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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Look Up "So Bad It's Good" in the Dictionary...

Today, because there's not much going on, and also because I feel like it, we celebrate the 36th anniversary of one of the crowned jewels of schlock cinema--The Thing with Two Heads.

That's right, it was on this day back in 1972 that American International Pictures (AIP) released this anti-classic into theaters. Starring Ray Milland--an Oscar-winner fallen on some seriously hard times--and L.A. Ram-turned-actor Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier, it's the touching tale of a wealthy ailing racist who has his head transplanted onto the body of a black death row inmate. Think The Defiant Ones meets Re-Animator.

Both catastrophically awful and incredibly hysterical at the same time, The Thing with Two Heads was directed by Lee Frost, who incidentally was also the writer/director of the '60s weird softcore classic Mondo Bizarro (he also worked as a key grip on Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, which I couldn't have made up if I tried.) Furthermore, I bet you didn't know this was also makeup wizard Rick Baker's first movie.

Tried-and-true B-movie titan AIP distributed the flick, and it was just part of the company's summer of '72 lineup, which also included Blacula, Dr. Phibes Rises Again, Hammer Films' Blood from the Mummy's Tomb and Boxcar Bertha, the debut film of Martin Scorsese. Now, I wasn't even born yet, but anyone who tells you that those weren't the days is a fool.

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I'd like to briefly go from the ridiculous to the sublime (and off-topic, if you'll forgive me), to mark the sad passing of Jo Stafford, one of the last remaining superstar vocalists of the golden age of popular song.


Anonymous said...

Wasn't "Octaman" Rick Baker's first film work?

B-Sol said...

I stand corrected. Actually, Octaman was a few months earlier, but The Thing with Two Heads was technically Baker's first work as a member of a special effects team. In Octaman he was just a costume maker.

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