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Call me demented but I loved this absolutely silly piece of 1970s Drive-In schlock! Director Anthony M. Lanza only made one other movie as far as I know, one I've been wanting to see for years, a 60s biker flick starring Dennis Hopper and Casey Kasem called 'The Glory Stompers'. Kasem returns in this one to play the concerned best friend of "mad" scientist Dr. Roger Girard played by cult favourite Bruce Dern (Kasem and Dern had previously played brothers in another 60s biker movie 'The Cycle Savages', a trash classic I highly recommend.) Dern, just like those scientists in 'Donovan's Brain', has his own lab in his home which he conducts his own private research, assisted by his crippled mentor Dr. Max ('Demon Seed'). Research, by the way, involving head transplants. So when a psychopath (Albert Cole) escapes on a rampage and kidnaps Dern's pretty blonde wife (Pat Priest of 'The Munsters'), it doesn't take long to figure out that the Doc is going to be operating on him soon. Especially when there is a handy mental defective (John Bloom, from 'The Hills Have Eyes 2') available (his caretaker's son). Now Bruce Dern is one of my favourite 1970s actors ('Bloody Mama', 'Silent Running', 'The King Of Marvin Gardens'), and I'd watch him in just about anything, but this must be the stupidest movie he has ever been involved in! Disinterested viewers who don't enjoy 60s and 70s exploitation and monster movies may find it just TOO stupid to get into, but I thought it was an absolute hoot, and loved every minute of it!
An absolute riot. The kind of movie Edward Wood could only aspire to make. And Bruce Dern is always worth watching. No matter the quality of the movie, there's just something about the guy that guarantees a good time.
Obviously this is a bad movie. But what else did you expect from a
movie with a title such as this one has. I'll admit, this movie its
title is the only reason why I really wanted to see it and no, I also
certainly don't regret I did. Yes, it's still being a bad movie but
it's just one of those movies that is fun to watch, regardless of how
bad things get in this movie.
The movie does work out as fun because of its insane and silly concept. Main concept of the movie is a scientist experimenting on putting two heads on one body. But I seriously still don't understand with what purpose the professor was executing his experiments. As far as I understood it, it all had something to do with successfully transplanting limbs from one body onto another but this all doesn't explain why our dear professor and his disabled assistant are experimenting with putting extra heads onto animals bodies. But needless to say that this is simply one of those movies you really shouldn't think too much about, while watching it.
I was really interest to see how they had done the two heads effect on one human body in this movie. The answer is; poorly. It's quite laughable actually. For certain shots they used an obvious (very) fake puppet head, that never gets shown from the front and for its close-ups it's basically the one guy standing very close behind the other guys back, to create the illusion of two heads on one body. This should pretty much sum up how this entire movie is being like. Silly, cheap, poorly done and just overall bad but you still can't help being amused by it all.
No, it's not really a story with much good story and that also is really foremost its downfall. This movie could had still been a much better and more entertaining one if more was happening in it. Now the 'monster's rampage doesn't happen until far into the movie. It's all such a big waste and shame. Surely they could had come up with some more original and entertaining stuff than what they show in the eventual movie. They waste too much time with this movie by setting up its shallow characters and shaky plot, that is being filled with holes and inconsistencies.
I also just love it how mentally challenged persons why behave like little kids in movies always wear dungarees. In this movie that isn't any different and he's constantly wearing the same sweater as well in this movie to complete things. I also just love how insane and over-the-top the smirking murderer is in this movie. Those two are the persons who get attached to one and the same body in this movie, so prepare yourself for lots of insane madness.
The movie foremost sounds like a crazy B-monster movie from the '50's and for most part the movie is also really being that way but it it's actually an '70's movie, so it's still has lots of hints of the exploitation genre in it as well. The movie is not that bloody or gory but it still features plenty of killings and also some nudity. The camera-work and especially its editing are being quite experimental at times, which also makes it all the more apparent that you're watching an '70's movie here.
