Monday, March 30, 2009

They Saved Hitler's Brain (David Bradley, 1963)

Incompetent in every way imaginable, They Saved Hilter's Brain is in fact a real movie; and judging by the mixed-up thoughts dancing around in my head, I apparently watched it utilizing my own freewill. It's weird, but for a minute there I had this wild idea that I'd been forced to view it (you know, by some sort of faceless cabal of sadists who coerce upstanding citizens like myself to watch awful movies for their own sick and twisted pleasure). However, the fact that my wrists and ankles were free of rope marks (I wasn't bound), and that my urine (pee pee) sample came back negative (I wasn't drugged), has lead me to believe that I must have temporarily lost my mind. I mean, how else can one explain this situation? My taste is impeccable and my intuition regarding all things artistic is as sound as they come. I'm telling you, I'm at a loss here. Well, however it got watched doesn't really matter now, because I don't think much of anything will be able to erase the memory of seeing Adolf Hitler's smirking head in a fish-bowl (yeah, that's right, this body-free Führer likes to smirk). Actually, to be fair, the shots of Señor Hitler's head under glass were the only aspect that had any entertainment value, as the rest of the film is a jumbled mishmash of bad continuity and breathtaking acting, all held together by a ludicrous premise.

The idea of saving Hitler's brain–or this case, his whole head–makes no sense whatsoever. The main appeal of Adolf Hitler was his penchant for making hand gestures when he spoke. Take away his ability to wave his arms about and what are you left with? Just some angry Austrian dude with an irregular mustache. If I was a fledgling Nazi trying to reinvigorate the national socialist brand in the early sixties, I would have gone with Alfred Naujocks' brain, or better yet, Otto Skorzeny's brain. In other words, Nazis who were not only alive at the time, but ones who actually were able complete their tasks in a semi-competent manner. (Naujocks single-handedly started the honky part of World War II and Skorzeny rescued Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in a daring alpine raid.) Either way, this Hitler fella was a bit of a dick, and the new Nazi's would have been better off chucking his brain...head, whatever, in the nearest dumpster and gone antiquing instead.

Stitched together like a hobo's improvised underwear, this version of They Saved Hitler's Brain is actually The Madmen of Mandoras from 1963 combined with footage shot in the early seventies. Let me explain, the film starts off by following Toni (a sexy structure sporting Tari Tabakin) and Vic (???), two secret agents on the look out for the killers of a prominent scientist. And judging by the bushy haircuts and short hemlines, I would say the year was 1970. (Despite what the picture of President Eisenhower on the wall would have you believe.)

After that the film turns into a stodgy tale about another secret agent named Phil (Walter Stocker) and his wife Kathy (Audrey Caire) going down to Mandoras (a fake South American country with only one hotel) to investigate the disappearance of his wife's scientist father that is obviously set in the early sixties (the Eisenhower picture is still out of date). Now, to say that the two parts don't mesh well together would be a massive understatement. Nevertheless, the fact that someone had the balls to make an already crappy movie longer by adding footage shot ten years later has to be commended. In all honestly, I thought the new footage had a strangely charming quality (the contrived bickering between Toni and Vic was wonderfully awful). However, once their segment is over and we revert to the original "Madmen" footage, the film becomes a huge chore to slog through.


1 comment:

  1. I remember when I was growing up that a lot of us talked about whether Hitler really died or not when they said he did. Then sometimes we talked about whether they put his brain in somebody else's body so they could fool people.