Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Man With Two Brains


Watching this, I found myself musing about three funny men who having been making movies for a long time: Mel Brooks, Steve Martin, and Woody Allen. All three of them made films of inspired lunacy early on. Woody soon moved to gentler, human comedy and pure drama. Mel stayed true to his muse, such as she was, but after making seven movies that ranged from brilliant to damn good, followed them up with four turkeys, and hasn’t made a film in almost 20 years. Steve might have been the funniest of them all at first, but he hasn’t made a really funny movie since Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in 1988. He’s made some very, very good films, like LA Story and Leap of Faith, but he’s also made some real crap, some embarrassingly bad originals and remakes like Sgt. Bilko and The Pink Panther. I don’t have a point here; just sayin’.

This one is from his early, good wacky period, his fourth starring role, and I laughed all the way through. Joke after joke after joke, crazy situations, insane incidents. It all works very well. Even the names are funny: Dr. Hfuhruhurr—which no one can pronounce but him—and his star-crossed lover, the disembodied brain of Anne Uumellmahaye (voiced uncredited by Sissy Spacek). If they got married they could be the Hfuhruhurr- Uumellmahayes! Kathleen Turner is unbelievably beautiful, seductive, and evil. And in the last scene we are warned to be on the lookout for Merv Griffin. Who knew he was a compulsive mass killer? They say he’s dead, but he’s one tricky bastard, and besides, he may have had his brain transplanted into Lady Gaga’s body by Dr. Hfuhruhurr. I never trusted that bitch.