Funny that somehow Bruce Dern ended up being in this mess, that foremost is still being a silly/bad fun one to watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is not an easy one to watch, long spaces of dialog, some poor
acting and not enough good campy acting, etc. I can't say I hated the
movie, I did laugh at a lot of parts, but ultimately it was nothing
memorable. Bruce Dern looks stoned in most his scenes and sometimes
cannot be understood because he's mumbling. Casey Kasem has a
surprising amount of work to do in this film compared to other films
I've seen him in like "Angels Unchained". Surprisingly, he's not that
bad. Unfortunately it's one of the few surprises in the film.
The plot is very stale 1930s era mad scientist hokum. It's pretty sad when you have to say that "The Thing with Two Heads" is a relatively creative movie, but it's true when compared to this one. The plot is identical with "Donovan's Brain" and any number of generic mad scientist plots. Dern is a guy who has developed a technique for grafting one animal's head on another animal. DJ Kasem plays a doctor (although, oddly enough, whenever you hear a DJ on the radio in the film Kasem provides the voice for the DJ as well) who is an old college friend of Dern's, and Dern shows him his laboratory set-up with all its two headed rodents, monkeys, foxes, and rabbits, declaring his intention to soon use it on humans. Kasem seems oddly unalarmed, simply exchanging pleasantries with the wifey and Dern and promising to come up and visit at a later point in the film. The human experiment subject ends up being a brain damaged worker on Dern's ranch, whose father has just been killed by a homicidal rapist. Neither Dern nor his assistant (Berry Kroeger, who had a very suitable face kind of reminiscent of Peter Lorre's) seems to think about the fact that if they put a psychotic head on another person's body, they will simply create a psychotic monster. Didn't they ever watch "Frankenstein"? Geez! BAD BRAINS! Speaking of the psycho killer, Al Cole who I believe played him has to be one of the worst actors I've seen in a relatively "big" B movie like this. If the movie ever had any chance of working as a scary movie, Mr. Cole's unbelievably over the top performance would have ruined that. His way of communicating his lust is to literally lick his lips and bulge his eyes out. It's an embarrassing performance that could have been fixed sooner as soon as the first rushes came in, but the director either wasn't skilled enough or didn't care enough to fix the problem.
This film could have benefited somewhat from having its tongue a bit more in cheek. Everyone seems very serious, which would be fine if it wasn't such a tired plot and a standard script, standard direction, etc. There's really nothing scary about the monster anyway, the only people he kills are some bikers who nobody cares about in the first place and a couple schmoozing teenagers. In a film where the horror fails and there is no camp, you have basically a wasteland which would bore 99.9% of film viewers. The only laughs here are un-intentional and they are few and far between. There isn't a lot of gore or sex exploitation either, at least not in the print I saw which was actually an archival print. So not much to recommend here. Rent the one with Rosey Grier and Ray Milland instead, unless you're a big fan of Casey Kasem or Bruce Dern and you want a few cheap laughs sprinkled through an awful film.
INCREDIBLE 2-HEADED TRANSPLANT, THE (1971)
** 1/2 (out of four)
Bruce Dern plays a scientist who enjoys putting one head onto another body. He puts the head of a psychopath onto the body of his stupid, yet huge gardener and it goes on a killing spree. This here is certainly far from a "good movie" but the cult level is high enough to keep it entertaining. Dern is quite good but the film mostly works due to the laughs it gets from the two headed killer.
Available on DVD through MGM as part of their Midnite Movies line. This title is paired with the other cult favorite, THE THING WITH TWO HEADS, with Ray Milland.
Bruce Dern stars [?] in this unbelievably god awful film about a really way out doctor/scientist who decides to graft the head of a criminally insane man to the body of a retardo. What followed was one of the worst movies to ever come out of the entertainment industry in many years. I saw it at a drive-in in Houston with a couple friends so getting to yuk it up with them over the horrible plot made it fairly palatable. Had I been alone I may have died of sheer boredom. What a dog: and what was Dern doing in this turkey? Was he broke at the time?
