Saturday, February 07, 2009

2/4/09: Trail of the Screaming Forehead (2007)

Several years ago, I caught an indie sci-fi spoof called The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, a loving sendup of schlocky Ed Wood-type movies. Made on the cheap, it contained no shortage of laughs, and it has become one of my favorite (virtually) unknown comedies.

Now the same team has reassembled for another low-budget satire, including writer-director Larry Blamire and practically all of the original cast. Completed in 2007, Screaming Forehead has still never been officially released to theaters, but as of this writing it is available via cable TV's "On Demand." This picture is sort of a cross between Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Blob, featuring a bevy of foreheads from outer space that attach themselves to the real foreheads of humans and turn their hosts into zombies. Although not quite as consistently amusing as Skeleton, it does have a lot of the same goofily stilted dialogue, like when boarding-house owner Sarah deals with a customer:

Sarah: It just so happens we have two rooms, and you can have them both each. You're just in time for lunch, and you can have that both each, too.

Big Dan: If you're asking us that as nicely as I think you just did, things that would be better than that have no appeal to us, little lady.

The plot is absurd nonsense (much of it takes place at The Institute for Brain Studying); this is the kind of movie where you just laugh at the intentionally bad writing and intentionally dated Ray Harryhausen special effects. The movie dragged a bit in the middle section, but I'm sure happy these guys are making movies. Cast standouts are Brian Howe, Fay Masterson and Andrew Parks. The talented filmmakers reportedly have a couple more films in the cooker, and if they're making them as nicely as I think they made Forehead, things that would be better than that have no appeal to me, little lady. Rating: 4/5.

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