Trail of the Screaming Forehead

Dir: Larry Blamire
Star: Brian Howe, Fay Masterson, Andrew Parks, Alison Martin

From the same director as the far-superior Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, this has nowhere near as much imagination, containing a steadily-decreasing amount of entertainment level, once the novelty of the deliberately-strained dialogue has worn off. The central plot is as ludicrous as its predecessor. Research by Doctors Bexter and Latham (Masterson and Parks) has shown that the seat of consciousness is not just the brain - specifically, it's the forehead. Bexter coaxes Latham into becoming a human guinea-pig and accepting shots of "Foreheadazine" to prove their theory. However, their investigation is derailed by the coincidental arrival of alien foreheads which attach themselves to the local residents. Can Bexter, with help from passing ship captain 'Big' Dan Frater (Howe) and town librarian Millie (Martin), overcome the extra-terrestrial menace and save humanity from having lumpy foreheads?

It's a slight plot, which wouldn't matter, if the makers had any real ideas regarding what to do with the genre; it feels almost as if Blamire used all the good concepts the first time, and he had nothing left for this semi-follow up. There's more to satire than simply repeating the flaws of the original target, and that's about all Blamire does here. Bad dialogue and poor editing, aping the conventions of bad 50's sci-fi, is about all this has to offer. These aspects rapidly get old after the first 15 minutes or so, these are not intrinsically funny, despite the presence of a couple of genre icons in (very) minor roles. The movie is also 'presented by Ray Harryhausen', which is odd, since there's nothing particularly Harryhausen-esque about the monsters here. There is some suggestion of producer interference in the final cut, with Blamire road-showing his vision as an alternate; I'm not certain which version I saw, so let's give Blamire the benefit and not blame him too much for what, in this cut, should be consigned to the dustbin of history, even more than the movies it apes.

[December 2011]

The Lost Talent of Blamire
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