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Thing with Two Heads, The - DVD - MGM Print E-mail
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014
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BUY DVD

AKA: The Beast With Two Heads, O Monstro de Duas Cabecas, kaksipainen hirvio, La chose a deux tetes, Das Ding mit den 2 Kopfen

Directed by:
Lee Frost
Written by:
Lee Frost, Wes Bishop, James Gordon White
Produced by:
Wes Bishop, John Lawrence
Cinematography by:
Jack Steely
Editing by:
Ed Forsyth
Music by:
Robert Ragland
Special Effects by:
Gail Brown, Thomas Burman, Pete Peterson, Rick Baker, James Gordon White
Cast:
Ray Millard, Rosey Grier, Don Marshall, Roger Perry, Chelsea Brown, Kathrine Baumann.
Year:
1972
Country:
USA
Language:
English
Color:
Color
Runtime:
1h 33min

Distributor: MGM

Roll up, Roll up, and welcome back to the seventies.  An era of film where it was an anything goes, free for all.  I mean seriously, if it sounded good on paper then try it.  To hell with the results, because there's a giant army of drive-in and movie fanatics who want to eat up every manic idea in range.  You know what?  No matter what was released, it was watchable to a degree.  And had we been born in the early sixties in the USA to be old enough, we would've been lapping up each and every one.

 

Fast forwards to now, let's be honest, would a creation like this work?  Probably not, because it's cheeky, it's daring and above all it's fun.  It's almost like someone at AIP took acid and then said, “I've got a plan, lads, let's have like a man with two heads... no, a transplanted head on his shoulder.  I know, I know, not clever enough.  Then let's have one black head, one white head... Better still, the white head is a racist!”  Lee Frost directed and co-wrote this, The Thing with Two Heads.  A man involved in Black Gestapo, Love Camp 7, The Defilers, and Race with the Devil.

 

Bankable legend Ray Millard plays Max Kirshner, a very rich surgeon with a hospital named after him.  However, due to a severe decline in his health, he's trapped in a wheelchair able, to supervise operations from the side lines.  His 'arthritic condition' should leave him a bitter man, but instead he's a man with a mission, pooling all his knowledge and money into secret experiments.  His close colleagues Thomas and Donald do the work of course.  Kirshner suffers constant chest pains but refuses medication, having to keep his mind sharp.

 

In his cellar is a two-headed gorilla (played by effects genius Rick Baker) that one day breaks free, escaping his home and into the suburban estate.  The gorilla leaps and lumbers into a supermarket, where everyone charges out whilst toilet rolls are chucked around.  Thomas and Donald find the creature sat in the fruit aisle eating bananas.

 

Max Kirshner's distaste for black people is shown as he meets Dr. Fred Williams, a new arrival to his institute.  He decides instantly he wants rid of him, or treat the qualified specialist like a “lab boy.”  Dr. Williams knows the score, he smirks “Things might be different if I was white.” Due to a legally binding contract, however, Kirshner has to keep him employed for six months.  “I do not allow colored people on my staff.” he tells a colleague afterwards.

 

That night his condition worsens.  It turns out that it’s “terminal chest cancer.”  He has his top man Dr. Phil Desmonds (played by Roger Perry, Count Yorga) come by.  “Organ transplanting is futile,” states Kirshner.  He is shown the finished experiment.  The gorilla now has one perfect head.  After explaining everything, it seems the heads must stay together for at least twenty eight days to make the new one stronger.  Kirshner's plan is obviously to have his head placed onto a young healthy body.  “My genius must be allowed to live!” he spits.  They all arrange that once the correct donor is found, Desmonds will help and the operation shall be performed in the basement to avoid publicity.

 

It's an urgent situation since time is running out on Max Kirsners life.  Desmonds pulls strings and arranges that if a convict on death row chooses to donate his body to science that will be ideal.  Whilst various prisoners are given the option, Kirsnar falls into a coma.  Cue funky music and we see through a convict's eyes as he makes his way to the chair.  His name is Jack Moss.  He decides last minute to accept the donation choice.  Of course the irony is, Jack Moss is a large black man (played by ex. footballer Rosey Grier a.k.a. Fats from Movin' On.  Apparently Rosey also helped take down Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert Kennedy, and is B-Movie legend Pam Grier's cousin).

 

It had been stated earlier they wanted to keep a low profile on proceedings so four cop cars arrive at Kirsner's home.  Ha ha ha.  Introductions all  around and the team of doctors are stunned when seeing Jack Moss.  The operation goes very well, Desmonds calling out things like, “Suction. Sponge. Scalpal. Clamps. Liver!” (Okay, the last one's from another movie, I got confused) A dummy head of Ray Millard is carried around the basement with a moving mouth.  For 1972, the head is rather impressive.  Both heads are united, we presume for twenty eight days before Moss' head would be taken off.

