• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

The Thing With Two Heads

TITLE: The Thing With Two Heads

YEAR: 1972

GENRE: Science Fiction and Horror

The 1970’s saw an era of film called blaxploitation rumble through the drive-in theaters. Blaxploitation films featured primarily African-American casts, soundtracks of mostly soul and funk music, and mostly marketed to a minority audience. Most of these films were low budget, and as a result blaxploitation films would usually be crime drama, action, or horror themed. Most of them were low grade trash, but some such as Coffy, Shaft, and Dolemite are fondly remembered for their memorable characters, acceptable scripts, and occasional over the top situations. The Thing With Two Heads is one of those films that will be long remembered, but more for the fact that it was more of an asinine script and subsequent piece of low grade drive-in trash rather than a classic example of the genre yet has the occasional redeeming quality.

World renowned racist transplant surgeon Dr. Maxwell Kirschner (played by Ray Milland) has the world by tail until he discovers that he has a terminal disease that is ravaging his body. Not wanting anything to cease his scientific work—even his own inevitable death—Kirschner comes up with a bizarre idea: to transplant his own head onto the donor of another person’s body. The search only brings up one suitable contributor—convicted murderer Jack Moss (Rosie Greer) who also happens to be the very race that Kirschner hates the most. His assistants do not tell the racist doctor until he discovers that he is now literally attached to Moss, and Kirschner becomes enraged with his situation. Kirschner and Moss are now forced to fight for the control over the single body. Who will prevail?

First of all the plot is completely outlandish and the film will create an occasional belly laugh, but The Thing With Two Heads comes across more as a stupid effort rather than a  comical adventure. Most of the scenes that bring out a laugh are the most bizarre scenes, including a police chase scene where numerous cop cars are destroyed while Kirschner and Moss escape on a dirt bike. The most memorable scene is when the twosome on one body gets into a fist fight with themselves and includes Greer literally punching himself in the face. The special effects are dreadful which mostly include a plastic mannequin head representing Milland attached to Greer’s body. The stunt work is also left to be desired, including a scene where the stuntman representing Kirschner and Moss as one body is obviously portrayed by a single headed white guy. Despite all the inefficiencies, The Thing With Two Heads has a strangely MST3K endearing quality that makes the film fun to view especially when the watcher may be intoxicated on some ripple.

Director Lee Frost was a king among men in micro-budget drive-in sleaze including the memorable blaxploitation epic The Black Gestapo, the naughty comedy The Boob Tube Strikes Again, and the better than expected crime drama comeback Private Obsession (came out in 1996 starring Shannon Whirry, the hottest 1990’s actress nobody remembers) that unfortunately has been banished to VHS-only purgatory. The Thing With Two Heads is definitely 1970’s trash cinema, but it is so ridiculous that it has garnished some cult status and is fondly remembered by fans of le bad cinema. This is one of those perfect movies to gather up your most sarcastic friends, break open a box of cheap wine, and laugh at The Thing With Two Heads with reckless abandon. Fans of serious science fiction will want to dodge this like the plague, but fans with more of a sense of humor and enjoy being masochistic with their time will find The Thing With Two Heads to be entertaining and worth a few snickers.

* *

–Mark

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