Video of the Week: “Most inexplicable line reading of all time” revisited

For this week’s video (by hubby’s special request) we revisit Timothy’s infamous “Atta boy Mike” scene from Bob Rafelson‘s Head (1968), the very strange first – and last – feature film from the Monkees.

As I’ve said before with regards to this film – for God’s sake, don’t try to make any sense out of it! Just enjoy Tim at his craziest.

Video of the Week: “Head” trailer

Our video for this week is a rarely seen trailer for Bob Rafelson‘s Head (1968), the trippy cinematic debut (and swan song) of The Monkees. It features glimpses of scenes that didn’t make it into the final film. Timothy is in there, if you look hard, pay attention and do not succumb to seizures.

Hey! Nobody walks out on me! Not even myself!

Pic of the Day: “Head” revisited

Today we celebrate the 77th birthday anniversary of legendary Hollywood madman Jack Nicholson. As one of the scriptwriters of Bob Rafelson‘s Head (1968), he is at least partially responsible for the creation of Lord High ‘n’ Low, one of the strangest characters in cinematic history. Heck, he may be completely responsible for all we know.

Head

I especially like the cute couple in the background of this scene; they’re gazing at Timothy with obvious affection. How good would it be to someday interview Nicholson about his involvement in the film and his thoughts on Tim? As good as it gets. (See what I did there?) Happy birthday, Jack!

Quote of the Week

In films since 1952, character actor Timothy Carey gained a cult following for his uncompromising portrayals of sadistic criminals, drooling lechers, and psycho killers. His definitive screen moment occurred in Stanley Kubrick‘s The Killing (1956), in which, as two-bit hoodlum Nikki Arcane, he gleefully shot down a race horse. Kubrick used Carey again in Paths of Glory (1957), this time in the sympathetic role of condemned prisoner Private Ferol. Equally impressed by Carey’s work was director John Cassavetes, who gave the actor a leading role in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976). In 1965, Carey spoofed his unsavory screen image in Beach Blanket Bingo, playing leather-jacketed cyclist South Dakota Slim, who expresses his affection for leading lady Linda Evans by strapping her to a buzz saw. He went on to menace the Monkees in Head (1968), bellowing out incomprehensible imprecations as Davy, Mike, Micky and Peter cowered in confused terror. One of his juiciest film roles was as a rock-singing evangelist in The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962), which he also produced, directed, and wrote. In his later years, Timothy Carey occasionally occupied his time as an acting teacher.

– Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide (accessed 04/13/2014)

The Killing

Quote of the Week

‘Dernsie’ is, as we’ll shortly see, the character who eventually became known as ‘Lord High ‘n’ Low’ and played in Head by Timothy Carey. Carey was not, however the first choice for the role…

The Criterion subtitles transcribe ‘I’ll choke from excitement’ as ‘I’m too old for excitement’. While this may well have been true as far as Timothy Carey was concerned [Ed. note: HA HA HA!!!], it’s still incorrect. […]

Since these pages are additional it’s probably safe to assume that this initial scene with ‘Dernsie’/’Lord High ‘n’ Low’ didn’t form part of earlier drafts. The character’s later appearance in the story (in the infamous scene where his ‘cripple’ act at Mike’s birthday becomes a laughing matter) was present however – and the script descriptions for that scene provide a proper introduction, if not for the character then at least for the actor they had in mind for the role – Bruce Dern (see ‘Changes’ – Page 68, Shot 228). The character name ‘Dernsie’ being no more than a matey moniker for one of the film-makers’ friends. A year earlier, Dern had appeared alongside Peter Fonda in The Trip (1967), a film also scripted by Jack Nicholson, and would later play opposite Nicholson himself in The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), directed by Bob Rafelson.

Quite why Bruce Dern didn’t take the role written specifically for him in Head is unknown, but Timothy Carey handles it affably. To describe Carey’s contributions to the world of film-making as ‘underground’ probably doesn’t do him justice. His most notorious contribution to the genre being the self-written, self-financed and self-starring The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962), a low-budget (but some maintain genius) satire on religion – which also provided Head guest star Frank Zappa with one of his earliest music-scoring commissions. Carey’s twisted cinematic visions ensured that he never trod the path of Hollywood respectability, yet he was often spoken of in hushed tones as a pioneer by the likes of Jack Nicholson, Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino. Indeed, Carey was purportedly originally offered the role of the gang boss in Reservoir Dogs until Harvey Keitel, as executive producer, intervened (the film is dedicated to him all the same).

SOTCAA (Some of the corpses are amusing): EDIT NEWS: The Monkees – Head – ‘Changes’ – Page 10

HEAD production shot

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HEAD production shot