Feb 26, 2019

Doctor Mordrid (1992)

This film was supposed to be a Doctor Strange film, but their option expired, so Charles Band had to go with original characters.  That would have been interesting to have this among the Marvel adaptations.  Alas, it was not meant to be - and we have this odd, somewhat pointless production instead. Let's have a quick look...

Doctor Mordrid (who should have been Doctor Strange) is over a hundred years old, wearer of a magic amulet, and protector of the earth.  He's played by Jeffrey Combs.

Who's he protecting the earth from?  This guy.  Kabal (Brian Thompson) plans to open up the fourth dimension and unleash its hellish minions upon the planet.

Doctor Mordrid poses as a criminal psychologist by day, but by night he's in his secret room looking for any signs of Kabal's presence.

The sets in this movie are actually pretty nice.  Not 20 trillion dollars nice, as in today's Marvel movies, but for a Charles Band picture, this is pretty upscale.

Mordrid's neighbor is Samantha (Yvette Nipar).  She's called the police because of the strange noises coming from his apartment.

Elsewhere, we have a couple satanists who have pledged themselves to Kabal: Irine (Julie Michaels) and Adrian (Keith Coulouris).

The first think Kabal does is take Adrian's woman and get her naked. 

 He momentarily knocks her out and carries her, laying her upon his altar.
Then it's time for loving.  This is the only nude scene in the film.  Actress Julie Michaels was the chick who put the beat down on Keanu in Point Break.  She's been in a lot of well known films both as actress and stunt person.

 Kabal appears in Mordrid's apartment for a brief confrontation.

Sorry, but Combs as a superhero is just wrong.  I get it - Cumberpatch isn't exactly your standard superhero either.  But Combs is a different breed altogether - he plays neurotic psychopaths.  It's like having Steve Buscemi play Captain America.

Mordrid's neighbor, Sam, is a researcher for the police department. (I'm not even sure that's an actual job, but whatever.)  The detectives have arrested Mordrid and are holding him at the station.

For some reason, Sam believes in Mordrid's weird stories of Philosopher Stones and evil trans-dimensional beings.  When the detectives go hard on Mordrid, she defends him.

They make their escape.  Sorry for the pervy upskirt - but Charles Band clearly intended to film up actress Yvette Nipar's short miniskirt as she descends the stairs.

Mordrid uses Sam as a hostage to make it to freedom.   

He causes the police officer's gun to turn hot.  Sam wonders how he's able to do these things, but it's not the time or place to ask questions.

 They race to the park. Mordrid realizes that he can't get to Kabal in time to save the earth. 

 So, he uses astral projection and has Sam guard his body while he's under the spell.

Kabal is at the Cosmopolitan Museum where he's collecting the last of the items he needs to open the gate to the fourth dimension.

The police arrive.  Kabal makes T. Rex and Mastadon skeletons come alive, providing some fun stop-motion animation.

 Mordrid's astral projected self arrives and the two do battle.

A portal to the fourth dimension is briefly opened.  Now this is some badass Hellboy level awesomeness.  Too bad we only get a taste.  Kabal is quickly defeated.

While Mordrid is under the astral projection spell, Adrian shows up and tries to kill him.  Sam tries to fend him off - once again providing some pervtastic looks up the miniskirt.

Actress Yvette Nipar is familiar to anyone who watched TV in the nineties.  She was married to Patrick McDermott, the guy who likely faked his own death while he was married to Olivia Newton-John.

 Before the blade hits his chest, Mordrid comes back to his body and freezes the bad guy with a spell.

Sam realizes that Mordrid is basically a superhero, and suddenly finds him attractive.  Presumably, if this would have yielded sequels, she'd have been his Lois Lane.

Yes, this was objectively bad, but I have to give it a little respect.  Charles Band definitely didn't phone this one in - he pulled out all the stops, stretching 2 million a long way.  For the price of catering on a Marvel set, we get a feature film that looks damn good.

The problem is, it doesn't know whether it's a superhero movie or a genre movie.  We get a nude scene, we get Combs, so it seems like a genre flick; but the rest is like an episode of Lois & Clarke.  So, it's neither- not sleazy and overboard enough to qualify as an exploitation fantasy flick, and not mainstream enough to be a legit superhero movie.

I suspect that if they had held onto the Doctor Strange option, this would have still sucked, but I wonder what it would have looked like.  Would we still have gotten the Julie Michaels nude scene and the frequent ogles up Nipar's skirt?  I guess we'll never know.


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