THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS
The Man with Two Brains is an affectionate parody of Donovans Brain (1953) and the whole B movie school of disembodied brain films see the likes of The Brain That Wouldnt Die (1962), They Saved Hitlers Brain (1964) and Beast of Blood (1971).
Carl Reiner and Steve Martin mount the film as an hysterical succession of deadpan gags. There is the wonderfully nutty romance with the brain in the jar with Martin taking it for romantic boat trips and places a pair of plastic lips on the side of the jar so he can kiss it. Or the side-splitting sequence where the sexually frustrated Martin places a hat in his lap, which continues to hang unnoticed from his erection when he stands up; or the precarious journey across a broken ledge clinging to a wall by saliva on the fingertips; the attempt to get a young girl to ring a hospital that ends in an argument over diagnosis at an accident scene in the middle of the street.
Its a very, very funny film that comes packed with so many delightful gags. Steve Martin is one of Americas most under-rated comic geniuses and the film suits his wild talent like a glove. Standing a little in Martins prodigious comic shadow, Kathleen Turner nevertheless has an equal amount of fun vamping it up to the hilt. There is also a very funny surprise cameo from Merv Griffen.
In other genre material, Carl Reiner also directed Oh, God! (1977) featuring John Denver as an ordinary man who receives a visit from God; the aforementioned Steve Martin bodyswap comedy All Of Me (1984); and Fatal Instinct (1993), a parody of various well-known psycho-thrillers. Reiner has a long history as a writer, producer and performer in comedy variety shows going back to the 1950s. To more modern audiences, he is better known as the father of Rob Reiner and for the role of Saul Bloom in the Oceans Eleven films.