Movie Review: The INCREDIBLE 2-HEADED TRANSPLANT

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The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant Movie PosterAmerican International Pictures
1971
R

“Stop jerking around. You and I are now one, dummy.”

Dr. Roger Girard id a rich scientist experimenting with head transplantation. His caretaker has a son, Danny, who is an extremely strong full-grown man, but he has the mind of a child. Meanwhile, Manuel Cass, a maniacal killer, has murdered Dr. Girard’s caretaker and is badly injured himself. Dr. Girard decides to transplant the murderer’s head onto Danny’s body. The new creature, with one head of a murderer and the other with the mental capacity of an eight-year-old attached to an extremely powerful body, begins wreaking havoc…

The 1970s was a wacky time for horror and sci-fi movies.As with the fashion, the music, and generally all other avenues of pop culture at the time, I can only surmise it had something to do with the nation detoxing from the last part of the 60s.

That, at least, would be the only explanation for the existence of this here movie, The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant.

This is a low budget sci-fi horror flick that co-stars Casey Kasem, America’s Top 40 radio host, and voice of Shaggy and various cartoon characters. Among other things. Here, he plays Dr. Ken, the best friend of Dr. Roger, the main character that takes the phrase “two heads are better than one” far too literally. I bring this up because the presence of Kasem is the most notable thing in this movie.

From the word go, The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant is about as cheesy as you would expect a movie with that kind of title to be. Of course, this was made in the era where the “psycho killer” was still characterized as a wild-eyed, grinning and manic individual, possibly high on the marijuana from Reefer Madness. And that is how the escaped lunatic killer is played, full-tilt, all throughout the flick. On the other end of the spectrum, I theorize that the only model they had to work with when creating the caretaker’s son with the mentality of a child was from Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. There’s even a scene involving crazy enraged-for-no-reason bikers in here that, I’m fairly certain, was thrown in because bikers were a big thing in exploitation cinema at the time. Had this movie been made in the 80s, it would have been ninjas. Which would have made this movie better, really.

The acting matches the premise of the movie; that is to say, it’s crazy and over-the-top. The effects…well, it’s low budget, and also made in 1971. So, yeah, the whole 2-headed thing is kinda…well, it was done better on the television version of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

All this to say that The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant is a glorious over-the-top mess that must be watched by everyone. Gather your friends, surround yourselves with your favorite libations, and make a night out of this.

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Movie Review: SATAN HATES YOU

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1-13 - Movie Review: SATAN HATES YOUTLA Releasing
2010
NR

Tormented Marc wages war with his inner demons while unknowingly getting locked into an infernal collision course with his wild sister Wendy, who’s appetite for bad boys and hard drugs is positively insatiable.

I’m not sure, but I think I just watched what very well may have been the first Evangelical horror exploitation movie. The kicker is that I actually enjoyed Satan Hates You! far more that I thought I was going to.

Essentially, Satan Hates You! is a low budget satire of the old Evangelical style Turn or Burn! films that were staples of youth group outreaches in the 1970s and 80s. The 1990s, too, if you factor in the transfer to VHS. And if you’re lucky enough to have been subjected to any of these kinds of films, you know that making a satire of these films are probably the easiest things to come across. Some would say the original films are satires unto themselves. But I digress.

Going into watching Satan Hates You!, I had a few preconceived ideas of what I was getting into: low budget, cheesy effects, horrible acting, a hack script, and ham-fisted editing. There was no evidence that I was going to get otherwise–this wasn’t my first tractor pull, after all. However, when I pressed play and braced myself for the inevitable, I was greeted with a film that was indeed all of these…but one gets the sense that it was all deliberate. A method to the madness, if I maybe allowed to butcher the Bard. Everybody else does, after all.

Satan Hates You! follows the lives of Marc and Wendy, two people being tempted by a couple of lounge-lizzard type demons in hopes of harvesting them for eternal damnation. Marc is an unemployed alchoholic with serious insecurities about his sexuality. Wendy exists in a constant purple haze of drugs and sex, around friends that encourage and enable the behavior. They’re inching their way towards their own destruction…but unbeknownst to them and the demons that are following them around, there are other forces serving a Higher Power that are secretly working to save and protect Marc and Wendy’s souls.

There were a few points that impressed me about this movie: For starters, there was absolutely no nudity, and the only vulgarities came from the myriad of punk rock tunes in the soundtrack. If you’re familiar with a lot of micro-budgeted films, you understand that this is not the norm. And if that’s your main reason for watching these things, sorry to disappoint. Actually, I’m not sorry, but whatever. The acting is sub-par, but as I mentioned before, I have my suspicions that it was somewhat deliberate, considering the subject matter it’s spoofing. And make no mistake–this is a spoof. This is not for the squeamish and easily weirded out. There’s even one sequence that I couldn’t make through without looking away, and I’ve been known to consume food while watching these, no problem. Hint: It involves an abortion. Yeah. It goes there. You’ve been warned.

Impressive, though, is the inclusion of a couple of bigger names in the horror genre in minor roles: Michael Berryman as the motel owner Mr. Harker, and the late, great Angus Scrimm as an archangel.

Overall, I found myself enjoying Satan Hates You! far more than I thought I would. It’s cheesy, hammy, over-the-top and gads I enjoyed mostly every moment of this. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re in the mood for some over-the-top exploitation that has some fun with religious tropes, Satan Hates You! is worth checking out.

Movie Review: ANATOMY OF A PSYCHO

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Anatomy-of-a-Psycho-posterMill Creek Entertainment
1961
NR

A young man is despondent over the conviction and subsequent execution of his older brother. Having idolized his brother to the point of it being obsession, the young man cannot believe he was guilty, even though he was, and swears to avenge him.

Here’s an interesting tidbit—Anatomy Of A Psycho was co-written by none other than Ed Wood, with music originally used for Plan 9 From Outer Space as this film’s soundtrack. If only Anatomy Of A Psycho could have been as much campy fun as Plan 9 was.

Having Anatomy Of A Psycho included in the 50 horror movie pack is a bit of a misnomer, but it’s not entirely surprising. If anything, Anatomy Of A Psycho is more Juvenile Delinquent Exploitation that’s about as exciting as an After School Special. And it’s the early 1960s, so there’s the obligatory teenage shindig featuring rather forgettable generic 60s rock n’ roll, played right after forgettable Big Band music. Them teen parties were odd back in the day, weren’t they?

Anyway, rather than a bona-fide “psycho”, all this is is about a kid who gets upset after his older brother is executed on a murder charge. Of course, this being the 60s, he decides to cope by swearing revenge on everyone who had a hand in convicting his brother. Which just amounts to him and his hoodlum friends wearing gunny sack masks and beating up the DA’s son. And burning down the mansion where the afore-mentioned teen shindig was being held. I think about the only murder committed here was the “psycho”’s bestie as a means of inditing his sister’s fiancée. Or something. There’s the obligatory courtroom scene, followed by the final confrontation with the teen “psycho”, with the predictably standard ending.

All told, Anatomy Of A Psycho—although featuring no anatomy lesson, and definitely no psycho—wasn’t too bad of a time-waster. It’s your standard Teenagers-Behaving-Badly kind of movie only the early 1960s can produce. Bit over an hour, not too long, and some bits of unintentional hilarity, mainly in the glorious overacting. Falls in the watch once out of curiosity and move on category.