Yielding To Temptation: DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE At 100, Max Von Sydow And MORE!
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The Bite #101
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Yielding To Temptation: DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE At 100, Max Von Sydow And MORE!

March 17, 2020

In this Issue:


By Amelia Emberwing*

It all started with a novella. Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde brought the iconic titular characters into our world back in 1886. There’s no way he could have known that his monster would become one of the top twenty-five adapted stories in history. Over two hundred films, shows, comics, songs, and plays would spawn from the original story’s seventy-one pages. Since this is a newsletter for a film streaming service, I can imagine you know which medium we’ll be focusing on today.

One hundred years ago, John S. Robertson’s silent film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) would kick off the long list of adaptations. Said silent film also happens to be written by one Clara Strouse. Strouse was both a skilled journalist and screenwriter of the age. By the time she retired she had over eighty films credited to her name. The century-old film has the distinction of being the only Jekyll and Hyde adaptation penned by a woman.

Both the film itself and its star — nationally renowned actor John Barrymore – were met with critical acclaim. Outlets like Variety even went so far as to say that while the premise wasn’t for them, Barrymore and company’s performance sold the show. While the actor’s quite easy on the eyes, it wasn’t just his pretty face that made the silent film shine. The early stages of Dr. Jekyll’s transformation are done without effects or makeup. Instead, they relied on Barrymore’s ability to contort his expression and body to mirror what they believed the metamorphosis would look like.

While we’ve seen the character appear in many films since the iconic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), it’s been quite some time since he’s had his own stand-alone film. Perhaps it’s time someone hops in and changes that. Maybe with another woman penning the script or, dare we suggest, directing it, too.

*Amelia Emberwing is a film and television critic who spends too much time talking about dinosaurs, superheroes, and folk horror. You can find her over at Birth.Movies.Death./FilmAtom Tickets, and more.


Image Of The Week #101 - Max Von Sydow - The Bite

RIP Max Von Sydow

On March 8th, we lost one of cinema’s shining legends as Max Von Sydow passed away. The screen legend was no stranger to horror, from the twisted Ingmar Bergman film Hour Of The Wolf to The Exorcist and countless other titles. While filming The Exorcist, Von Sydow was only 44 years old. The makeup done by legendary makeup artist Dick Smith was so convincing that the actor had difficulty finding work in the US for several years after — everyone believed he was an older man.

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As COVID-19 spreads throughout the world, we must all do our part to try and flatten the curve by self-isolating and practicing social distancing. So what can you do while you’re at home putting these practices into effect? Well, Vulture has a list of 58 pandemic films from viral to zombie outbreaks and everything in between to help tide you over.

Not looking to scare yourself that much? The New York Times has a full list of streaming options and suggestions including Parasite and Locke & Key. They even offer some cooking options on top of what to play, what to listen to, and even what to do with the kids.

Business Insider continues the viewing recommendations with ContagionOutbreakDog Soldiers, and … In The Army Now?

Or maybe this list of horror movies about isolation will fit the bill?

But, for the ultimate list of recommendations, look no further than James Gunn’s quarantine go-to’s.

Due to the global pandemic, A Quiet Place II has delayed its release

… while other titles are being released on VOD early, such as The Invisible Man and The Hunt.

It looks like Blumhouse is continuing its Universal Monsters remakes with Karyn Kusama (The Invitation) set to helm a Dracula reboot.

GQ tackled what The Invisible Man gets right about women.

Two horror authors, Alma Katsu and Michael Koryta, spoke about their greatest fears and the weight of history.

Looks like we’re getting a fifth Scream installment, with Ready Or Not directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet set to direct.

The Hamilton Spectator lists 13 creepy films that shot in the Hammer including Crimson PeakIt, and Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark.


Things We Love #101 - To All That Come To This Happy Place - The Bite

“to all that come to this happy place…”

Feast your eyes on this stunning, post-apocalyptic print by Massachusetts illustrator and print-maker Daniel Danger. The piece is currently available for pre-order.


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