Jacqueline Hyde (2005)
Starring Gabriella Hall, Blythe Metz, Jeremy Ordaz, Rebekah Ellis, James Ferris
Written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky
When I first received the screener DVD for Jacqueline Hyde and noted that it starred an actress best known for appearing in Cinemax After Dark features, was directed by a guy who has spent the past several years making Cinemax After Dark features, and that the box art boasted that this was the "unrated version" of the film, I sat down expecting to see a major league Skinemax-quality dry humpfest. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when even the unrated versions of the sex scenes proved to be neither that explicit nor, well, worthy of sitting in the dark with a box of tissues, if you catch my drift, and that the makers of Jacqueline Hyde clearly intended it to be a horror film with erotic overtones and not just softcore porn with overtones of horror. I say disappointment because the sex isn’t all that wankable and the story isn’t all that compelling. You’re left with a movie that you’ll neither get into nor get off on. My God, this has got to be the single most disturbing opening paragraph to a review I’ve ever written.
Gabriella Hall, a popular veteran of many a Cinemax After Dark production, plays frumpy Jacqueline Hyde, a woman unlucky at both work and love. After getting fired from her telemarketing job for telling off someone that probably should have had their name and number added to that national "no call" list in the first place, Jackie (as everyone calls her for short) gets a call informing her that she’s just inherited the home of a grandfather she didn’t even know she had. Her grandfather was a master illusionist turned reclusive alchemist, and the house reflects this aspect as it is a veritable funhouse of tricks and illusions. Her first night in, Jackie does what any single woman would do; she heads off to a nearby strip club in hopes that some haplessly horny loser will pick her up and take her home for a night of any sex is better than no sex at all. The plan fails as no guy there will even give her a second look.
As far fetched as the coming Jeckyll & Hyde stuff is, nothing in this movie is more unbelievable than asking us to believe that a woman that looks like Gabriella Hall is going to find it impossible to get picked up on in a strip club because she’s not attractive enough for the clientele. Despite clearly dressing down for the part, Miss Hall is not an unattractive woman. She’s a very buxom, somewhat full figured gal, and while she might not be in her twenties and built like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, there’s no way I’m going to believe that a woman that looks like her cannot land a man, especially a desperate one in a strip club at all hours of the night.
Anyway, Jackie is back at the house fretting over not being a size zero and incapable of turning the head of a handsome gentleman, like say the boyish lawyer in charge of her grandfather’s will, when she uncovers Grandpa Munster’s secret lab, complete with a rack of vials containing a neon strawberry-looking substance called Formula 55; a vial of which she accidentally spills into her drink during a scene of monumental contrivance. The formula’s effect gives her complete control over the ability to change her body, which roughly translates to she can transform herself into other actresses, such as the oversexed blonde next door and the model on the cover of a magazine. She even transforms herself into her neighbor’s boyfriend so she can experience sex from a man’s point of view.
Initially, Jackie has fun morphing herself into other nubile females and engaging in sexual shenanigans. Heck, even the transformation process involves having a massive orgasm. But Jackie comes to realize too late that the formula is dangerous as it changes you within as well as on the outside. Unfortunately, her evil side manifests itself and a struggle for control ensues as evil Jackie goes on a sexual power trip that involves murder and ripping off "the shunting" from Brian Yuzna’s horror flick Society.
While not the softcore sex spree I expected, Jacqueline Hyde almost pulls off a minor miracle by becoming a good movie. I said almost. Most of the kudos goes to actress Blythe Metz, the main manifestation of Jackie’s evil side in the form of that magazine cover model. She’s actually a good actress and quite the natural beauty, which leads me to wonder what the hell she’s doing in a movie like this. Don’t these films usually star painted hussies and porn stars looking for a quick payday doing what they do best without actually having to get penetrated? Wait, I forgot that this wasn’t your typical skin flick.
Miss Metz is quite the looker and does a great job playing Jackie’s alter ego as an initially playful sex kitten that ultimately becomes a psychopathic vamp in need of a bigger and better sexual kick with no regard for anyone that gets in her way. One of the main problems with the film is that she’s too deliciously good playing this role so that when it comes to her dueling it out with Gabriella Hall – this is another one of those dual personality flicks where the actresses see the other reflection of themselves in the mirror and argue a lot – it’s hard to root against her even when she starts murdering people. Gabriella Hall’s good Jackie is such a needlessly self loathing lug that it’s almost impossible to sympathize for her. She didn’t need Formula 55; she needed Prozac. I know Hall is just playing good Jackie as the role has been written but her character actually manages to be more unlikable than the evil version that’s killing people.
Jacqueline Hyde is a so-so sexually charged horror flick that really doesn’t have enough sex or horror to it and is charged only by the performance and physical beauty of actress Blythe Metz. I’m hoping to see more of her in the future, in or out of clothes, either way does not matter to me.
As for director Rolfe Kanefsky, he’s now done a take on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to add to his filmography alongside his previous take on a classic literary and cinematic horror icon, The Erotic Misadventures of the Invisible Man. If he continues along this line then I look forward to seeing what he might do with a sexed up version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Something tells me if he does one it won’t be his back that has the hunch.
2 out of 5
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