THE HEAD (1959, DIE NAKTE UND DER SATAN) – Episode 164 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“The professor is a genius and it’s a pleasure to work with him. But he’s now beginning some experiments that, in my opinion, … exceed certain ethical limits.” Ethics are such a bother, don’t you agree? Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, Doc Rotten, and Jeff Mohr – as they take in Die Nackte und der Satan (1959), also known as The Head, a German film neck-deep in head transplants.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 164 – The Head (1959)

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A scientist invents a serum that keeps a dog’s head alive after its body dies. When the scientist dies of a heart attack, his crazed assistant cuts off his head and, using the serum, keeps the doctor’s head alive and forces it to help him on an experiment to give a hunchbacked nun a new body.

This little German sci-fi horror B-movie may have slipped past many a monster kid’s radar. In the film, one crazed scientist gets one-upped by an evil scientist who takes not only the first scientist’s life – reducing his life to a head on a plate – but also uses his discoveries to perform some head-swapping shenanigans. This film is strange, bizarre, weird, silly… yet, oddly entertaining. The Grue-Crew has so many thoughts to share regarding The Head (1959).

At the time of this writing, The Head can be found streaming from the Classic Sci-Fi Movie Channel, the Classic Horror Movie Channel, Tubi, and Dark Matter TV. The film is currently available on disc as The Head (1959) (Die Nackte und der Satan) [Blu-Ray, Reg.A/B/C Import – Germany] from Anolis. 

(NOTE: Currently, all of the streaming options are the American version with roughly five minutes cut from the runtime, music substitutions, and English dubbing as the only language option. The Blu-ray has German and English language and subtitle options, the original music, and a commentary by Tim Lucas. The German language version delivers far more emotional impact to the viewer while the English dubbing comes off as a bit flat with awkward and simplified phrasing. And since the music is one of the attractions for me, the Blu-ray is a far better experience, although a bit pricey. – JLM)

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule, as chosen by Doc, is The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), Peter Cushing as the Baron in a Hammer FIlm? And of course, Michael Ripper? Yay!

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To each of you from each of them, “Thank you so much for watching and listening!

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk.

Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.