The Man With Two Heads (1972)

Article 4345 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 10-23-2013
Directed by Andy Milligan
Featuring Denis DeMarne, Julia Stratton, Gay Feld
Country: USA
What it is: Jekyll and Hyde revisited

Dr. William Jekyll is experimenting with a formula that will remove the evil in man, but when he can’t get test animals, he loses his patience and tests on himself… with horrible results.

The most amazing thing about this movie is that the script is mostly coherent. Yes, I know that’s damning with faint praise, but I do mean it sincerely; of all of the movies I’ve seen by Andy Milligan to this point, this is the only one that actually seemed to have a story you could actually follow, and when you consider that his screenplay writing was one of the areas where he least impressed me, that marks a great stride forward. He even manages to incorporate some “Jack the Ripper” and “Marquis de Sade” themes into the Jekyll and Hyde story he recycles here; which in some ways seems obvious, but I’ve not seen it clearly articulated before. The acting is actually quite good throughout, but that doesn’t really surprise me; whatever his other weaknesses are, Milligan did show an ability to get decent actors. This movie even manages to do a better job than is his wont in terms of actually looking like a period piece. Granted, I still have little use for his “camera-out-of-control” action sequences or his attempts at montage, both of which tend to bring on headaches. And I noticed one other consistent problem with his work; the endings of his movies always feel rushed and confusing, as if he was getting bored and just wanted to finish it off. Nevertheless, this is probably the strongest movie I’ve seen so far from his oeuvre.

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