Professor Dowell and his assistant surgeon Dr. Kern are working on the resurrection of the dead. Dr. Kern kills Dowell in a set up car accident. Professor Dowell's head is now kept alive ...
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Professor Dowell and his assistant surgeon Dr. Kern are working on the resurrection of the dead. Dr. Kern kills Dowell in a set up car accident. Professor Dowell's head is now kept alive and used by Dr. Kern for extraction of scientific secrets. Next - the living head of a killed woman gets a body of a young woman. That body belongs to the girlfriend of Dowell's son. Dr. Kern is anxious to announce himself as the inventor. But Dowell's son helps his father's head to get in front of the cameras. The head of professor Dowell tells all and dies. Written by
I had pretty low hopes for this film, not knowing at all what to expect, but from the first shot and lines I think I knew that it would at least be very different from anything I've seen and I would enjoy it. It's an 80's Russian realistic sci-fi set on an unnamed then-modern-day tropical island where Prof. Dowell's mansion/laboratory is located. The story is very imaginative and creative, and deals with medical/cognitive sci-fi as well as morality behind playing God. Every scene and shot meld perfectly into each other creating a unified consistent work that is fascinating to watch. The camera work is very unique and can be noticed from the first shot, zooming in and out and logically moving to and following important or interesting things in a given setting. The cinematography is never boring, it uses hand-held cameras quite a lot, and there are many great shots and angles to make this film a treat for the eyes. The story develops very well, the characters are interesting and have very different personalities and the actors are all great and (IMO) perfectly cast. I loved the script, the catchy somewhat silly music, the mood, the style, performances. It left me with a satisfied feeling that I had seen a very original and wonderful film that left me thinking about it after it was over. I also love the serious treatment of this material, probably because socialist-realism was USSR's official art form; nothing is made ridiculous (except for perhaps one of Dowell's creations) or unbelievable, the opposite, the film is made to be a modern-day realistic science fiction story. If not already a cult film at least in Russia, it has potential. It's strange, real, creative, silly and thought provoking. The camera work alone makes it stand out for me. A great film IMO, awesome (Soviet) cinema.
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