Crimson (1976) DVD Review

Director: Juan Fortuny | 89 mintes | Black House | Out Now

When a robbery goes horribly wrong and their leader, Jack is shot in the head, a group of criminals go to extreme measures to save their friends life. With the help of a local doctor the gang devise a uniquely plan – to kill their worst enemy, throw his body in front of a train and use the brain from the severed head as a transplant! The operation is a success, all seems well…that is until the brains former owner starts living out his murderous past.

More trashy cult cinema goodness is available thanks to new label Black House in the form of Crimson aka The Man With the Severed Head. Much like other releases from Black House it is one that is high on the bad and low on the good.

Although it is a horror, and with an eye catching cover like the one that is used on this release it looks like it should be an all out bonkers horror, Crimson doesn’t feel like one. It comes across as more of a seventies BBC crime drama (minus the production values and acting). The crooks trying to steal jewels, a shootout, them doing some shady black market dealings and more crime genre aspects feature. Much of the expected horror is kept til the end, which may be too late for some watching. Plus some of the sets (which look like someones actual┬áliving room) are gloriously naff in their decor.

There are also several scenes that exist to either pad out the run time, be used as an excuse to feature nude women or are a combination of both. If there isn’t dialogue filled exchanges between characters then one of them is at least bonking some young woman in an unconvincing fashion. And there’s the ‘sexy’ dancing scenes too. These may have been erotic and steamy back in the seventies now they just seem like something that belongs in the past. The dancing is simply the woman striding about a stage and halfheartedly waving her arms around. What a turn on.

Paul Naschy/Nash is the main and perhaps only positive of the entire feature, a man who will be known by many Euro cult cinema fans for his efforts throughout a long career. Here he is mainly seen with his head completely wrapped in bandages, not his face though, as a result of being shot in the head and requiring some major surgery. This happens to be a head transplant, yes, carried out in a room that looks as hygienic and sterile as the toilets at a truckstop. Naschy simply does his thing and looks intense, a job well done.

Thankfully it is short, at 89 minutes. For kitsch entertainment Crimson offers something for those who are prepared for its ‘delights’.

Order here.