|The Thing with Two Heads|
Ray Milland, Roosevelt Grier, Don Marshall, Roger Perry, Chelsea Brown, Kathrine Baumann.
A rich bigoted White man convinces a Black death row inmate to take part in an experimental operation. The inmate knows this operation will save the life of the rich man while ending his, but what he doesn't know is that they plan to transplant the White man's head onto his body, then after the new head is functioning they will remove his head.
He wakes up after the first stage of the operation, escapes from the operating room and leads the police on a Dukes of Hazard style car chase that also involves him crashing a hill climb competition on a dirt bike!
If this sounds a bit silly, it's because it really is. I do not think this was ever intended to be a serious horror film, but rather on of AIP's horror comedies or rather an attempt at social satire.
Taken in the context of the time, this was an enjoyable drive-in flick, that made you think a little, but not too much.
Once the two heads are attached, Grier as the convict and Milland as the rich guy bicker and argue about everything, and while the humor may not be that great, it's hard to believe some folks don't realize this is meant to be funny.
The opening of the film should tip most people off as to the type of film this is. A two headed gorilla created and played by make up artist Rick Baker, has escaped from the operating room and runs amuck in a suburban neighborhood. It's finally captured in a supermarket where it is sitting on the floor of the produce department eating bananas!
The down side is the two head effect never really works. In most shots it's clear that the transplanted head on Grier's shoulder is fake. During the car chase which takes up at least a quarter of the film, it's also obvious that Milland is sitting in the back seat with his head on Grier's shoulder.
Overall, the humor often falls flat and the FX are cheaply done, but it's still a fun movie.