Once upon a time, this almost was a live-action Doctor Strange movie. Not the first Doctor Strange adaptation–that distinction goes to the made-for-TV 1978 version starring a Mr. Peter Hooten and his pornstache. But the licensing fell through and enough details were changed so that Charles Band could be credited as “based on an original idea by.” Sure, why not.
Charles Band? Full Moon Features? Nothing? Okay, I’ll try to keep this short.
Charles Band runs Full Moon Features, probably most known for the Puppet Master franchise (13 movies with a spin-off supposedly coming out this year, I’ll get to you all someday), although I would argue that they should probably be known for The Gingerdead Man (3 movies and a crossover) and/or Evil Bong (7 movies and that same crossover). It’s around the same level in quality as The Asylum, makers of “mockbusters” like Atlantic Rim, Pet Graveyard, and Operation Dunkirk, as well as all 6 Sharknado movies and most other SyFy Channel originals.
So, yeah, Doctor Mordrid is pretty damn cheesy.
Our titular Sorcerer Supr–wait, no, uh… “Master of the Unknown” is played by Jeffrey Combs, a veteran actor in various Star Trek series and cheesy horror movies. He watches over Earth and tries to keep it safe from the evil machinations of Kabal, played by Brian Thompson, who most of my friends recognize as Shao Kahn from Mortal Kombat: Annihilation but will always be The X Files‘ Alien Bounty Hunter to me.
Pretty standard plot: bad guy wants to unleash evil on the world, good guy wants to stop him, there’s a forced romance because that’s just what movies do, and it ends with a climactic showdown involving an animated fossilized t-rex versus an animated fossilized mammoth. Like you do. Combs is sadly wasted in this, playing it fairly straight and not hamming it up like he can (one of many reasons to watch The Frightners). Kabal’s lackeys are pretty fun, but with them swearing up a storm and getting naked it’s almost like they were in a completely different movie; I can’t think of any other reason this movie has an R rating.
Actually, bringing up The Asylum was relevant, because this certainly feels like a mockbuster of Doctor Strange. It comes off like a TV pilot that didn’t get picked up, if you discount the R-rated minions. There’s nothing noteworthy enough to leave an impact on me, but I will wonder just what could’ve happened if the licensing with Marvel had actually gone through.
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