GenreHorror, Thriller Running time1h 30m Music directorFrederic Talgorn LanguageEnglish
Release dateJanuary 1989 Based onStrange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Jack the Ripper WriterJ.P. Felix (screenplay), Ron Raley (screenplay) CastAnthony Perkins (Dr. Henry Jekyll / Jack 'The Ripper' Hyde), Sarah Maur Thorp (Susannah), David Lodge (Underwood), Ben Cole (Johnny), Glynis Barber (Elisabeth Jekyll) Similar moviesRobert Louis Stevenson wrote the story for Edge of Sanity and Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde
Edge of sanity 1989 theatrical trailer
Edge of Sanity is a 1989 British horror film, directed by Gérard Kikoïne and starring Anthony Perkins, that is a portrayal of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with aspects of Jack the Ripper.
In the opening scene, Henry Jekyll, a young boy, witnesses his father having sex with another woman in a barn and when his father catches him, the father violently whips Henry for his bad behaviour of spying, scarring him for life with repressed sadomasochistic longings. Many years later in late 1880s England, the adult Dr. Henry Jekyll is experimenting with the human psyche when he accidentally ingests a mix of ether and cocaine and goes insane. He transforms into the monstrous-looking Edward "Jack the Ripper" Hyde, he murders a prostitute who resembles one that he previously met as a child. He begins a murder spree, using the mixture, originally meant to be an anaesthetic, to influence prostitutes and the johns to torture and kill each other. The murders bring upon the attention of a detective from Scotland Yard as well as Jekyll's wife Elisabeth, who begins suspect where her husband is leaving at nights.
As 'Jack' Hyde, he enlists two acolytes with giving out his anaesthetic drug to distribute among the lower-class population of Whitechapel. One night, Elisabeth follows Jekyll after he transforms to the brothel where she follows him from there to a sadomasochistic threesome at a local abandoned warehouse where both of Hyde's partners go crazy and attempt to kill each other and her until Elisabeth subdues and kills both and gets away. But Hyde follows her back to her house and after breaking in, murders her before transforming back to Dr. Jekyll and thus gets away with everything to continue his killing spree.
Anthony Perkins as Dr. Henry Jekyll / Jack "The Ripper" Hyde
Glynis Barber as Elisabeth Jekyll
Sarah Maur Thorp as Susannah
David Lodge as Underwood
Ben Cole as Johnny
Jill Melford as Flora
Noel Coleman as Egglestone
Briony McRoberts as Ann Underwood
Harry Landis as Coroner
Basil Hoskins as Mr. Bottingham
A few exterior sets were filmed in London. Vincent Canby stated that he thinks the film looks "19th-century atmospheric".
Alain Silver compared the style of the film to those directed by Ken Russell, based on the way that the films incorporate the supernatural, psychology, and sexual imagery. He also said that the prostitutes "further unsettle the preconceptions of the audience".
The book Marked Women: Prostitutes and Prostitution in the Cinema uses the film as an example of sexual brutality against women in films.
Vincent Canby wrote in The New York Times that Anthony Perkins "gives a good, funny, if somewhat lopsided performance as the madman of medicine".
TV Guide reviewed the film, giving it 1 out of 4 stars and saying, "EDGE OF SANITY obviously isn't meant to be taken seriously, despite its expensive production values and surrealistic photography—both surprisingly good. But the rest of EDGE OF SANITY (shot mostly in Budapest with some English exteriors) doesn't measure up to its technical proficiency." Leonard Maltin described the film as "Tasteless, pointless, and unpleasant".