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The Thing With Two Heads [Blu-ray]
(Lee Frost, 1972)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Saber Productions
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,328,551,036 bytes
Feature Size: 23,134,967,808 bytes
Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 23rd, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2064 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2064 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Description: The Thing With Two Heads is a film that answers the age-old question: Are two heads better than one? Despite his deteriorating health, incredibly rich and deeply racist brain surgeon Maxwell Kirshner (Ray Milland, The Lost Weekend, Dial M For Murder) plans to be around for a very long time. What better way to achieve his goal than to transplant his still cognitive noggin onto the body of a healthy human being? Having performed similar experimental surgeries on animals, Maxwell convinces his colleagues to perform the groundbreaking and unsanctioned medical procedure on him – the first successful head-graft. With his body in rapid decline, Maxwell’s head is transplanted onto the first available body. And that would be death row inmate Jack Moss (Rosey Grier, Skyjacked, Timber Tramps). Did we forget to mention that Jack Moss is black? The Thing With Two Heads, directed by Lee Frost (The Black Gestapo, Private Obsession), from a screenplay by Lee Frost, Wes Bishop and James Gordon White, co-stars Don Marshall (Uptown Saturday Night, Terminal Island), Roger Perry (Count Yorga, Vampire), William Smith (Conan the Barbarian, The Outsiders) and Jerry Butler (A Bronx Tale, La Bamba).
What a heck of a thing to happen to a guy. He's a black man, convicted
of murder and unable to persuade anyone of his innocence. He's sentenced
to the electric chair (apparently because the Supreme Court's
jurisdiction doesn't include American-International Pictures). He's
willing to do anything to get another chance at life, so he volunteers
for a weird medical experiment. The next thing he knows, he has Ray
Milland's head parked alongside his left ear. This leads us to a
philosophical point: is it better to be alive with Ray Milland's head
plugged into your neck, or to be dead?
The Thing with Two Heads is a remarkable movie. The plot is, in a word, ludicrous. Ray Milland is nothing short of brilliant, and Rosey Grier holds his own. As far as I know, the movie was shot without going over the budget. One infers that Milland and Grier were able to keep straight faces during the shooting; this alone stands as testament to their professionalism as actors. The aforementioned plot is reason enough to watch this movie, which, despite understandably high expectations, will not disappoint. I rarely watch a movie more than once. The Thing with Two Heads is an exception. It's hard to say what I like best about the movie. The interchanges between Milland and Grier are humorous; they would almost qualify as banter. The special effects are unpretentious, even sublime. The movie may seem dated (it becomes quickly obvious that the shooting took place in the early 70's), but this only adds to its charm. I recommend its viewing highly.Excerpt from Blaxpoitationpride.org located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Thing With Two Heads has arrived on Blu-ray from Olive Films. This is only single-layered and it is bit softer than I would have anticipated. The effects (two heads) are quite good close-up but can look terribly weak in distance shots ala Grier running with a mannequin head taped to his neck. This is not particularly bright with no vibrancy in the colors. The outdoor sequences look at bit better (and there are a lot). Detail is modest and there is no real depth but there is some grain and this may be a close approximation of how this low budget flic looked theatrically.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Olive use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 2064 and effects (motorcycle) carry some weight and the unremarkable score by Robert O. Ragland seems to benefit as well, although it is quite a hodge-podge. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with their releases. This should have had multiple commentaries and interviews with the filmmakers... at a bare minimum.
June 17th, 2015
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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