There were three reasons for me to check out this film:
- The fact that this originally was planned as a Doctor Strange adaptation.
- Jeffrey Combs
- Full Moon Features producing it.
It is quite interesting to find out that director Charles Band had an option to do an adaptation of the Marvel comic. It makes you wonder what the film would have become had the option not expired. On the other hand Doctor Mordrid that supposedly follows an original story (but obviously rips off major elements of the Marvel comic Doctor Strange) is proof that they were out of their league big time. Most special effects are bad even for it's time. And apart from the finale it's never imaginative or fun. You can tell that they had to be tight with their spendings since there is very little action and spectacle to speak of in this film. Don't get me wrong. I never expected that much spectacle although I had expected more of the same creativity shown in the Puppet Master films.
Jeffrey Combs almost is probably the only reason that this film could be worth your while. He takes his character seriously and he makes you buy all the B movie badness you are subjected too. Although I can't help but feel that they must have tricked him somehow and making him think that this was going to be a high budget blockbuster film. Or it is further testament to the professional or good sport he is. In any case he rocks it and if only he had been given the means to be that magnificent mystical superhero we want.
Full Moon Features most famous for their Puppet Master franchise took B movie badness to a whole new level. If you are a fan of B movies like I am you can't escape Full Moon features. Creatively speaking they did more with a low budget than most current Hollywood A titles have done. Only with this production they failed to do the same. They dropped the ball and it really makes me curious what had been going on behind the scenes since it looks like they never had the proper means to take on the Marvel character that is Doctor Strange in the first place.
I could have tolerated many of the bad elements I mentioned. If it only were for one thing. Doctor Mordrid takes itself too seriously. Which is odd because to my recollection most Full Moon productions always had a healthy dose of humour present. How else would you be able to stomach the incredibly bad dialogue uttered by Brian Thompson as villain Kabal? BTW also a professional through and through who should be commended for not mocking the role he is playing. There was no fun to be had with this film other than Combs. And unfortunately it is not enough since I was pretty bored. Luckily the film is only 74 minutes long and over before you know it.
Even for it's time this is a production that was doomed to fail since apart from the actors suffered from lack of insight, creativity and will on part of the big honcho's at Full Moon Features. Ok, that is me assuming for which I have very little to no evidence. Still the movie itself is lacking in so many ways that I simply can't believe that the final product is what a passionate filmmaker had intended and would create. Don't bother with this one it's a waste of your time!