There's no doubting this is a very bad film by anyone's standards, but
it isn't without some entertainment value. Bruce Dern clearly on his
uppers back in '71 takes on the mad scientist role with such
laid-back indifference to the part that his performance alone is worth
the cost of the rental or purchase or ninety minutes of your life.
Never will you see an actor so clearly embarrassed by the rubbish he
has somehow found himself saddled with or trying so hard to appear
invisible. Dern speaks each of his lines with a kind of preternatural
calmness that leaves you wondering whether some underhand producer
hasn't drugged him so that he believes he's floating through a dream.
His character is assisted by Max (Berry Kroeger) who, quite frankly, is
the creepiest thing in the film like a strange uncle whose lap your
mum warns you not to sit on when you're a kid
The plot follows the typical monster-movie template. Once again our monster is stitched together from people's body parts in a fortress-like laboratory to which access is denied to the good doctor's long-suffering wife (Pat Priest). But, unlike Frankenstein, this is no meditation on the dangers of man playing God, rather than a frank attempt to titillate undemanding teens. Of course, wifey can't resist having a peek in the lab and before you can say 'don't open the door!' she's opened the door and well, I'm sure you can get the rest.
The poor simpleton who has a maniacal killer's head grafted onto his neck (don't you hate it when that happens?) is something of a giant, and he's filmed from a low angle so that no money has to be spent on special effects. I'm sure Messrs Bloom and Cole must have been pretty close friends by the end of the shoot. Of course the killer quickly becomes the dominant partner and forces his neck-mate to embark on a killing spree. He lumbers around the countryside, chancing upon necking teenagers and wasted bikers who, for some reason, find it impossible to outrun him and, cackling wildly, summarily dispatches them for no apparent reason other than he's completely bonkers.
The single moment of any worth in the film is the point at which director Anthony Lanza cuts away from the murder of the female biker, just as those brainless cackles are beginning to rise. It's a moment of restraint totally at odds with the rest of the movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Dr. Roger Girard and his pushy assistant are performing bizarre
experiments in a secure back room at his home. These experiments
involve creating two-headed animals, so after the complete success on a
monkey, naturally the next step is on a human. The unknowingly subjects
are that of a serial killer from an escaped mental intuition and that
of their mentality handicapped farmhand who's massive in statute. Soon,
enough the two-headed monster gets loose and starts causing grisly
havoc. While Roger is all caught up in his work, his beautiful wife
Linda is real worried about her husband's strange obsession and that
she is all but forgotten in his work.
Pure schlock at its very worst, but this embarrassing shamble isn't all that bad in the entertainment stakes. Pretty much this low-budget monstrosity is completely loony with its shoddy story, wooden script, stuffy performances and plastic look. Hah! I felt real sorry for the animals that had another head attached to them. It's hilarious! Nothing is spared. But you know once in a while you come across one of these films that everyone can't stand, but on the other hand you find it so bad that it's good for an unintentional laugh. Well, that's what I got from this turkey. You can easily tear this flick apart, but it got me in a good mood, I suppose? Just how many times have these mad doctors creates an out-of-control monster, which suddenly gets loose to cause mayhem story been used? Plenty! It actually reminded me of a Simpson's Episode, which I wonder if they got the idea from this. But what does the word incredible in the title got to do with anything. Is it because I sat through the whole lot and had fun with it? Because that's more suitable, as the beast looks far from incredible.
