Year Released: 1959
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 92 minutes
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“The Head” is a German horror film that perfectly balances the shadowy expressionism of classics like “Nosferatu” and “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” while harkening to the future of experimental surgery. Dr. Ood has excised the head of a famous scientist and kept it/him alive by the use of chemicals, tubes, hoses and wires. Ood also fancies an attractive yet humpbacked lady friend, and eventually exchanges her body for that of a sexy showgirl. Ood dismembers and alters the bodies of almost everyone he comes in contact with before he is finally apprehended for his grotesque crimes.
As authors Cathal Tohill and Pete Tombs pointed out in their book “Immoral Tales” it’s really the “supernatural determination” of Ood that drives this film into a world of its own. Plus, it’s a world that no one in their right mind would ever want to visit. It is a dark and abstract place where light reveals very little and in the night nothing good could ever possibly happen. “The Head” is a bona fide chiller that has to be seen to be fully understood and appreciated. It was a unique film for its time that deserves to have the spotlight turned on it once again. Finland wasn’t impressed and it was summarily banned.
Vintage Movie Classics packaged this seldom seen gem with the most notorious disembodied head movie of all time, “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” and “The Manster”.
Posted on February 24, 2006 in Reviews by Christopher Curry
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