Friday, July 22, 2011

THE THING WITH TWO HEADS / Saber Productions - 1972

Welcome to Friday Night Drive-In with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. Tonite's offering is a weird one starring Dungeon legend, Ray Milland, and former LA Ram, Roosevelt 'Rosey' Grier! Here's some of the plot keywords for this flick... African American, head transplant, prejudice, disembodied head, police, experiment, gorilla, motorcycle, Blaxploitation, bigot, racism and independent film.

Ray plays filthy rich Maxwell Kirshner, a racist bigot who's dying from a heart condition, and who comes up with a plan for transplanting his head onto another man's body. As his health deteriorates, the doctors are forced to transplant his head onto the only available candidate: a black man on death row. Then, watch the fireworks!

The seventies style music is by Robert O. Ragland, who has 56 composing credits that include titles like THE BABYSITTER, THE YIN AND YANG OF MR. GO, ABBY, GRIZZLY, MANSION OF THE DOOMED, Q, 10 TO MIDNIGHT, THE SUPERNATURALS, DEEP SPACE and WARHEAD. He also has 13 soundtrack credits...

Lettuce bring in our little Friday Night helper and button pusher, of course, Rufus The Gnat!! We love our lil' Rufus!.. Through telepathy, Rufus informs me that he's ready to start the show, so, push the big red 'GO' button now, Rufus!! Here's... THE THING WITH TWO HEADS!

The movie begins with this 2-headed gorilla, an experiment to prove Maxwell Kirshner's theory that his head could be successfully transplanted onto another body when the time comes. The thing then escapes... It's almost certain that the gorilla there is none other than an updated version of KONGA!

The freak gorilla is played by, who else, Rick Baker. Speaking of Rick, we'll be reviewing OCTAMAN in the next couple of weeks, here at The Dungeon, so, look for that one!!

They finally find the big ape at the corner market, scarfing down bananas!

Maxwell is on his death bed and the end is near unless they can get a body for him...

Rosey plays Jack Moss, a guy who's on death row but is actually innocent of the crime he was convicted of. His life is spared at the last second as he agrees to be a guinea pig for a medical experiment! There's a musical part in the soundclip where he's walking to the execution chamber.

Jack gets a little more than he bargained for!.. Hey, I'm a poet and don't know it!

Jack, meet Maxwell... Maxwell, meet Jack!.. Now, let's get the Hell out of here!!

I'm wit' you, bro!

They stop to rest and are fired upon by some dudes in helicopters... Exit stage right!

A rider falls off his bike at the race, so, the guys commandeer some wheels!

The entire police force is out trying to chase down the 2-headed thing!

Did I mention this is a comedy?.. Poster fodder.

They crash every single cop car!! Watching this trooper try and scamper up this incline is a real hoot!

Yeah, I know!..

State of the art communications in 1972!

Maxwell knocks out Jack and drives back to his laboratory, now what is he going to do?..

Maxwell has his head removed from Jack's body. He explains his reasons for doing the right thing to his colleagues, something to do with 'having walked in the shoes of a black man.'

Everything turns out fine as Jack, Lila and Fred all begin to get their lives back to normal.


Christopher said...

"Now you KNOW you got to go!"

Will said...

Don't forget the singing at the end...just wonderful

zillagord said...

There just aren't enough two-headed transplant movies. Would love to see a new one, maybe with Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen. Actually, they'd probably get along. Other casting suggestions?

Douglas McEwan said...

The newscaster on the TV screen is "Sweet Dick" Whittington, a major LA radio star of that time. He was also my boss from 1967 to 1975, and we are still friends.

We had Ray Milland as a guest on Dick's radio show 2 years later, and Dick treated him on air as his old, close co-star. It was very funny (intentionally) because Milland had no idea what Dick was talking about. They had never met on the set, and really, do you actually think Oscar-winning Ray Milland had ever watched this terrible movie? He cashed his checks and went home.

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