Horror legend Paul Naschy (Werewolf Shadow, School Killer) stars in this outrageous combination of medical horror, heist action, and dark eroticism. After a jewel robbery goes horribly wrong and their leader, Jack (Naschy), is shot in the head, a band of thieves goes to a local doctor for help. To save their friend's life, the criminals devise a unique solution: kill their psychopathic worst enemy, toss his body onto a railroad track in front of an oncoming train, and use the severed head for a brain transplant! Unfortunately the unwilling donor, the Sadist, turns Jack into a raging lunatic bent on murder and destruction! A wild Eurocult oddity from the swinging '70s featuring a funky score by Jess Franco composer Daniel White (Female Vampire), "Crimson" has been newly remastered from the original negative.
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Paul NASCHY is the leader of a bunch of gangsters, who break into a jewelery store. Since these gangsters are not the brightest, they manage to set off the alarm and are forced to flee. As the gangsters are driving around a police roadblock, the cops open fire and hit NASCHY in the head, who promptly gets comatose. In their hideout, the gangsters decide to get help from a down-on-his-heels doctor. This general practioner of course meets the job requirements for doctors who cure baddies in movies (i.e. he is an incompetent drunkard). When sober, the doc suggests to ask one of his colleagues (who experiments with brain transplants) for help. On they go and after a little "persuasion" the professor agrees to help them. He suggests to conduct a brain transplant on the unlucky NASCHY. Now where do they find an organ donor? It is agreed upon to kill the gangster's archenemy, the aptly named mobster "Sadist"...After the hapless unvoluntary organ donor loses life and brain, the operation is conducted in the professor's basement (!). But while NASCHY very slowly recuperates, the Sadist's men are closing in on the gang, and to make matters even worse, there are unexpected side effects to the treatment...
Now really, I'm not making this up! As you my brief synopsis indicates, this FRANKENSTEIN inspired yarn (the brain transplant) is not exactly what mainstream film critics will rave about. But while CRIMSON could easily have been a trash-fest for the Eurocult movie fan (like most other movies starring the great Paul NASCHY) this one is really a stinker. It is simply boring. Actors sleepwalk through the film and the atrocious English dubbing with the voice actors delivering their lines in a very monotonous way, re-enforces this even more. NASCHY does not have much screentime, and even when he is on-screen, he is most of the time either comatose or recuperating. And his grotesquely bandaged head is unintentionally funny! Admittedly things live up a little towards the showdown, but it is too little too late. The score is absolutely awful and reminded me of sex films. Worst of all, the whole brain transplant thing does not really lead anywhere - the film could have been told as a straightforward gangster tale.
There are some extra features - the French trailer, a different opening scene and alternative erotic footage. This footage would be more in tone with a sleazy sex film and consists of some addtional "hot" scenes and alternative scenes, where more skin is to be seen than in the film (for example, towards the end one of the baddies discovers a dead girl in a cupboard - in the movie she is (scantily) clothed, in the alternate footage she is naked).
I'd recommend this DVD for die hard NASCHY fans and Euro cult completists only!