Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The Man with the Severed Head (1973)
I've poured a couple of whisky's in my poor, poor body and now I'm gonna try to write a few words about The Man with the Severed Head, aka Crimson. Forgive me if it's incoherent! This is an interesting movie 'cause of several reasons: it stars Paul Naschy, one of my favourite horror stars and it's also produced by Eurociné, the legendary cheapo production company owned and controlled by Marius Lesoeur (and later his son Daniel Lesoeur). They're mostly famous for a couple of extremely cheap Jess Franco production but also the notorious
, a movie poor Jean
Rollin directed just because Franco never appeared to do his job! Zombie
A band of thieves gets in big trouble after their leader gets a serious brain injury after a failed robbery. To save him they go to a famous surgeon, who happens to don't have any working hands after an accident, to make a god damn brain transplantation! They need a new brain of course and kills some other gangster - who happens to be a raving psychotic - good choice, lads! Anyway, they make the transplant, but of course everything goes wrong!
It has some good parts - but mostly really bad and boring parts. The best thing with the production is the awesome cast, from Paul Naschy in a supporting part and the always excellent Claude Boisson and the reliable character actor Víctor
also gets killed in the masterpiece Horror Express. Olivier Mathot has a bit of
an underwritten role, but he's a welcome presence in any of these movies. The
women are there to look pretty and nice, but has very little to do - it's a
man's world, as usual. Israel
What's good with The Man with the Severed Head is the brain-transplant part, which is something from an American fifties horror movie or maybe one of Franco's Dr Orloff adventures. It's cheesy and fun and colourful with a cool lab and a lot of unrealistic science explained in very serious ways. The rest is, unfortunately, not that good. This is one of those movies you'll watch because of the cast and nothing else. Well, at least if you're an un-experienced Eurociné-viewer. For us who love, adore and worships this very special production company this is one their most slick and expensive (well, everything is relative)) productions with some really nice cinematography, good directing by Juan Fortuny and a script that holds together, even if nothing much happens.
The biggest disappointment with it is how they take a fun premise and they never do anything good with it. If I did a movie with a brain-transplant I would let the patient run amuck really good and not just run around like a drunk reality soap contestant and not do much more than that. Why not let him roam the French countryside, perform some creative kills and THEN die. Now the final is just a bad episode of some German detective-show.
The Man with the Severed Head is only for us who needs to see either everything starring the talented Paul Naschy or produced by Eurociné. You rest... well, stick around and I'm sure there will be something more interesting for you to watch.