Night Thread of Doctor Mordrid (5/24)

Doctor Mordrid is a 1992 film directed by Charles and Albert Band. Charles Band originally had the movie rights for a Doctor Strange movie. When those rights lapsed, though, he rewrote the story with a totally original character DO NOT STEAL.

Jeffrey Combs stars as the Master of the Mystic Arts Unknown, who gets his orders from a disembodied pair of eyes in a starfield who is not named The Ancient One. He also sorta has a Sanctum Santorum, only it’s a really nice apartment building in New York and he happens to be its landlord. This is discovered by tenant and police detective Samantha Hunt, who, after being invited into Doctor Mordrid’s incredibly spacious apartment room, noticed that he has the envelope for her rent check lying around.

Smooth move, doc.

The villain is played by Brian Thompson, who you may know as the Alien Bounty Hunter from The X-Files or Shao Khan from the awful Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Here he is a guy in a terrible wig. His plan involves…. I think it was stealing chemicals? Why is an enemy magician acting like a Ninja Turtle villain? He also has two biker henchpeople who drop f-bombs and get naked, which is weird to encounter in a movie that is for the most part rated PG-13. I’m guessing Charles Band really wanted that R rating, since this turkey was going straight to video.

Anyway, being a Charles Band film, it means he doesn’t really have a budget to do anything cool, outside of maybe a reanimated mammoth skeleton. This is likely where all the budget went… or at least I hope it did. I hope those stop motion animators got paid.

Doctor Mordrid does have an amulet that freezes time, but that mostly means that people are rendered in the ultra-complicated special effect of freezing in place and sometimes dribbling milk all of their shirt. See, Disney could’ve saved a ton of money for the Time Stone effects.

“…and that quarter that I folded up in this handkerchief… has disappeared!”

There’s also a scene where Jeffrey Combs relates a flashback by talking through a handkerchief. Sure, it’s no spinning your arm in a circle and creating a portal to another world, but magic doesn’t have to be showy, you know? Sometimes the basics are just as good.

Anyway, Charles Band is still alive and directing things with names like Barbie & Kendra Save the Tiger King. Barbie & Kendra Storm Area 51, and the very topical Corona Zombies. It’s 2022, Chuck. I demand Doctor Mordrid and the Manyverse of Crazy, co-starring Scarlet Woman.