What happens when a rich white racist has his head surgically transplanted onto the body of a giant black convict and then proceeds to terrorize a world that just doesn’t understand the meaning of “ebony and ivory?” Well, it ain’t gonna be pretty.
“Incredibly, joyously silly! A goofy B-movie concoction that somehow manages to mix horror, sci-fi and Blaxploitation … where else will you see anything even remotely like this?” – Eccentric Cinema
In The Thing with Two Heads, Blaxploitation meets “extra head horror” when a racist transplant surgeon (played by Oscar-winner Ray Milland) discovers he’s dying and cooks up what is surely one of the dumbest ideas ever imagined – he’ll transplant his head onto the body of a healthy (and probably not very willing) donor, which will allow him to continue his ridiculous head transplant experiments unabated. Unfortunately, when we wakes up after the surgery, he’s horrified to discover that his cranky, bigoted, white man head has been stitched onto the body of a large black man (played by football player Rosey Grier), who has agreed to be the guinea pig for this highly ridiculous experiment in exchange for a full release from prison. Naturally, hijinks ensue as the double-headed monster runs amuck battling the cops, debating racial politics and even participating in an impromptu dirt bike race! Can the soul brother and the uptight honkey learn to live together in perfect harmony, or is one of these heads destined for the dustbin? While there have been many silly sights in the history of bad movies, the image of Academy Award-wining thespian Ray Milland’s head bickering with football player Rosey Grier’s head about racial inequality or whether or not they can actually eat and smoke at the same time, is a true jaw-dropper. Add to that an over-abundance of Dukes of Hazzard-style car crashes and hillbilly sheriffs, some unsubtle sexual innuendo about two men sharing the same body and some highly unconvincing SFX that takes full advantage of a wobbly white mannequin head glued to a black man’s shoulder, and you’ve got yourself a bad movie tsunami of epic proportions. (Dir. by Lee Frost, 1972, USA, 93 mins., Rated PG)