“The Frozen Dead” (1966)
If one were take Hollywood’s version of history at face value, Germany’s defeat in World War II had little to do with the strangulation of resources and manpower by an encircling Allied Army or the depletion of men and arms stalemated on the Russian Front, but in the High Command’s sudden abandonment of a traditional war effort in favor of a diverse program of Lionel Atwill-inspired mad scientist schemes designed to resurrect the Reich decades in the future and achieve world dominance through the use of chemistry sets and noisy Tesla coils.
“The Frozen Dead” perpetuates this loopy tradition in which nonsense science-based Nazi wish fulfillment is given a dedicated champion in the form of Dana Andrews whose Dr. Norberg, though regarded by his sore loser Aryan peers as the Clarence Birdseye of quick frozen Hitlerian fanatics, is experiencing frustration in his inability to initiate a successful defrosting process which doesn’t leave his subjects either dead or nightmarishly crippled by becoming mentally frozen at a specific memory point in time, which they mechanically replay ad infinitum; thus, one unceasingly combs his hair, while another childishly weeps over a remembered loss, while yet another endlessly bounces an invisible rubber ball. Dr. Norberg’s similarly revived and mentally impeded brother (played by Edward Fox) is consumed violence, or so we’re told, although he appears the calmest of the experiment’s failed subjects for much of the film. However, it is Norberg’s assistant Karl Essen (Alan Tilvern) who clumsily sets off a chain of events which will ultimately result in the death and experimental decapitation of Elsa (Kathleen Breck), a friend of Norberg’s niece, Jean (Anna Palk).
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