Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Thing with Two Heads (1972)

Director: Lee Frost

Writers: Lee Frost, Wes Bishop, James Gordon White

Composer: Robert O. Ragland

Starring: Ray Milland, Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier, Don Marshall, Roger Perry, Chelsea Brown, Katherine Baumann, John Dullaghan, John Bliss, Bruce Kimball, Jane Kellem, Lee Frost, Wes Bishop, Roger Gentry, Britt Nilsson, Rick Baker, William Smith

More info: IMDb

Tagline: They transplanted a white bigot's head on a soul brother's body!

Plot: A rich but racist man is dying and hatches an elaborate scheme for transplanting his head onto another man's body. His health deteriorates rapidly, and doctors are forced to transplant his head onto the only available candidate: a black man from death row.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No but I'll watch the shit out of that amazing trailer!

I've seen the trailer for this thing for decades, I've had the DVD for at least ten years and I finally got around to watching it.  I had a hunch it wasn't going to be anywhere near as entertaining as the trailer and I was right.  The best bits are in the trailer but they're still great and hilarious in the film.  Rosey Grier is hilarious.  His line delivery is really fucking funny.  He and Ray Milland make a great pair.  And how about Milland?  I've always dug how this Oscar-winning actor (and he's really a fantastic actor, BTW) did lots of science fiction and horror in his later years AND that he wasn't content on cashing a paycheck.  He really put a concerted effort into these 'cheap' roles and it shows.  The films benefit from it.  Anyway, he's a riot in this as well.  Like a lot of these low budget pictures, there's a LOT of padding.  You could easily cut 20 minutes out of this picture and it would only help it.  The big chase at the end goes on way too long.  If you like seeing cop cars crashing then you'll dig it but you'll still see it for what it is.  Despite the abundance of slow it's got some entertaining merit but not really enough to justify repeat viewings.  I'll settle for seeing the 'best of moments' in the excellent trailer. AIP must've had a hit with THE INCREDIBLE 2-HEADED TRANSPLANT (1971) the year before because THING came the next year.  They use the same techniques with the two heads effect.  The stories are different but they do have their similarities.  THING is the better picture with two great leads and more humor.  You can find them both on an MGM Midnite Movies double feature (hahahahaha).  It's a flipper disc.  The other film is anamorphic widescreen while this one is non-anamorphic widescreen which is fucking dumb as shit.  This one has a non-anamorphic widescreen trailer. 

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