Plot: Dr. Maxwell Kirshner (Ray Milland) is a genius in the medical field, a successful and wealthy man. But his health is failing at a rapid rate and he doesn’t have much time left, so he comes up with a radical plan. He seeks to have his head removed and attached to a new body, giving him more time to share his genius. His experiment using gorillas was a success, so now he wants to move forward. Dr. Williams (Don Marshall) is brought in to oversee potential rejection issues, but Kirshner tries to fire him when he arrives, as he doesn’t want to hire colored people. Meanwhile, an offer goes out to death row inmates to donate their bodies to science and one takes the bait. Jack Moss (Rosey Greer) was convicted of murder, but he is innocent and with the extra thirty days from the experiment, he thinks he can clear his name. What will happen when Kirshner awakes next to a black man and can Moss prove his innocence?
Entertainment Value: A white bigot and a soul brother sharing the same body and winning a dirt bike race…what a movie. The story here is obviously bananas and the movie knows that, as the tone is not a serious one. This is also not slapstick, but The Thing with Two Heads keeps things light and brisk. Milland is great as the cranky, racist old man and his interactions with Greer are memorable. The cast works well overall and as bizarre as the plot might be, the way it plays out is a lot of fun. The social commentary is there, but minimal and the racism is mostly just there to make us root for Greer’s character. I mean, if Milland played a tolerant person, there wouldn’t be much of a movie, right? The pace is good and never really grinds down, mainly because seeing routine things performed by a man with two heads is fun to watch. If you like off the wall movies, The Thing with Two Heads is one you’ll want to check out.
No nudity in this one, after all Jack Moss’ wife doesn’t want to engage in coitus with a racist old white man peeping in. There is blood, but it flows through tubes and is never graphic. There are some fun special effects though, with the fake heads looking cool and a two headed gorilla on showcase. The actual two heads on one body gimmick is laughable, as it never looks even remotely real, but it works on sheer entertainment value. Seeing the two headed body in a dirt bike race is hilarious and really, just whatever happens is kind of cool just because of how odd it is. You’ll also see a wild ass chase with the police, which recycles the same car crash footage over and over. Some great lines in this one, with fun interaction between Milland and Greer, as I mentioned before. The racism is played for laughs, which will offend snowflakes, but the intolerant character is the butt of the jokes. This is pretty crazy stuff in both concept and execution, but doesn’t go too balls to wall with the madness. The film gives you the wildness sometimes, but also stays grounded to ensure the narrative is fulfilled.
Overall Insanity: 5/10