L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 02/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to "Professor Dowell's Testament", from the Russian Cinema Council Collection(DVD edition)....
Elvira would have a field day with this one. And if you love the old 'B' type Sci-fi/Horror/Mystery flicks so will you.Take one part "Frankenstein", two parts "The Brain That Wouldn't Die",(and maybe a little "Island of Dr. Moreau") mix with three parts Borscht, kick back and enjoy this eerily fun Russian entry from 1984.
Professor Dowell had a great head for scientific experiments. So great in fact, that when he died, his protege, Dr. Korn, kept it(the head) alive with Dowell's own special formula. The experiments Dowell had begun in an effort to preserve human life could continue....if only Korn could get inside his head and retrive this miracle formula that would change the world as we know it.
But..there's more...Did Korn murder Dowell in order to have his shot at the big time?...and will these experiments cause more harm then good in the wrong hands? The Russian police are on the case! It's a shocker!
The film based on the novel "Professor Dowell's Head" by Alexander Belyaev, is not destined to go down in film history as one of the great cinematic achievements, but for those whose tastes run towards the wierd, you'll have a good time with this one.It kept my attention the entire hour and a half. The Russian cast is very good and the music is perfectly spooky(it may even bring back memories of "The Addams Family").
A good buy on the DVD as well. A nice picture in full frame and excellent sound in DD5.1(you also have the choice of stereo). It may be viewed in the original Russian,English or French and there are a wide variety of subtitles to choose from. Unless you can read Russian, first choose for the menu to be viewed in English. From there you will find, sound selection, filmographies, subtitles, a photo gallery and a trailer.
Get the popcorn and the borscht ready...and enjoy...Laurie
also recommended:Queen Margot (Koroleva Margo)(Russian)
La Sentinelle French - another thriller to lose your head over
Classic russian movie
Pinaki Ghosh | Austin, TX USA | 07/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Russian's were able to keep the head of a dog alive for 90 days - the story line is wonderful - even though its old day technology still photography and direction keeps you in the movie - its fabulous canvas - this reminds me of Ray -
Professor Dowell partially develops a serum to stop organ rejection and his junior kills him to complete the experiment in order to take the credit - I will not put a fly in your soup so I will not tell you the end but its really fascinating"
A solid entry in the disembodied head film category...
Rae Stabosz | Newark, DE | 02/01/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Genre film buffs in general have a fondness for movies about heads that stay alive after they are separated from their bodies. "The Brain that Wouldn't Die" is one such film. Steve Martin's intermittently funny "The Man With Two Brains" is another. Add to these the Russian film "Professor Dowell's Testament" and you might have a trio for a midnight movie marathon.
Scene 1 plunks you right in the middle of a laboratory, and this one seems very scientific, lots of numbers and formulas and machines and geegaws. It is brightly lit, not dark like a mad scientist's lair. The whole movie has a more respectable, intellectual air about it than American films I have seen on the topic. But it's not dull, it's a fun romp with intellect and thought mixed in with the shenanigans of greedy biotech people; a son who comes back to find his estranged, famously scientific genius of a father dead (or is he?); a woman scientist as devoted to the Professor himself as to the work; a seedy nightclub where a gun battle erupts; and a woman created as a transplant of one dead woman's head and another's body. Lots of ingredients for a fun SF film. The gun battle I found particularly interesting -- there was something about it that made it seem almost amateurish next to the typical Hollywood gun battle, but not in a bad way. Professor Dowell himself grew as a character which is a pretty big accomplishment given that for the entire movie he was no more than a head with machines keeping the brain going and the blood circulating!"