Monday, July 12, 2010

Madmen of Mandoras (1963)

This week I'm going into the borderlands between good films and bad films. Its a realm where the "so bad they're good" lurk and where films labeled "worst film ever made" dwell. This week I'm going to talk about a bunch of films that are not very good, they are probably okay at best, however at the same time they are best seen with friends and a beverage of choice. Perhaps this is a follow up to the Cinematic Titanic weekend of April, or perhaps this is just some time away from really good films, to the lower level of films that still have something to recommend them.

Scientist working a new nerve gas is kidnapped and taken to the title location where he is forced to help a bunch of Nazi's with Hitler's head under glass in their plans to take over the world.

This is the shorter original version of the film with the infamous title They Saved Hitler's Brain. Running some 75 minutes the film was deemed too short for TV sale and an additional 20 minutes shot in the early 1970's was added. As it stands in its original version the film isn't quite as horrendous as the legend makes it out to be. The film certainly is enjoyable in a good bad movie sort of way, I mean how can you not enjoy the five foot tall ham bone playing Hitler prancing around and over acting in his sequences before he ends up as a head under glass?

A perfect late night film, the film is better than its reputation, especially when freed of the almost unwatchable added opening. I think the reason the film has the poor reputation, and rightly so, is the concept of Hitler's head under glass is so incredibly stupid that it ruins any chance the film might otherwise have had. Certainly the connection to They Saved Hitler's Brain and the prominent place in the Medved's Golden Turkey Awards several decades ago didn't help.

I kind of like the film in a twisted sort of way.

Worth a look in this watchable form (The longer "They Saved…" is not).

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