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Blu-ray Review The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Todd Erwin, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
    Reviewer

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    XenForo Template The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant Blu-ray Review

    Bruce Dern and Casey Kasem starring in the same movie about a mad scientist whose experiment runs amok? What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, much does in 1971’s The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant, an often brutal yet unevenly paced drive-in picture from American International Pictures.


    Cover Art


    Studio: MGM

    Distributed By: Kino Lorber

    Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

    Audio: English 2.0 DTS-HDMA

    Subtitles: None

    Rating: R

    Run Time: 1 Hr. 27 Min.

    Package Includes: Blu-ray

    Blu-ray keepcase

    Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)

    Region: A

    Release Date: 11/24/2015

    MSRP: $29.95




    The Production Rating: 2.5/5

    If it weren’t for the Drive-In market in the 1950s thru the early 1980s, studios like American International, Crown International, and New World Pictures would not have thrived. Also, movies like The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant would never get made. While some may ask if that was a good thing, I’d have to say a resounding yes, only because that film’s success would give us the much more entertaining The Thing With Two Heads one year later (two films I often confuse for one another). Which leads us to my review of The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant.

     

    Disgraced surgeon Roger Girard (Bruce Dern) has taken up residence at a ranch with his new wife, Linda (Pat Priest), converting one of the back rooms at the house as a laboratory with his assistant, Max (Berry Kroeger). When Roger’s friend from the hospital, Ken (Casey Kasem), visits at the request of the alienated Linda to check up on Roger, he discovers what the two are experimenting on in the back room - surgically transplanting heads onto animals. Ken thinks it’s just neat, and agrees to keep the little secret between them. But Roger has grander plans, hoping to move on from animals and onto humans. And his wish is about to come true, as serial rapist-murderer Manual Cass (Albert Cole) escapes from prison, goes on a killing spree, and winds up at Roger’s ranch, killing one of the farmhands, only to be critically wounded by Roger and Max when Cass attempts to rape Linda. With a nearly dead body and Danny (John Bloom), the orphaned, mentally retarded grown son of the dead farmhand at his disposal, Roger grafts Cass’s head on Danny’s body. The two-headed monster escapes from Roger’s lab, and goes on yet another killing spree, with Danny horrified and Cass overjoyed. A manhunt ensues, and the doctor must face his own creation.

     

    The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant is, at time, brutally violent, particularly in the opening scene where Cass is captured by police after killing a family and raping one of the daughters, and during the final killing spree during the third act. For me, the movie never quite grasps its campiness, and often gets bogged down in Bruce Dern’s mumbling monologues on why his research is so important. And that is the film’s ultimate downfall - the casting of many of the leads in the film. Dern’s performance is too subdued for a mad scientist, and as for Casey Kasem, he was wise to stay behind the microphone for much of his career after this film was released (having a successful career as a DJ and voice-over artist best known as the voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo and hosting American Top 40).



    Video Rating: 3/5  3D Rating: NA

    Kino’s Blu-ray presentation comes from a decent 1080p transfer using the AVC codec, retaining the film’s original 1.855:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The transfer is a mixed bag, often looking terrific with well-saturated colors that don’t bleed (particularly Danny’s red overalls), but the contrast is often flat, resulting in some of the darker scenes appearing murky and muddy. The print used for the transfer has some noticeable wear and tear, such as occasional dirt and some rather large colored splotches in a few shots. Upon first viewing, the finale in the cave appeared to be badly damaged, but after a second and third viewing, I’ve come to the conclusion that the producers may have tried to simulate more dirt falling from the ceiling during post production, which ended up looking like someone dragged the print along the sidewalk while dumping sand on top.



    Audio Rating: 3/5

    The DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 mono track is serviceable, providing clear dialogue (when Bruce Dern isn’t mumbling his lines) while at the same time revealing the limitations of the master recording with some noticeable hiss and distortion, although never to the point of it being distracting.



    Special Features Rating: 3.5/5

    RiffTrax Audio Commentary: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame provide an often hilarious commentary track, poking fun at Casey Kasem’s performance, the goofy plot, and the director’s odd choice of cut-aways.

     

    Interview with Screenwriter James Gordon White (1080i; 9:08): White discusses his career at AIP and writing The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant.

     

    Radio Spot (1:02): An (The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant) annoying (The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant) radio (The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant) advertisement (The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant) with (The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant) subliminal (The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant) messages (The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant).

     

    Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 2:14): Interestingly, the film was originally rated GP, back when the MPAA had dyslexia.



    Overall Rating: 3/5

    The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant does have a nostalgia factor, as it was often shown on TV in the late 1970s as part of the Creature double Feature on most UHF stations on Saturday afternoons. Fans of the movie will likely be pleased with the presentation, and fans of MST3K will enjoy the RiffTrax commentary.


    Reviewed By: Todd Erwin


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  2. Everett S.

    Everett S. Movie King (formally a projectionist)

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    This is the kind of film that the big downtown theatres showed after the fall of the RoadShows. The audience really made these films alot of fun. Also they let us stay open. The whole theatre chain stayed open

    ,only on the income from the downtown theatres.
     
  3. Mr. Handley

    Mr. Handley Supporting Actor

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    Just watched this one last night. It's a pretty bad movie, but a childhood favorite, so I give it a lot of slack. BTW, the print looks great! Except for the final cave scene, which as the OP noted was probably intentional.
     
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