The plot itself is practically moronic and the scientific experiments being perform are just plain ludicrous and useless to anyone. Well not if you want a monster that everyone will want to destroy, but heck why on earth would you want to create something with two heads just because it hasn't been done. And these are scientists? Though they turn into hunters in the third act of the story. You'll think that they would have more purpose, but hey that's right these people aren't sane, so that's there excuse. Now I can see why the outcome of the 2 headed human *roll eyes* is a frigging breakthrough in the science world. Though they were a bit foolish using a head of a whacked out killer! The look of the two headed human looked effortless; ah let me correct myself. No that's far from possible as it no more then a dummy head being used when using distant shots, but for the close ups you can tell why they got a big guy, so the other guy fit behind him. Though those close-ups were risible with insane facials being pulled by the two heads. This is because the two have different intentions; one drooling over killing people and the other just looking incredibly worried. The nut job of a perverted serial killer played by Albert Cole was a real riot, that's even before he's (supposedly) attached to the big fella played by John Bloom. They spend their time together trampling about aimlessly. B-film actor Bruce Dern plays Dr. Roger Girard who has recovered from a nervous breakdown hmm are we sure about that? There's no real effort or interest in his performance, oh no he found out too late what a real mess this was! Berry Kroeger his assistant Dr. Max has only one thing on mind, and that's for the good of science.
The exploitation element is more than decent enough with its cheaply orchestrated bloody mayhem, just plain wrong experiments and that of the sleazy sexual context, mainly because of our crazy nut of a serial killer. Pat Priest is simply ravishing here, as she spends most of the time wandering about in her bikini and nightgown. So that's another plus. When she's not doing that she finds time to faint every now and again, well that's when there is trouble a brewing. After somewhat a slow start with many irrelevant padding, it soon gets into its (routine) groove and some added spark to stodgy pacing. This is when the laughably crazy moments really kick in and the films highlight has got to be the confrontation with some bikers. The stash between the monster and them is put together rather hectically. Even the film's climax is miraculously staged; it will blow you away well kind of ah, not in a good way though. The pumping soundtrack was remotely unpleasant to anyone's ears by continuously nagging away with the same jerky and whacka-wa tunes. Gee what a main theme song, it was damn awful and so overwrought! And what was the deal with those chiming sound effects. Oh well, that one of many senseless things to bob up. Every single frame has basically something that's nonsensical, incredibly illogical and just plain twisted. But these things work in the charm of it all and just had me cracking up.
Simply incompetent hogwash that has a touch of enthusiasm and fun enough when caught in the right frame of mood.
If one of the heads wants to love , and the other wants to kill? My question is, which head made this movie? I don't think Bruce Dern wants to be remembered or associated with this clunker. Pat Priest was a nice, sexy addition as Dern's pretty wife, flaunting her tanned curvaceous figure. But this movie could have been just plain awful if it had a better budget. But since it was made on a shoestring budget, it looks ludicrously amateurish. The two-headed special effects came right out of some kid's backyard. The only purpose this film could serve is for B-Horror enthusiasts or drunk kids at a party wanting something to laugh at. I saw this when I was just a 3rd grader and even thought it was stupid then.
I always wish I could have more fun with this than I actually do. Is
there such a thing as a cheapo Grade-Z flick being a "missed
opportunity"? It's got so many potentially good-time cheese
ingredients: Pat Priest (The Munsters), Bruce Dern, Albert Cole, John
Bloom and Casey Kasem (!). But there's just something about it that's a
lost opportunity as side-splitting exploitation hijinks, and it's never
as much of a good time as its companion piece, THE THING WITH TWO
Things seem kind of slow-paced for such an offbeat idea, and the good stuff doesn't really get started till halfway through the film. I get the feeling that Bruce Dern was completely devastated by being in this thing as he remains completely lethargic and practically whispers all of his lines throughout without any hint of conviction whatsoever. Then again, that's usually just Bruce Dern. Either way, his is a God-awful performance. I do like one really awesome shot where the lumbering two-headed creature is making its way across a misty lake at night, en route to surprising a couple necking in their car. Albert Cole is properly sadistic as the "bad head" while John Bloom (who was the Frankenstein Monster in "Dracula vs. Frankenstein") manages to pull of his "sympathetic retarded man" quite well. ** out of ****
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