The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant - Trash galore for fans of comical science horror
Robert and his assistant Max run a private research laboratory in which they sew a second head onto the body of animals. The escaped serial killer Cass brings their research work to an unexpected stage because when Robert's bored wife Linda is kidnapped by Cass, Robert reaches for a shotgun to kill the culprit. He transplants his head onto the simple-minded but good-natured Danny, who is responsible for the gardening. It comes as it must. Cass takes control of Danny, who murders teenagers and a group of rockers, before Linda is kidnapped again.
Well, do you want to see Bruce Dern making a fool of himself, Pat Priest of The Munsters climbing out of the bathtub to dry off in a scene relevant to the story, or radio host Casey Kasem giving the uninvited houseguest? Then don't look any further, but let your eyes wander over The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant, an exploitation film that was brought to cinemas by quality guarantor AIP. As already mentioned, this is about a scientist who, for reasons that cannot be explained, has shifted his research focus to sewing a second head onto the torso of various animals. All too often, he retreats into his quiet chamber, so that his wife Linda suffers from a lack of sex, which leads to an increased amount of grumbling. But Robert, the old charmer, assures her, after several lies, that he will concentrate on her soon, so that the old woman will give him a rest for a while.
He needs the rest because an important operation is imminent. The psychopath Cass, who enjoys breaking into houses, killing people and potentially raping pretty women, is lying on the operating table after he shot a load of scrap metal in his back when he tried to kidnap Linda. So Roger does love his wife in a way. A healthy head on a broken body doesn't help him much, so he unceremoniously anaesthetises the simple-minded Danny, who was just about to mourn the death of his father. Furious Cass had previously severely damaged Danny's head with a garden claw. The operation is successful, the patient is alive (with two heads), but it is hard to speak of a success when the man with two heads is wandering around murderously to disturb two teenage couples during intercourse.
After the man with the two heads has ramped up his killing routine, three rockers have to bite the dust. Robert knows what's going on earlier than the simple-minded sheriff, packs his shotgun one more time to kill Cass one more time. This time for good. He gets support from Ken, a former student colleague, who not only gets on the nerves of the audience. The man with the two heads is forced into a cave after the daft Linda has been kidnapped a second time and after a dusty showdown, Ken is allowed to walk hand in hand with Linda into the sunset.
This is not great cinematic art, but a moody exploitation film. The scientific usefulness of a double turnip may be questioned, which is why the basic premise of the movie has already been taken ad absurdum. The film oftentimes has a hard time finding the right rhythm. After the shocking beginning in which Cass is arrested, a kitschy sentimental scene follows in which Danny walks across a meadow and tries to catch a raccoon. It drags on until the title-giving double-headed man is allowed to wobble around, especially when pain-in-the-ass Ken shows up at Linda's place again. Bruce Dern was involved in the film for the money, but on the day the cheques were handed out he was too late in the bank. The check bounced and Dern went home empty-handed. Scriptwriter James Gordon White proved to be a master of reinterpretation, because only one year later followed with The Thing with Two Heads a very similar film in which the head of a racist is sewn onto an African-American.
Violence and plot were cut out of the PG version
In the US, there are two different versions of the film. It came to cinemas with a GP rating. This version is also on the DVD by Catcom with the new PG certification. The R-rated version was first released by MGM on DVD and now by Kino Lorber on Blu-ray. The PG version has three violence cuts. What we don't get to see is how Cass tears his victim's clothes at the beginning, a shot of Danny's dead father with red paint on his head and finally the man with the two heads as he's allowed to beat the rocker with the chains for a longer time. Three plot scenes are also missing. Robert succeeds in lying to his wife without turning red once more, Ken finds out from a gas station attendant that two teenagers have been killed and he gloats about it and finally the peak of idiocy is missing when Ken comes to the sheriff and the sheriff takes him straight to the murder scene, even though the two have never met before.
The US Blu-ray by Kino Lorber is uncut and offers a very good picture quality. The bonus material includes a RiffTrax audio commentary with Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy, who make fun of the movie in the style of MST3K. This commentary is reason enough in itself to buy the Blu-ray.
US DVD (PG): 82:56 min.
The US PG-rated DVD by Catcom was compared to the US Blu-ray by Kino Lorber.
Cass and his victim are visible for a while longer. He rips her dress down. The woman begs to be released.
BD: 23 sec.
Before Cass breaks out of the mental hospital, a complete scene between Roger and Linda is missing.
Linda doesn't understand why the experiments are so important to Roger. He immediately gives her a lecture that he wants to make an important contribution to science and give something back to mankind. Linda seems to understand this, but is unhappy that she is alone so much while Roger works in the laboratory. Roger promises her that he will take more care of her if Linda shows some understanding. Linda points out to him that he has promised her this in the past. Roger says that this time he means it. They kiss and fall on the bed.
BD: 1:54 min.
There's a cut missing on Danny's father with the bloody head wound after Cass punched him. The camera moves to the side.
Because of the interlocking cuts during the scene transition, there are also some short moments missing from the previous and following scenes.
BD: 2 sec.
The fade to the next scene is lost due to a film tear.
BD: 3 sec.
Film tear: Linda is seen earlier.
BD: 2 sec.
Film tear: Roger, Max and the policeman can be seen further.
BD: 2 sec.
Film tear: Max is a little longer in the picture.
BD. 1 sec.
The man with the two heads beats the rocker longer with the chain.
BD: 16 sec.
After the murder of the rocker chick, the following scenes are missing.
Ken stops at a gas station. He lets the car fill up with gas, while the gas station attendant tells him that last night a couple was killed by a big man with two heads. Ken gets in, asks for the sheriff's office and drives off immediately.
Ken is coming to the sheriff's office. He is on his way to the murder scene, but Ken asks him to come with him, because he could be of help.
BD: 1:31 min.
The fade to the next scene is missing.
BD: 2 sec.