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Head

USA 1968
produced by
Jack Nicholson, Bob Rafelson, Bert Schneider (executive) for Raybert Productions
directed by Bob Rafelson
starring the Monkees (= Peter Dork, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith), Annette Funicello, Timothy Carey, Logan Ramsey, Abraham Sofaer, Vito Scotti, Charles Macaulay, T.C. Jones, Charles Irving, William Bagdad, Percy Helton, Sonny Liston, Ray Nitschke, Carol Doda, Frank Zappa, June Fairchild, Teri Garr, I.J. Jefferson, Victor Mature, Terry Chambers, Mike Burns, Esther Shepard, Kristine Helstoski, John Hoffman, Linda Weaver, Jim Hanley, Tor Johnson, Bob Rafelson, Jack Nicholson
written by Jack Nicholson, Bob Rafelson, incidental music by Ken Thorne, songs by the Monkees

Monkees

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The Monkees (Peter Tork, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith) just had a popular run on television from 1966 to 1968 as pretty much a Beatles-parody, and this movie was to take their career to the next level - but instead of more infantile yet endearing slapstick, we are presented with ... something else.

 

The point here is, Head doesn't have a plot in the narrative sense of the word, it's more of a trip-like experience that starts with Micky Dolenz throwing himself off a bridge, then takes the Monkees through all kinds of situations - war, desert, jungle adventure, boxing arena, inside a vacuum cleaner, and so on - to finally make them realize they are caught in a box, and to free themselves, the four throw themselves off a bridge once more. Now if this synopsis does make any sense, it doesn't do the movie any real justice.

 

The problem with the film though is not so much its lack of actual plot, but it's lack of actual gags, coupled with its often too blunt sociopolitical messages and its mis-guided satire. And somehow you can't help thinking that Bob Rafelson and his willing and ambitious pre-superstar collaborator Jack Nicholson were desperately trying to aim for the arthouse crowd - which would account for many a pretentious scene.

Of course, this hasn't prevented the movie from being regarded as a cult item, mostly though I think by people who haven't seen it or by people who confuse its being a perfect mirror of its time (which Head undoubtedly is) with actual artistic inspiration - but actually that's exactly what Head is, little more than a mildly amusing trip down memory lane, and at least I for one am grateful that Jack Nicholson pretty much gave up scriptwriting soon after that to concentrate on acting, a field in which he has as of yet failed to disappoint me.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD