Reviewed by JONATHAN LEWIS:         

I, MONSTER. Amicus Productions, 1971. Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Mike Raven, Richard Hurndall, Susan Jameson. Director: Stephen Weeks.

   There are moments in I, Monster, an Amicus film based on and inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde where Christopher Lee is at the absolute top of his game.

   One early scene in particular comes to mind immediately. It’s when his character, the psychologist Charles Marlowe, scalpel in his hand, cradles one of his lab rats and eerily mimics the rat’s facial expressions. Of course, at that point, Marlowe (Lee) isn’t all Marlowe. He’s also Marlowe’s alter ego, the barbaric Edward Blake.

   And that’s by far the best thing that I, Monster has going for it: Lee in a dual role as Marlowe/Blake, wherein the famed British actor gets to demonstrate just how well he can portray screen villains.

   Unfortunately, however, this lesser known entry in Lee’s vast filmography suffers from a decidedly mediocre, if not tedious, script that does little to keep the viewer fully engaged with the story.

   Even worse, as much as it pains me to say this, Peter Cushing’s presence in the film is just underwhelming. Sure, it’s great to see Lee and Cushing go at each other in the final sequence. But it’s simply not enough to make I, Monster more of a missed opportunity rather than the cult film it might have been.