Monday, July 9, 2007

Guilty pleasure: The Monkees' 'Head'

I was going through a box of old tapes the other day when I came across a film that The Monkees made called 'Head.' It had been a long time since I had watched it, so my expectations were kind of low when I slipped it into the VCR. After all, I must not have been impressed with it if I had left it buried in the bottom of a box in a closet. However, I had forgotten how quirky it was, and I really enjoyed it.

The Monkees made the film after their television show ended, and it is pretty obvious they were trying to change their image. The film is about as far from a sit-com as you get. It has no plot and pretty much rambles from scene to scene with no real structure. Maybe that is why I like it. It goes out of its way not to be mainstream.

When it was released, the film bombed. They alienated their fan base with the subject matter, and the audience they were trying to reach still dismissed them as being 'plastic.' The film itself is very hit and miss. The musical sequences work fairly well, but there are some dead spots as they wander from setting to setting. One of the most inspired bits has them frolicking as dandruff in actor Victor Mature's hair. Mature has a recurring part in the film as their tormentor (his character is listed only as 'The Big Victor' in the credits).

The film embraced a lot of the psychedelic images of the day (it was made in 1968), which makes it interesting as a period piece. The most enduring piece of trivia from this is that Jack Nicholson co-wrote and co-produced it. The Monkees are a far cry from 'One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.'

If you are looking for something offbeat, this is definitely it.


Joltin' Django said...

A bunch o' Monkees fans have started a "Put the Monkees in the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame" petition:

josh said...

I truly miss the Monkees television show. I can remember watching it with my brother when I was young. Happy memories. I hope I can get them on DvD one day.

As for 'Head' I've still never seen that. It's definitely on the list, however.

peter tork said...

The porpoise is waving...goodbye...goodbye....