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Francis Ford Coppola
Dr. Bill Cortner has been performing experimental surgery on human guinea pigs without authorization and against the advice of his father, also a surgeon. When Bill's fiancée Jan Compton is decapitated in an automobile accident, he manages to keep her brain alive. He now needs to find a new body for his bride-to-be and settles on Doris Powell, a glamor model with a facial disfigurement. Jan meanwhile doesn't want to continue her body-less existence and calls upon the creature hidden in the basement, one of Bill Cortner's unsuccessful experiments, to break loose. Written by
Original plans were for the last reel to be in color, with the doctor's head being cut off. Scenes were filmed with rats menacing the head. See more »
In the close-up of Kurt holding his withered hand close to his body, the cuffs on his lab coat are the type that have buttons, and both cuffs are unbuttoned. However, in the next wide-angle shot, the cuffs on his lab coat are the type without buttons. See more »
The Superintendent had it out with me. He thinks it's you who's been stealing those limbs from the amputee operations.
Dr. Bill Cortner:
So what if it is?
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Even before the opening credits, the voice of Jan can be heard saying, "Let me die. Let me die!" See more »
Works for sheer audacity, shameless conviction of its aims.
For what this is (a rather over-heated horror sci-fi stew), it works for its sheer audacity and shameless full-bore conviction of its aims. Mad scientist movies end up resorting to long shots of people in white lab coats talking in sterile sets. But this one has a woman's head in the tray, fighting with the doctor, yelling at the monster in the closet, and engaging the assistant in metaphysical questions usually not heard in such low-budget potboilers.
Nice dynamic that it's his fiancé that he wants to save...but she has become so bitter since becoming a disembodied head in a tray of water. I remember watching this for the first time on TV in the early 70s and being amazed they used to make movies like this.
Better than average camera work, also, trying to get a sense of vertigo and movement throughout. This film with its hell-bent-for-leather pace is a fever-dream that works because it doesn't let go, or tip you to the fact that the makers thought it was ridiculous as it certainly is.
Be sure to get the restored version with the monster in the closet finally grabbing the doctor's arm and making a bloody mess at the end. A great cathartic bloody end to this near Shakespearean morality play about how man should not meddle in god's business.
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