Head

( 9 )

Overview

The dark side of the Monkees arrives on DVD in a fun but fairly bare-bones package in Rhino Home Video's release of their trippy, stream-of-consciousness masterpiece Head. The first collaboration between Jack Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson is well presented on this disc, highlighted by a remarkably sharp transfer and curiously powerful Dolby Digital two-channel audio mix. It's doubtful that Head has ever looked this good outside of its original theatrical release during the waning days of the band's initial ...
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Overview

The dark side of the Monkees arrives on DVD in a fun but fairly bare-bones package in Rhino Home Video's release of their trippy, stream-of-consciousness masterpiece Head. The first collaboration between Jack Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson is well presented on this disc, highlighted by a remarkably sharp transfer and curiously powerful Dolby Digital two-channel audio mix. It's doubtful that Head has ever looked this good outside of its original theatrical release during the waning days of the band's initial popularity surge. Presented in full-frame format, the image is sharp and colorful throughout, though at times appears slightly dirty, with scratches and speckling from the source materials revealing the film's age even more so than its psychedelic imagery. These slight issues aside, the image remains for the most part clear of visual distortion and is remarkably colorful. The film's multi-layered, florid "Can You Dig It?" belly dancer sequence is a testament to the transfer's attractive skin tones and vivid display of colors. Even the stock footage in the early war sequence looks relatively clean. The audio is rich and full sounding, adequately filling the room with music and sound while healthily exercising the Dolby Digital two-channel audio scheme. Infrequent hints of overmodulation resulting in slight distortion are not too distracting and occur only in the most audio-intensive of scenes. Extra features on the disc are sorely lacking, except for seven trailers (three theatrical and four television spots), including an interesting and fun Portuguese trailer. Monkees' fans may wish for more features and what could have been a very interesting commentary track, though they will undoubtedly be satisfied with this attractive and thoughtfully remastered presentation.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The Monkees' one and only theatrical outing is a difficult, deliberately confrontational attempt to shatter their image as goody-two-shoes pop idols. On the part of the filmmakers, it was an attempt to break all the rules of filmmaking: no plot line, no clear-cut protagonists, no attempt to maintain the illusion of telling the viewer a story. The end result is uneven to be sure, but interesting nonetheless. Head is a rare case of a film's biggest strength (its taboo-trashing sense of daring) also being its biggest weakness. Since the film is essential a loosely connected series of sketches interrupted with a series of non-sequiturs, the film lacks the rhythm that would make it fascinating from start to finish and it becomes tiresome after a while. However, this doesn't mean that it isn't worth seeing. Anyone with any kind of interest in cult movies should see it at least once, because it when it hits the bull's eye, the rewards are dazzling. Highlights include a surreal scene where a hysterical crowd cheering on at a Monkees concert is intercut with news footage of the Vietnam War and a pseudo-parody of Lawrence of Arabia that involves Micky Dolenz blowing up a Coke machine that won't give him a bottle. Head also boasts some of the Monkees' finest post-television-fame music, the best being the dizzying psychedelia of "The Porpoise Song" and the rousing rocker "Circle Sky." Each of the bandmembers fully commits to the daring style of the film, with Micky Dolenz pulling off the wildest comic moments and Michael Nesmith achieving the most slyly witty moments. To sum up, Head is a hit-and-miss affair, but its sense of daring and periodic moments of brilliance make it worthwhile for cult movie fanatics.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/21/1998
  • UPC: 081227446024
  • Original Release: 1968
  • Rating:

  • Source: Rhino Theatrical
  • Presentation: Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Time: 1:36:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 24,739

