|Front of the VHS copy, (also maybe an ad for a key party).|
For those who don't know, Dr. Strange is generally known as a surgeon who loses the use of his hands in a car accident. After that, he seeks out and masters the art of magic. That seems to be what the Marvel movie is about.
But in this 1978 TV-movie version, Dr. Strange is a psychiatrist who shrugs his way into the ultimate sorcerer-battle with Morgan Le Fay.
|Better known as Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development.|
The first third of the movie shows Le Fay's pursuit of the Old Sorcerer Supreme at the behest of her master. Somehow, she decides that the best course of action is to hypnotize an attractive woman to make her toss the Old Sorcerer off a bridge.
Turns out the old coot is pretty resilient and survives the fall. A short time later, Dr. Strange is treating the attractive woman who tossed the Old Guy off the bridge for amnesia. This is how Dr. Strange and the Old Sorcerer Supreme are brought together. Finally. Half-way through the movie.
|Old Sorcerer meets 70s Mustache Sorcerer|
The Old Guy sends his mustachioed apprentice into the Fourth Dimension to retrieve the attractive girl, but also to teach him a lesson about his powers and astral projection.
|While ripping off Stanley Kubrick at the same time.|
Unlike Roger Corman's Fantastic Four, this movie isn't really ridiculous enough to be entertaining for the sake of its ridiculousness. Mostly it's a struggle for the viewer to make it past the first hour where none of this bullshit makes any sense and into the last thirty minutes where some shit finally happens.
The whole thing is clearly an attempt to mimic the success of the Bill Bixby Incredible Hulk show, but without the Hulk showing up to make things even barely interesting. It's part 70's hospital procedural (think Emergency!), mixed with the spicy twinge of magical undercurrent.
If you're really into boring TV-movies, Doctor Strange (1978) is available through Amazon.
It used to be widely available on YouTube, but apparently Marvel doesn't want people to easily access evidence that it was once whoring itself out like a crack addict looking for the next fix.