SassyFlix | The Man with Two Heads

The Man with Two Heads

Description

 A mad doctor steals the brain of a killer and injects himself with the serum. He then becomes a sadistic monster, raping and killing prostitutes and whores until he is captured.This most schizophrenic take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s morality tale, The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mistress Hyde, portrays the cursed doctor’s dark half as a charismatic, DeSadian sexual predator, not a mere wailing monster. His rape-mentality dementia is as creepy and disturbing as Frederic March’s freak-out in the 1932 classic version, sort of Jack the Ripper as Doctor  Frankenstein. Thus, Andy Milligan has taken a time-honored and shop-worn story and given new, ungodly life to it. By painting Jekyll/Hyde as a sexual sadist, Andy creates a reason for his patented scenes of strong violence, sexual discord and grisly gore. As Jekyll/Hyde is a tortured soul, so is this movie, and ultimately, the viewer. This includes an absolutely impossible scene in which drooling medical students perform an “autopsy” with axes and cleavers!

The psychological import of these cynical scenes is clear, as is Milligan’s London, which is truly Freudian; there are whores everywhere, on every corner, in every shadowy doorway, lurking in every corner. And they’re all dying to be punished for their sins. And they are…Somehow, Andy has always been able to get talented and attractive young talent to sweat it out in his Grade-Z, no-budget, never-seen abominations. This flick has a most exciting parade of alluring cheap tarts.April Connors in particular, playing herself brilliantly, is one of the most enticing Staten Island-Cockney tarts to ever burn up the drive-in screen. Her lusty, low-rent vulnerability against William Defane’s grimacing hysteria is superb, especially in one intimate, unbearably tense scene, in April and Hyde’s first meeting. The electrifying seduction scene between Hyde and April in the bar has the erotic intensity of great art.After much wailing and gnashing, the film degenerates into a wild, Dionysian sex orgy in which Hyde pays a madam to inject everyone with his serum, turning them all into drooling, sex-crazed ghouls! This ungodly, horrendous scene is wild, just wild!The Man With Two Heads is a good example of Andy Milligan as amazing aesthetic alchemist.

He takes the most hackneyed cinematic/dramatic elements and chucks them haphazardly together in an unutterably and entirely new way: avant-garde, free-form camerawork alternates with stagy scenes worthy of Warhol or Warren (Ed or Jerry); literate (if hoary and tedious) scripts; sincere if hammy acting; a ruthless fixation on mock-Victorian period settings, with moldy costumes and authentic locations; the cheesiest stock music (from the infamous Thomas J. Valentino music library in New York); surprising and shocking sex-and-violence subtext, including ludicrous gore; tinny sound; breathlessly unrehearsed takes. The Man With Two Heads is a good example of Andy Milligan as amazing aesthetic alchemist. He takes the most hackneyed cinematic/dramatic elements and chucks them haphazardly together in an unutterably and entirely new way: avant-garde, free-form camerawork alternates with stagy scenes worthy of Warhol or Warren (Ed or Jerry); literate (if hoary and tedious) scripts; sincere if hammy acting; a ruthless fixation on mock-Victorian period settings, with moldy costumes and authentic locations; the cheesiest stock music (from the infamous Thomas J. Valentino music library in New York); surprising and shocking sex-and-violence subtext, including ludicrous gore; tinny sound; breathlessly unrehearsed takes.

Review: As the credits state, this is Andy Milligan’s adaptation of a novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. (Guess which one?) Denis De Marne stars as Dr. William Jekyll, a Victorian instructor in biochemistry who develops a drug capable of eliminating man’s inborn potential for evil. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do anything for man’s tendency to make mistakes, and when his assistant (Berwick Kaler) spills something on his notes and covers his butter fingers by scribbling in some corrected text, Jekyll has some surprises in store when he decides to test the formula on himself. The result is a violent alter ego who goes by the name of Danny – maybe Danny Blood, if we take this project’s original title (“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Blood”) to heart.

Rob Craig’s new book on Andy Milligan (Carnage) reckons that “The Man With Two Heads” is Milligan’s masterpiece, and he may be right. The lead performances are surprisingly good and the whole thing resembles an ambitious stage play caught on film. Unfortunately, Milligan’s original director’s cut was stronger than the PG-rated version that survives and is now lost to the ages, but this version offers some choppy glimpses of the evils that must have lurked there. The most noticeable casualty is an out-of-nowhere delirious orgy scene that plays like Andy’s attempt to film the Velvet Underground song “Sister Ray.”

Technical note: It was recommended to me that I stop uploading low quality avi files and work directly from the VOB files on my master disc, so this is my first attempt to do this; I hope all goes well. This was taken directly from a near-mint quality Wizard Video VHS pre-record, with only one tiny glitch that I could see. The image frequently looks overly grainy, blown-out and what-not, but it’s the only release this film has ever had and you can’t get closer to the source than this.

 

Dr. William Jekyll (Denis de Marne) is a brilliant scientist whose revolutionary theories on the nature of human evil have earned him derision from the more conservative corners of his profession. The devoted doctor has developed a serum that isolates and identifies the part of the brain that produces violent behavior, and is working on another chemical that will block all antisocial desires, effectively curing evil once and for all. Unfortunately, Jekyll give the formula for this untested antidote to his assistant Smithers (Berwick Kaler), who clumsily ruins the paper and quietly recopies the instructions from memory. Believing that he possesses both working drugs, Jekyll uses himself as a live guinea pig and quaffs the serum that will identify the evil lurking in is brain. of course, something was left out when Smithers rewrote the formulas for the antidote, which means that the crusading doctor is transformed into Mr. Blood, a sadistic, lustful creature with grey-green skin and ferocious eyebrows. he charges into the night to quench his thirst for cruelty and meets April (Julia Stratton), a nightclub floozy who accepts the money Mr. Blood offers for the right to humiliate and abuse her. Murder, dismemberment, and wild S & M orgies also figure in this vicious libertine’s search for satiation. Jekyll remembers nothing after recovering from his fits of violence, but his sister, fiancee, and the students he teaches all notice that his behavior is becoming very strange. The doctor’s evil alter ego begins surfacing uncontrollably and at random, threatening the safety and sanity or his loved ones, as well as Jekyll himself.