 

“Max, we did it.” Desmonds says. “I can feel it, I can breathe with it.” gasps Max.  He lifts his new left arm until he sees the skin color.  “Is this some kind of joke?” Kirsnar has approximately fourteen days before he can take control of his new home, until then he can only move solo when Jack Moss is asleep.  Jack wakes up and sees his new brother so is understandably upset.  Dr. Williams is requested over to help with his studies in “anti-rejection” transplant and knowledge.  Desmonds practically begs for his help.

 

As Kirsner sleeps, Moss is up and about looking for a way to escape.  Changed my mind, the dummy head is pathetic, and the sponge ring around their heads looks like something you sit on when you've got grape sized hemorrhoids!  Max wakes up as they are getting away from the house.  Close up shots has Rosey's shoulders padded to the extreme to compensate as Ray stood behind him sharing the same suit.  Some pure “Ha ha, look at that!” moments to be seen.

 

Williams is taken hostage and made to drive them at gunpoint. “How about you takin' ol' happy face off me if y'all a doctor.”  Then he threatens to shoot Kirsner until Willams explains it would be as good as suicide.

 

Speaking of “Ha ha, look at that” moments, my Horror Soulmate happily pointed out how at one point they can see Desmonds' car in the rear view giving chase, but then out of the back window there's nothing there.

 

Jack manages to take over driving duties whilst Desmonds and the police all bumble about, going one way and then the next. Here we go time to dodge road blocks to funky music. One mandatory flat tyre later and all three (erm, I mean two? Do I? Two and a half?”) are on foot.

 

Jack Moss has a mission, to seek out Crazy Willy Thompson, the one man who can prove his innocence.  Willy has vanished.  As Moss sleeps, Max tries to bribe Fred but he isn't digging it at all.  They are interrupted by a helicopter and police gunshots, quite alarming to be fair since don't they want to capture Moss and Kirsner alive?  Surely Williams is an innocent hostage?  It's down to the fact that the pigs are racist.  Well, maybe, it's not explained.

 

The chase leads them onto a dirt race track where they can all pile onto a bike and race along alarming the other bikers.  A cop car ends up on the race track, clumsily crashing moments later.  Where's Boss Hogg when we need him, huh?  Meanwhile back at Kirsner's house police wait in case they return.  Look out for the laughing cop running past the camera.  Everybody who was involved in this disaster fears career deaths.

 

More cop cars vs. dirt bike chases to sweet uplifting 'wah-wah' tunes and the police are just totally shit.  They spend most of their time looking bewildered and crashing (according to a later news report, fourteen cars were totalled).  My Horror Soulmate just shook her head in disbelief, expression one of “I'm sick of it now.” I had a full on fit of giggles, it's one crash after another, in clouds of dust, easily lasting fifteen minutes.  Believe it or not, everybody is unharmed like an episode of The A-Team.  If you were a resident in Akersfield in the early seventies, crime should have been easy because the law enforcement there haven't learnt basic rules such as how to avoid each other’s cars or simple ditches.

 

“What have you got for desert? Watermelons?” one quote amongst many in the entertaining bickering between both actors.  However, it's Lila played by Chelsea Brown who receives some choice laugh-out-loud moments.  Lila is Jack's girl and when seeing his situation she asks if he has two of anything else.  Also when Jack suggests sex, she finds Kirsner a fair distraction and a turn off.  When Jack Moss says he'll cover him with a pillow, Lila says; “It's no use honey, maybe when I get used to it.” Solid gold!!!

 

The Thing with Two Heads is entertaining and not dull, but pushes its luck with its goofy humour and unfortunately falls down with a very very flat ending.  Ray Millard is the star and is having a great time in the role.  Roosevelt Grier (Rosey) has the size, the look, but unfortunately he isn't a good actor.  A lot of Blaxploitation actors had roots in football and most could act.  Rosey isn't one of them.  Props for trying though.

 

MGM has put this out on a double under their Midnight Movies umbrella with The Incredible Two Headed Transplant which to some is a better film, but this one is reviewed for the fun value.  There's an original theatrical trailer, and that's about it for them.  MGM have also chucked it out solo as well under the same MM moniker.

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 RATING:
 VIDEO: 1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
Skull - Severed Cinema
 AUDIO: 1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
Skull - Severed Cinema
 DVD: 1 
Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
Skull - Severed Cinema
 MOVIE: 1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1/2No 
Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
Skull - Severed Cinema


 DVD SPECS:
 Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
 Region: NTSC R1
 Audio: Dolby Digital Mono


 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
 - Trailer

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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