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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Head" or "Satan's Naked Slave" or "A Head for the Devil" or "The Screaming Head" or "The Naked and the Devil")

 

Directed by Victor Trivas
West Germany 1959

 

Horst Frank separates the head of a brilliant professor (Michel Simon) from the body, kept alive as a spectator by an apparatus in nutrient liquid on the laboratory table, to see his colleague play god and devil in one person and a hunchbacked Nun transferred to the body of an easy-going striptease dancer.

***

A scientist invents a serum that keeps a dog's head alive after its body dies. When the scientist dies of a heart attack, his crazed assistant cuts off his head and, using the serum, keeps the doctor's head alive and forces it to help him on an experiment to give his hunchbacked nurse assistant a new body.

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 24th, 1959

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Review: Anolis - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Also available in Media Book Edition:

 

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Anolis - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:35:47.875        
Video

1.40:1 and 1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,714,281,104 bytes

Feature: 22,224,973,824 bytes (both)

Video Bitrate: 24.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio German 1707 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1707 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DUB:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1632 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1632 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

and included on the 1.40:1 version:

German Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -27dB
Tim Lucas Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles German, English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Anolis

 

1.40:1 and 1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,714,281,104 bytes

Feature: 22,224,973,824 bytes (both)

Video Bitrate: 24.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

1.66:1 version
* Commentary by Tim Lucas
* Commentary by Dr. Rolf Giesen
* Commentary by Cr. Gerd Naumann, Matthias Kunnecke and Christopher Klaese
* Commentaries only on the 1.37:1 version (about 1.40:1) not on the 1.66:1 version
US Title Sequence (1:46)
German trailer in 1.33 (3:03) and 1.66 (2:52)
Werberatshclag (1:35)
Presseheft (2:52)
FilmProgramme (1:35)
Gallery (4:02)


Blu-ray Release Date: September
9th, 2022
Black Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Anolis Blu-ray (January 2023): Anolis have transferred Victor Trivas' The Head (aka "Die Nackte und der Satan") to Blu-ray. The package offers separate transfers in both a 1.40:1 aspect ratio presentation and a 1.66:1 option. The 1.40:1 looks marginally superior. The 1080P image is remarkable for how clean it is and the HD presentation accentuates the film's strong lighting and frequent shadows. Grain textures take a back seat but are still present although the glossily crispness dominates and looks very appealing to this reviewer. There are DVD-R's of the US, censored, version of 1959's The Head floating around with cut scenes but they, obviously, can't compare to this new  a/v rendering with layered contrast and rich black levels. 

NOTE: We have added 70 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Anolis offer DTS-HD Master dual-mono tracks (16-bit) in the original German language (default) and an optional English DUB. The funky brass-heavy score is credited to Willy Mattes (She Walks by Night, Face of the Frog, The Horrors of Spider Island, The Kidnapping of Miss Nylon, Naked in the Night) and, uncredited, Jacques Lasry. There appears to be a pastiche of stock music utilized as well. It is a different electric-based score on the English DUB - addressed in more detail in the Lucas commentary. The Head has few aggressive moments but is carried well by the uniqueness of score in the lossless transfer. Ex. there is lurid music when Sister Irene Sander (Karin Kernke) admires and fondles her new body while fixated on her sexy reflection in a mirror. In his commentary Tim Lucas notes that the German language version the music is much more nuanced than the bombastic expression heard on the English DUB and also making viewers able "to appreciate the talented cast's performances on an entirely new level". I concur - an essential difference from how it is usually viewed in North America. Anolis offer optional German and English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Anolis Blu-ray offers a three commentaries! Two are in the German language by Dr. Rolf Giesen and a second by the trio of Dr. Gerd Naumann, Matthias Kunnecke and Christopher Klaese. The gold star attribute is an English commentary by Tim Lucas from 2021 - of which Anolis include optional German subtitles. It should be noted that the commentaries are, strangely, only on 1.40:1 transfer. Tim is 'on form' exporting encyclopedic knowledge of The Head - the genre, the cast and crew, tangential films like Georges Fanju's Eyes Without a Face, Mario Bava's Black Sunday and Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, "living head' movies like 1957's The Man Without a Body, The Thing That Couldn't Die, and similarities to The Brain That Wouldn't Die, how Michel Simon's (Prof. Dr. Abel) back is often to screen to be post DUB'ed, sexualizing horror, how different the English DUB music is from the original German language version, chiaroscuro lighting and cinematographer Georg Krause, cameraman Andrzej Jerzy Piotrowski (assistant director on The Saragossa Manuscript,) how Dieter Eppler's appearance resembles Kirk Douglas (he does!,) relationships to films like The Horrors of Spider Island and The Manster. Later he talks about Curt Siodmak and Donovan's Brain plus significantly more. It deserves listening to multiple times there is so much here. There is also a US Title Sequence, German trailers in 1.33 and 1.66 ARs, the German Pressbook, promotional material, a Film Programme and an image gallery. Not listed in the menu is an 'Easter Egg' that has a 7-minute German language interview with actor Horst Frank (Dr. Brandt - alias Dr. Ood) from 1989 at a Frankfurt airport lounge (disco?) It has no subtitle option. I stumbled across it and don't know how to access it via the menu structure. 

Victor Trivas's The Head has some German Krimi vibe (a German crime subgenre running adjacent to horror) with an Expressionist pedigree in the crew via production designer Hermann Warm (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Vampyr.) I adore the film's lighting utilizing extensive shadows in the desirable monochrome. The sexualization subtext of creating the 'perfect woman' with the reattachment of a head must surely have been an influence on the Carl Reiner / Steven Martin comedy The Man With Two Brains transposing the 'hot body' of evil wife Dolores (Kathleen Turner) to the more angelic sweet, compatible, love interest of Martin's character of Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr. It is done here in a more Fanju-like horrific expression but the objectification exists. We go a step further in The Head with Irene's (Karin Kernke) identity adjustment to male attention now that her hunchback is left on her discarded crippled Nun's body. Add strippers, mad Doctors and communication with Michel Simon's decapitated head! It doesn't get much better. The region FREE Anolis Blu-ray offers a lot - especially a 5-star Tim Lucas commentary and the rare, uncut, German version of The Head in 1980P looking delightful. This is a huge keeper for me with appeal well beyond The Horrors of Spider Island - that I also love. Certainly recommended if you can get a copy.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 

1.40: title screen with optional German subtitles for Tim Lucas' commentary


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Samples

 

1) Anolis (1.40:1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Anolis (1.66:1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anolis (1.40:1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Anolis (1.66:1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

NSFW (Not Safe For Work) CAPTURES  (Mouse Over to see- CLICK to Enlarge)

 

One brief flash of nudity (not in the US edition)

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Also available in Media Book Edition:

 

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Anolis - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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