Nazis are good value, horror wise, aren’t they? The evil regime that keeps on giving.
In ‘The Frozen Dead’, Dana Andrews is attempting to establish a fourth Reich using the bodies of party members who chose to be cryogenically frozen when the war ended twenty years previously. The thawing process isn’t working, however, so the defrostees come out brain damaged or, in the case of a young Edward Fox, totally psychotic.
What the ‘kindly’ Doctor (who used to preside over a concentration camp and knew Josef Mengele) really needs is a living brain to study, which is soon delivered to him thanks to Fox’s strangling hands. The victim is a friend of his niece who is immediately decapitated and her head is kept in a box and fed a glucose diet. When the box is opened, the severed head scowls angrily – a look I recognise (and fear) from my own wife. When the box is shut, she uses telepathy to call to her friend and to wind up the frost damaged Nazis. It’s a powder keg with a dynamite girdle and nitrogylcerine wheels.
Extraordinary in many ways, few of them good, ‘The Frozen Dead’ is not necessarily terrible, just totally ridiculous. There’s a scene where the American hero is exploring the ‘castle’ (it’s actually just a large house) and, as he explores the dungeons, he comes across a skeleton manacled to the wall. Why? He doesn’t even register surprise, like it’s the most natural thing in the world. Why do the frozen Nazis swing around in the freezer? Have they been doing that for twenty years? Couldn’t they have been secured a little better?
The daftest elements are, naturally, courtesy of the severed head: blue, bald, covered in tubes, its baleful presence is exploited to the full and its scornful, hate filled expression is the stuff of nightmare / farce. The bald blue bonce even speaks at the end (impossible, but why start applying logic now?), before using sheer willpower to revenge itself on its nasty Nazi tormentors. Ludicrous. Recommended!