At certain point in the 90’s Full Moon Entertainment (Demonic Toys, Dollman) had the rights to make Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Remember, those were the days when Marvel movies were made by people like  Corman or even better Pyun. Anyway they had the right for Dr. Strange, but NOT for long. Marvel’s license expired before the production officially began and instead of paying for extension producer  Charles Band decided to just go ahead with it. He cleverly removed mustaches and renamed his hero Doctor Mordrid leaving everything else virtually identical to the original script (and comicbook).

Movie starts with Mordrid (legendary Jeffrey Combs) talking with space eyes, we have no idea what the hell is happening. Then it jumps to Rio de Janeiro just in time for us to witness the evil Kabal (always fun Brian Thompson) in medieval regalia with hip 90’s sunglasses.He chants some complicate gibberish but his fantastic baritone (he sounds like Schwarzenegger who miraculously lost an accent and gain acting ability) makes it sound cool. His fledgling killed  a man transporting some sort of (mystical?) goods and the chant made it disappear into another dimension (with 90’s style drawn electricity- painfully  absent in today’s films)

Doctor Mordrid_2avo_[].avi_000154988Hello Space Eyes!

And we’re back to Dr.  ̶S̶t̶r̶a̶n̶g̶e̶  Mordrid’s lair full of arcane books, mystic artifacts and TV’s for some reason? He seems disturbed from his astral projection and  easy listening music and goes out to find what’s happening. It turns out some neighbors (he lives in an apartment building?) are having argument about a dog. Police woman with big hair (who also lives there) Sam seemingly resolves things and Mordrid exchangers couple of words with her and then flashes her with his amulet and she forgets everything. Watching Mordrid’s TV collection we learn that the shipment that was stolen was platinum and that rings a bell with Dr. We also learn that his raven is appropriately named Edgar.

Mordrid uncovered magic ball and uses it to summon a gateway that takes him to the another world and… the flying fortress (and that’s all we see of that mystic world). He almost gets killed by a keeper Gunner but it turns out they are old friends. It tuns out he was blinded while the others were killed during the Kabal’s escape. Gunner still stayed weak as he is to keep others locked and by others I mean demons from the other dimension. He returns to his apartment just to find out that his neighbor police woman called the firemen. She was snooping around and saw the smoke coming from his place. He finally gives up and invites her in.

Doctor Mordrid_2avo_[].avi_001244993

In the meantime we are presented with bloodsucking, terrible pair of satanist- one of them a lady satanist who enjoys singing disco hits and dancing appropriately. She hopes to score with  Kabal but he decides to sacrifice her instead.

It’s Satan’s Dance!

Feeling particularly powerful he uses astral projection (sorry- it’s called transportation of the soul here) to taunt Mordrid. They get into a  confrontation of sorts but without some terrible ramifications but soon enough police comes to arrest Mordrid,  it turns out the symbol from his amulet is found on some dead bodies and he becomes  prime suspect. During the interrogation he tries to explain that the evil alchemist is behind both the murders and also the stolen plutonium but they kinda don’t believe him.

Doctor Mordrid_2avo_[].avi_002434056“Kabal’s intentions are worse than evil!”

Sam, the police woman drops by to check on him and he shows her the visions of his childhood. He also uses the paper napkin to hypnotize her.We see the rivalry of the Kabal and Mordred since they  were kids, and gain all we see of the other world is the flying castle- they really should have filmed something else too (it gets really old, really fast). Sam accepts to steal his amulet and help him  escape but Satanist number two shows up (with the enchantment of indestructibility)and just when you expect a ruckus nothing happens. Yeah, Satanists are just that stupid. Sam freezes time and gets Mordrid out. Mordrid does the next logical thing, he decides to falls asleep aka project his soul in the middle of the park and Sara stays to watch over him. Kabal breaks into the Metropolitan Museum and steals the philosopher’s stone who’s sole purpose is in fact being the cauldron for cooking all the alchemical stuff.

Doctor Mordrid_2avo_[].avi_003628082Today in cooking with Kabal!

Just when you though he finished cooking Mordrid (aka his soul) appears and they start the spell- war that escalates into a dinosaur skeleton vs mastodon skeleton finale. Then when you expect something really impressive to happen mastodon impales Kabal, stops the demon invasion from another dimension and everything is fine again.

Yeah, also Satanist tries to kill defenseless Mordrid but being stupid but his powers stop working and he almost gets killed. The movie ends with melancholic Sam celebrating Christmas, getting drunk with Edgar the raven… when Mordrid mysteriously shows up from the another dimension and new adventures are ready to begin! Unfortunately we won’t see them.
Verdict: Like many other Full Moon features this one also suffers from the lack of the third act, and I don’t mean like in the John Rambo (purposely extended second act), I mean more like Bakshi’s Lord of  the Ring where you can just see that they run out of budget and abruptly ended the movie without real climax or resolution.

On the plus side Jeffrey Combs’s overacting fits perfectly with the theme of this movie and his literally chewing scenery. Too bad the movie is not up to par.  I would really love to see Combs more often as a leading man (outside of Re-Animator franchise).

Trivia: For a (very) short while this movie was called Doctor Mortalis and Band even managed to bring in the legendary Marvel artist Jack Kirby to do some concept drawings. Unfortunately that didn’t continue (wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he run out of money to pay him- wouldn’t be the first time).

DoctorMOriginal Kirby sketch for Dr. Mortalis

  1. […] in) consisting of John Scott Calough, Neil Davis, Seth Kaufman and even a future genre movie staple Brian Thompson (Cobra, Mortal Kombat: […]


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