Amir, the benevolent ruler of Kalid, is dying, but there is hope. Freshly deceased, he is flown to the United States where Dr. Trenton transplants his brain into the body of a simpleton in a... Read allAmir, the benevolent ruler of Kalid, is dying, but there is hope. Freshly deceased, he is flown to the United States where Dr. Trenton transplants his brain into the body of a simpleton in a classic "assistant got the wrong kind of body" plot line. Dr. Trenton has a few nefarious... Read allAmir, the benevolent ruler of Kalid, is dying, but there is hope. Freshly deceased, he is flown to the United States where Dr. Trenton transplants his brain into the body of a simpleton in a classic "assistant got the wrong kind of body" plot line. Dr. Trenton has a few nefarious plot twists of his own in mind, and then there's the thing with the dwarf and the women c... Read all
This is not your average B-Movie.
No! It's your above-average B-Movie.
It's not great, but it ain't no stinker either.
Writers Samuel Sherman (story) & Joe Rodgers (screenplay) give the audience a semi-decent sci-fi thriller.
Amir is the ruler of Kalid. He's a good and caring monarch whose people love him. Unfortunately, he's riddled with cancer. Not knowing of a suitable successor for his beloved country, Amir risks it all on an experimental operation. A brain transplant. Things go disastrously awry when Gor damages the host body. Amir's brain ends up in the scarred body of mentally disabled Gor. This isn't the only blow Amir has to weather as conspirators have other ideas regarding his future.
It would be a stronger film had they managed the story concept correctly.
Though in Al Adamson's hands we receive a film of missed possibilities. Adamson tries his best behind the camera, and there are some interesting shots. I liked the operating procedure where he filmed part of it through a glass jar. The best part of this scene is when the camera pans to the bottom of the jar and we spot the white rat. Though this scene shows his inventiveness the rat breaks the spell.
It's this sort of thing that lessens the film. For example, they fly Amir from Kalid to America and then they transport him to the secret laboratory; which is one small room. The doctor begins the operation immediately and Amir's trusted confidant, Mohammed, is allowed to stay. Trouble is, they don't get him to scrub up or even don a gown. Evidently, hygiene isn't a worry when you're pulling a brain from a skull. This is a good thing. Especially considering the Doctor's assistant needs a chair to stand on... being a midget and all.
I can almost hear you groaning out there. I admit to sighing loudly and shaking my head when the midget appeared, so I can relate.
However, Adamson films the operation well. So if they paired the whole thing back, and Adamson concentrated on the relevant parts of the story, the movie would be stronger.
Since the Doctor is operating secretly, he requires a constant source of blood. This comes from the two female prisoners chained in the dungeon. Yeah, you heard that right. Why this couldn't be a cellar, I don't know(?) It's another element handled incorrectly. We later learn how massive the dungeon is. When I realised this I wondered, why does he have only one room for his lab(?). All these mishandled inconsistencies hinder the movie further.
Nonetheless, the film kept me in its grip... just.
This is because there are some good scenes, and these outweigh the bad. You can see the lack of budget in every shot. But Adamson tries to keep it interesting. He composes the opening sequence of Amir on his deathbed superbly. Even though you know we're not in a mansion or a castle, it doesn't matter too much. The direction holds it together, as does the acting.
This scene leads to one of the best opening credit's I've seen in a B-Movie. It made me reminisce about my youth when I watched Re-Animater and other Brian Yuzna films. It's similar in style and just as good.
I have to admit to having a fondness for the car chase. Even though Doctor Bob (Grant Williams) shouts, "He's trying to run us off the road!" the cars never get too close. I want to believe it's because one car is the directors and he's told them, "Scratch my car and you're fired!" Regardless, he deals with the chase admirably, using different angles. I especially liked the upward shot of the passing tree branches. This adds to the feel of speed, anxiety, and unease. At least he gets to set one car on fire.
As for the acting, this is well above average. It's the cast and their portrayals that are the glue to the film. Each gives a believable rendition, and it was this that kept me watching most.
There's only one person who lets the cast down. Regina Carrol, who plays Amir's aid and love interest, Tracy. Three things stand out in her performance. Her hair, which is so heavily lacquered with hairspray, she may be solely responsible for the hole in the ozone. The other two are her breasts... and Adamson's camera loves them. Not once does her acting ability surpass these attributes.
I would only recommend this film to B-Movie lovers and aficionados. This is chiefly because this is a bad film... but it's a good bad film. Everybody else should stay away. You won't appreciate the films badness.
Ratings: Story 1.25 : Direction 1 : Pace 0.75 : Acting 1 : Enjoyment 1 : Total 5 / 10
Transplant yourself into my Absolute Horror and The Final Frontier lists to see where this B-Movie crashed.
Take Care and Stay Well.
- Apr 26, 2020