Crimson (1973)

Genres - Crime, Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Gangster Film, Natural Horror  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - Spain, France, United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Fred Beldin

Yet another grotesque Paul Naschy vehicle, Crimson is a hybrid crime thriller and sci-fi story that delivers all the dismemberments, medical atrocities, and beheadings so common to the Spanish horror star's films. This time our hero is the leader of a bumbling gang of thieves who ends up badly wounded during a robbery gone wrong. Naschy spends most of the film unconscious with gauze wrapped around his head, waiting for an experimental brain transplant. Meanwhile, his henchmen murder an archrival for use as a donor, bicker for a while over who should decapitate the specimen, then finally just lay the corpse on a railroad track and wait for a train to do the work. Naschy eventually revives to rage half-heartedly against the unnatural experiment performed upon him, but mostly he just holds his noggin and moans about his brain. Crimson is full of memorable moments, such as a dour gangster walking directly on stage to calmly question a frugging go-go dancer, and the requisite clumsy dubbing and inappropriate music score take the viewer into a cracked universe that will either amuse or confuse, depending on disposition. The conclusion finds Naschy stumbling around with a syringe sticking out of his neck, and anyone who is still with Crimson by this point won't be disappointed.