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The Thing With Two Heads (1972) – Two Heads Makes For Twice the Awesome

It has been a long time since I’ve last (and first) watched this movie, much to long. 1972’s The Thing With Two Heads stars Ray Milland as brilliant but racist surgeon Maxwell Kirchner who has perfected the whole head transplant and Roosevelt Grier as Jack Moss, the guy that ends up hosting the first “extra” head. First tested successfully when Kirschner transfer plants the head of one gorilla onto the body of another gorilla creating a two headed gorilla (well, a guy in a two headed gorilla suit). It takes two weeks for the transplanted head to become strong enough to control the host body and at that time Kirschner successfully removed the original host’s head. Viola:a whole head transplant. The timing of Kirschner’s medical breakthrough is perfect – for him: he’s got of terminal chest cancer… Whatever the Hell that is. Anyway, he wants to transplant his head onto the body of a donor body, and then, once the transplant has proven viable (after about 30 days), have the head of the “donor” removed. Ideally this would be done with a patient with a terminal head injury or the like. More sick than previously though, Kirschner slips into a coma, but not before putting his assistant surgeon to the task of finding a suitable donor. 

A donor is finally found: a convict on death row that is offered 30 days life extension (the time it takes to know is the transplant is viable). While he does not know what is in for him, he sees the 30 days as an gift in order to prove his innocence on a murder charge. The surgery is done and is a success. The doctor wakes first, and after testing whether or not he had any control of the new, host body, he sees his new hand – his head had been grafted onto the body of a black man. Remember at the start of this, I told you the Doctor was a racist?. Kirschner freaks out… Eventually the host wakes up, FREAKED out that he has this old white guy attached to him and starts wailing away. His head is quickly anesthetized, to protect the doctor. This works for a short time, until the host,  pretending to be asleep, grabs the syringe the nurse uses to knock him out, gets her with it and takes off out of the hospital, while the Doctor’s head sleeps. Out of the hospital, he kidnaps the black doctor and hi-jacks his car and heads out to his woman’s place in search of the proof he needs to clear his name.

The rest is a crazy romp with a long , funny police chase, arguing and weird, good natured, if dark, fun. If I tell you more, I’ve pretty much told you the whole story. The effects are better than I expected, as is the acting and while silly, it if a cool, fun old movie. I totally recommend this movie!

Here is a trailer:


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