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Tork Himself
Davy Jones Himself
Micky Dolenz Himself
Michael Nesmith Himself
Annette Funicello Minnie
Abraham Sofaer Swami
Vito Scotti I. Vitteloni
Charles Macaulay Inspector Shrink
T.C. Jones Mr. And Mrs. Ace
Charles Irving Mayor Feedback
William Bagdad Black Sheik
Percy Helton Heraldic Messenger
Sonny Liston Extra
Ray Nitschke Private One
Carol Doda Sally Silicone
Frank Zappa The Critic
June Fairchild The Jumper
Teri Garr Testy True
I.J. Jefferson Lady Pleasure
Timothy Carey Lord High `n' Low
Dennis Hopper
Victor Mature Big Victor
The Monkees
Jack Nicholson
Bob Rafelson
Logan Ramsey Officer Faye Lapid
Technical Credits
Bob Rafelson Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Jon C. Anderson Asst. Director
Gene Ashman Costumes/Costume Designer
Toni Basil Choreography
Butler-Glouner, Inc. Special Effects
Les Fresholtz Sound/Sound Designer
Charles Gaspar Special Effects
Chuck Gasper Special Effects
Burton Gershfield Special Effects
Gerry Goffin Score Composer
Monte Hellman Editor
Michel Hugo Cinematographer
Carole King Score Composer
Bruce Lane Special Effects
Sydney Z. Litwack Art Director
Jack Nicholson Producer, Screenwriter
Birgit Nilsson Score Composer
Ned Parsons Set Decoration/Design
Mike Pozen Editor
Bert Schneider Executive Producer
Ken Thorne Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1 -- The Head
0. Scenes
1. Start Film [3:12]
2. The Porpoise song [5:17]
3. Ditty Diego Chant [3:06]
4. Ray Nitschke [2:04]
5. Circle Sky [9:06]
6. Can You Dig It? [3:03]
7. Terri Garr [5:32]
8. Sonny Liston [1:10]
9. Jack Nicholson & Dennis Hopper [3:47]
10. As We Go Along [1:08]
11. Dandruff [5:31]
12. Victor Mature [:55]
13. Daddy's Song [2:13]
14. Happy Birthday [1:15]
15. Toni Basil [1:38]
16. Frank Zappa [10:55]
17. Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again? [:41]
18. The Porpoise Song (reprise) [20:19]
19. Credits [2:42]
20. End Of Feature Film [1:45]
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Menu

Side #1 -- The Head
   Movie
      Rhino catalog information
   Trailers
      TV Spot 1
      NY Action
      TV Spot 2
      TV Spot 3
      Theatrical 1
      Portuguese
      Theatrical 2
   Cameos
      Ray Nitschke
      Terri Garr
      Sonny Liston
      Annette Funicello
      Jack Nicholson & Dennis Hopper
      Victor Mature
      Toni Basil
      Frank Zappa
   Music Head
      The Porpoise Song
      Ditty Diego Chant
      Circle Sky
      Can You Dig It?
      As We Go Along
      Dandruff
      Daddy's Song
      Happy Birthday
      Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again?
      The Porpoise Song (reprise)
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I have been a fan of the Monkees since I was three years old. The show was always so whimsical and bright. It was certainly great pre "He-Man" fodder. The first time I saw "Head" I was four years old and it scared me. It wasn't until years later that I could appreciate the risks that were taken when the boys stepped in front of the camera to make such an edgy, dangerous film.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Brilliant

    I guess most "true" Monkees fans won't get this at all. If you liked their series you may not get the joke. Basically this movie is the members making fun of themselves. Favorite scene is the one where they are in the war. I agree about the don't try to make sense of it, just let it flow over you and enjoy the absurdity with a glass of cold gravy with a hair in it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2003

    Subconscious Chaos

    Warning: Check the logical side of your brain before entering. Just let this film flow over you. It is a well-paced series of parodies, social comments, satire, and montages. It has great visual power and many great songs. It is not a comedy and there is no story. But the parts congeal into a powerful statement about the effects of media on the human mind. In a key scene, a maharishi teaches that the many images from film and television flow into the subconscious mind, which is unable to distinguish between real and imagined experience. This film reflects the resulting chaos. And it is fun.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Why?

    Why did the Monkees waste so much money doing this ''out there'' movie? It didn't make much sense. They should have used the money to make another season. Right?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2000

    1 word: misunderstood

    This movie is sorely misunderstood, as The Monkees who were in it. Though there's no real plot and to some it doesn't and will never make sense, in a way it kind of does. It's basically just about the problems with society, I guess. I can't explain it. To try and understand it, ou just need to open your mind when you watch it. Don't expect it to be a movie where the meaning is slapped in front of you, because it isn't.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews