Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rejected Film Category #1: Best Head

You know, you'd think you could make a pretty good category out of "best disembodied, talking head", but if you have to struggle to come up with ten films to fit the category, it's not that good.

I came up with: They Saved Hitler's Brain, The Thing That Couldn't Die, The Brain That Wouldn't Die and Re-Animator. I'm on the fence as to whether Wizard of Oz would count (I think not, since it's not a real head), and also disinclined to count Jason X and Alien, which both feature severed talking heads, but robotic heads. Oh, an Hayao Miyazaki uses a lot of floating heads, but that's animation and they're spirits so I don't count those either.

Re-Animator wins this hands down, as the severed head is not just talky, it's in control of its own destiny, and is a pervert.

Second place goes to They Saved Hitler's Brain, just because they don't just save his brain, they save his entire head, and a darling head it is. It sneers, glowers, wiggles its moustache, and also seems entirely in control of its own destiny, which is pretty impressive for, you know, a head in a jar.

On the TV show "Futurama", they have guest stars (and generate other plot devices) by storing everyone's head in a jar. All the US Presidents, for example, are in jars. The entire cast of the original "Star Trek" (and John Frakes of TNG) are in jars, Pamela Anderson's head is in a jar, Claudia Schiffer, Lucy Liu, Al Gore, etc.

On the commentary for the DVD, someone asks him where he got the idea and he said something to the effect that "it's a common sci-fi device."

If it's so common, I ask, where are all the disembodied head movies? The only actual head-in-a-jar movie I can think of is They Saved Hitler's Brain, and I never once read any SF with that as a premise.

Anyway, Trooper York is already hard at work, I suspect, creating more good movie categories.

We shall see who walks away from this battle with his head in a jar.


  1. Basket case. Not just a head but a deformed little brother who goes around murdering people. When one of my best friends opened a video store on Court St., that was one of the three most rented films. Along with I Spit on Your Grave and Faces of Death.

    The best part of the store was the back room where we used to drink beer and preview all the new porno's. There used to be this broad we called the porno lady. She sold tapes out of the back of the car. She would come in to market them and offered to act out some of the scenes. But that's another story best not told here.

  2. Oh, yeah, Basket Case is a classic. Frank Hennenlotter, if memory serves, himself a cinematic guru. I think he played it into a trilogy, the last one of which was about the family, and kind of a goofy sorta family film.

    "Red Eye" does a little homage to that, with Gutfeld's brother "Gunnar" kept in a shoebox.

    I'm actually not sure I've seen "I Spit On Your Grave" (aka "Day of the Woman") because all those films sorta run together for me. I saw them all around the same time and they don't get much play otherwise.

    "The porno lady"...heh...sometimes I miss the '80s....

  3. Of course you could take that category in a totally different direction. Thus the best head list would be:

    1. Traci Lords in New Wave Hookers.
    2. Cristy Canyon in All the Way In.
    3. Ginger Lynn in Taboo 3
    4. Honey Wilder in Taboo.
    5. Kay Parker in Nasty Nurses 1
    6. Vanessa Del Rio Lips,Lips,Lips
    7. Cloe Svyginey in Brown Bunny
    8. Erica Boyer in Hannah does her Sisters (Girl on Girl Division)
    9. Seka with Long John Holmes on Seka the New Revolution.
    10. Honey Wilder in Games My Father Taught Me.

    That is a definitive Best Head list. Just ask the porno lady.

  4. I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about.

    My caption was meant in complete innocence.

    (Anyone buying that?)

    I get a lot of hits on Traci Lords now, not quite up there with "pointy breasts" but close. I should review Christy Canyon's book next. She seems like a nice Jewish Valley Girl.

  5. I saw the "disembodied head on a table" illusion at the state fair once. Clearly patterned after The Brain that Wouldn't Die, with the tubes and the bandages and so on.

    I also saw a woman turned into a gorilla using the Pepper's Ghost illusion.

  6. I also saw a woman turned into a gorilla using the Pepper's Ghost illusion.

    Was it good? I used to see Ed Alonzo (whom I like) at Knott's every year, and he turned a swan into a hot chick. But because it was at Knott's and often crowded, there were years that I sat on the far edge, where I could see exactly how everything worked.

    Doesn't bug me, but it might tick me off were I Alonzo....

  7. UWS--check out troop's blog, too. He's pantsing me on this....

  8. Pamela Anderson's head is in a jar....

    They saved Pamela Anderson's head? Clearly, "they" are gay.

  9. Heh. They referenced the whole head/body thing with Claudia Schiffer.

    Fry says, "Didn't you use to have a body of some sort?"

    Of course, Pamela Anderson is upset that Fry is unaware that she won the Oscar for "Baywatch: The Movie".


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