To this day the horror genre loves to turn to Nazi’s as we have seen in the rather enjoyable Dead Snow flick and now even that has a sequel. There was the low budget creeper Shock Waves in 1977. Then there was the Dana Andrews thriller from his final years long after Laura and The Best Years of Our Lives. He’s a Josef Mengele of sorts.
It appears as if Dana who is now living in England twenty years after the war has ended is still a member of the Nazi party. Now living in an English manor he conducts his heinous crimes in the lab below. He’s been keeping members of the Third Reich in a frozen slumber but when finally thawed to resume their leadership they are nothing more than raving lunatics.
Into this world comes Dana’s niece played by Anna Palk and her friend Kathleen Breck. This disrupts Dana’s privacy and the complications abound when his assistant Karl murders Breck. Dana makes a snap decision in the best Frankenstein tradition and severs the girls head and keeps it alive with various tubes and a glass case over her scalp revealing her pulsating brain. Silly as it seems this is one creepy looking head in a box. The color tones and silent screams only add to the nightmare effect.
It won’t be long before Dana’s new assistant from America, Philip Gilbert begins to romance his niece and help her seek out the truth of her best friends disappearance. Does he know more than he is admitting? A couple of Nazi Generals turn up demanding results in Dana’s research and have no qualms in torturing and maiming to get answers.
Fortunately our severed head has telepathic capabilities and helps assist our lovely niece in a low cut negligee to find the truth. It’s all going to come to a gripping conclusion with severed arms to go along with our severed head.
Herbert J. Leder was a man that surely inspired Woody Allen. He directed and produced from his own story and screenplay here. He was also responsible for unleashing the Roddy McDowall Golem flick It!.
As for former A list actor Dana Andrews, you have to wonder if he’s enjoying the work or is it a job with a certain amount of shame attached to it compared to his glory years. He probably had no idea that films like these would slowly develop a camp following and be viewed by cult fans world wide years after it’s double bill release.
For trivia fans, note that one of our dim witted deep freeze Nazis is the well known Edward Fox.