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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Doctor Mordrid (1992)




Charles Band’s Full Moon Pictures put out a lot of stuff that I love. Which makes it odd that I think that this might be the first Full Moon movie that I’ve covered for the Horror Dude Blog. Ghoulies was an Empire Pictures (Band’s earlier company) so it probably is. I can guarantee you it won’t be the last.

The new Blu-Ray is a must have
The movie stars genre icon Jeffrey Combs as the titular Doctor Mordrid. He has spent decades living in New York City protecting the Earth from the forces of evil. Primarily Kabal and his army of demons. Even though Kabal is locked up in an extra dimensional prison there is always a chance he could escape. Which he does. How else could there be a movie if he doesn’t? Kabal’s goal is to collect the raw materials needed to cast a spell to free his army, so he can unleash Hell on Earth. Of course, Mordrid is out to stop him.

This should be a much simpler task than it turns out to be. The cops get involved while investigating a murder that Kabal committed to acquire the blood of a young lady (a necessary spell component). The only clue is the strange symbol burned onto her forehead. The detective in charge of the investigation is pointed towards our hero as an expert in all things occult. But as soon as he sees the same symbol on Mordrid’s medallion he arrests him and tossed his keister in jail. Luckily, he makes his escape and the two have a showdown in the museum where Kabal has located his last ingredient for the spell. Cue the stop motion T-Rex and Mastodon fight!

This is a quick movie that clocks in at a tight seventy-four minutes. The pacing is great with every scene moving the story along. The characters are interesting, we get a little exposition on the Mordrid and Kabal story. I did find it odd that this happens so late in the movie, but it does get there before the big finale at the museum. It would have been nice to have a better idea of what was going down earlier. It would also have been nice to get a bit more development of the supporting characters. These are both minor complaints that don’t take away from my overall enjoyment of Doctor Mordrid. 

Stop motion throw down!
I’m a huge fan of Jeffrey Combs, so I’m inclined to like this movie. He can make even the most unwatchable crap fun. When he is given something to work with it is a blast, which is what Doctor Mordrid is. Combs is perfectly cast as the kind-hearted sorcerer waiting to do battle with his nemesis. To be honest the material is silly, but he sells it. Brain Thompson is also great as the villain Kabal. He could have gone over the top but doesn’t. Instead we get a genuinely scary bad guy here that just wants to destroy the world. Is that really too much to ask?

The special effects are surprisingly good. We get some green screen work when they travel to the alternate dimension that is solid. There isn’t much gore as we see one gunshot in a simple effect. The real highlight is the stop motion animation used to bring the skeletal T-Rex and Mastodon to life as our sorcerers use them as proxies in their battle with each other. There is also a small but nifty bit with the demons from Kabal’s army that also appears to be stop motion. Honest to God I love this sort of work so much more than CGI.

Doctor Mordrid is a great movie that I highly recommend. I watched the new Blu-Ray release from Full Moon Pictures. The picture is amazing, and we get a couple special features that makes it worth the purchase price. Go get yourself a copy and watch it right now.


© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer

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