in years! Too fun. Thanks for the education and sharing your wonderful art!
~ Iva

FishStikks said...

Michael, absolutely gorgeous!!

I especially loved story time and Gilligans Island!! Yes!

I see there are one or two movies there I was unaware of. I may have to rectify that soon.

donnaj said...

I too, LOVED that Mad Monster Party-and all the other quirky weird movies/show i saw as a kid~
love the piece too~