A while back, I spent a whopping $5 on a 50-movie DVD set, Sci-fi Invasion. That adds up to 10 cents per movie. Today we’re going back to 1959 for the black-and-white midnight movie The Head. No, it’s not the MTV cartoon.
Here’s what happened: A mad scientist has successfully transplanted the head of a dog onto another dog’s body. After the scientist suffers a heart attack, his assistant keeps the research going. He schemes to transplant a hunchback nurse’s head onto the body of a local exotic dancer.
Speculative spectacle: Mad science! Head transplants! A hunchback! Strippers! Unusually dimly-lit operating rooms!
Sleaze factor: There are headless bodies and bodiless heads, of course. Plus, the scenes at the strip club are pretty tame by today’s standards, but must have been quite extreme by 1950s standards.
Quantum quotables: “You get a big kick out of taking your clothes off in front of those slobs, don’t ya?” –Typical strip club dressing room chatter, no doubt.
What the felgercarb? Hey Doctor Who fans, there’s a character named “Dr. Ood.”
Microcosmic minutiae: There’s an urban legend that a successful dog-head-transplant really was performed in Russia many years ago. It was a key plot point in the movie X-Files: Fight the Future.
The Head, released in 1959, contains several visual and plot elements that would later be seen in 1962’s slightly more well known The Brain That Wouldn’t Die.
Worth 10 cents? Totally dark, twisted, and macabre. This is good middle-of-the-night viewing during your next scary movie marathon.
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