FLASHCUT OF MACHINARY
Loud SOUNDS. CAMERA LOOSENS to show a huge machine -- it's
parts clanking together and the Monkees and Mr HUGH GREVICH,
chief engineer at Pepton Industries (a small, beedy-eyed man,
disarmingly routine in tone), are touring the factory. Grevich
is dressed in a white coat, the Monkees are zippering up
white overalls and following behind.
(shouting over machines)
I said...capable of 300 horse power
a piece...and all on one pressure valve.
Careful there...don't lean over the
They enter another room. Quieter. IBM type stuff.
There. Change one tape, the entire
process is re-geared. Leisure, the
inevitable by-product of our civilization.
A new world; its only pre-occupation
will be how to amuse itself. Long live
Felix the Cat!
At this point, two people pass by almost out of frame. The
MAN is vaguely supporting the GIRL'S elbow. She seems to be
crying. Davy looks at her...but his curiosity is terminated by:
This way, gentlemen...
Alternate 'War Chant' shot from 'NY Action'
Back to the Pasadena Rose Bowl for an unused recap. As previously mentioned, 'NY Action' features a shot of Davy in 'War Chant' mode looking slightly off-camera, which could conceivably have formed part of the above sequence, assuming it was actually filmed (although his 'Playing with frogs' line was to be delivered 'out-of-shot', so maybe not).
It's a little difficult to envisage quite how the sequence would have played out onscreen since it isn't fully scripted. Would Mike have worn a 'T' rather than an exclamation mark? If so, would he have been required to yell "Give me a 'T'?" (and if so, who would have yelled "What's that spell?" at the 'card section' of the crowd?). Also note that the wart-endowed Mike would have been an interior shot, yet no location is actually given for the action.
"Leisure, the inevitable by-product of our civilization..."
Note the proposed use of a FLASH CUT in the script to set the factory scene. As we've seen, such a device was used - albeit to depict a gradual transition from the pastoral settings of 'As We Go Along' to the industrial surroundings here.
Most of the factory scenes were shot on location at the Hyperion Sewage Plant in Playa Del Rey, Los Angeles. Sandoval gives the date as 28 February 1968, although considering the sheer amount of set-ups at play, one should perhaps assume that it wasn't simply a one-day shoot. As well as the introductory scene here, other footage would have been captured at the same location, including the complex choreographed fight sequence as Davy battles his way out of the box, the Keystone Cops-style conveyor belt amusement (and subsequent exterior shots of the group escaping in their dune buggy), to say nothing of sequences eventually cut from the film, including Mike demonstrating how to 'con' your way out (see 'Changes' - Page 84, Shot 269). Production photos also suggest that exterior shots of Mike leading the others away from the sewage plant were filmed for the latter.
Interestingly, although no reference is made in the movie to the actual name of the factory, some press kit photo captions specifically allude to 'the Pepton Industrial plant'. Since the script also makes reference to 'Pepton Industries' it should perhaps be considered 'canonical'.
'Hugh Grevich' is another character-name which was discarded by the time the Head credits were assembled. He's referred to in the latter as 'Inspector Shrink' and is played by Charles Macaulay.
The many hairpieces of Charles Macaulay in three separate episodes of Columbo.
Grevich/Inspector Shrink does indeed wear a white coat as stipulated in the script - but underneath the jacket of a business suit (the long hem of the coat ludicrously dangling from its base like a skirt).
Once again, we see here a good example of a character played by an actor outside the Monkees inner-circle delivering their dialogue pretty much word-for-word rather than improvising around it - although some lines were later cut and a fair amount of extra dialogue was added by the time of the shoot. Of particular note is a short reference during the opening oration to the factory's "safety factor" (which serves as a quick bit of expositional irony to herald the increasingly odd industrial mishaps and other weirdness which ensues).
Production photos - Grevich/Inspector Shrink shows the band around the factory. The second photo reveals a curiously stringent allegiance to 'continuity' - underneath their casually-donned white jumpsuits, Micky and Davy have on the exact same clothes they'll be wearing once they're free of the factory / black box.
Felix The Cat - the second cat to be cut from Head.
The scripted line 'Long live Felix the Cat!" was long-gone by the time of filming, replaced by the somewhat more iconic, "The tragedy of your times, my young friends, is that you may get exactly what you want...".
The latter was one of a couple of Grevich/Inspector Shrink's proclamations included on the Head soundtrack LP as part of a track called 'Dandruff'. Like many of the dialogue selections, these are presented as an unmixed stereo dub from the original movie three-tracks - with the 'Dialogue' track in one channel and the 'Effects' (in this case, the whirring and beeping of the computers) in the other. Since the selection of dialogue chosen (beginning with "Change one tape, the entire process is regeared...") overlaps slightly from the previous scene, part of the effects of that previous scene are also included. Listen carefully to the dialogue channel and you can hear a tape splice at the exact point at where the scene cuts. The "Tragedy of your times..." line meanwhile appears in the opposite channel - and the effects track is suddenly cut completely.
As we'll see over the next couple of pages, some of the factory scenarios in the script didn't make it to the movie, but some alternative set-ups were also added along the way. In the section above, after our heroes are warned not to "lean over the edge" of the viewing platform, we pan to one of the factory workers desperately hanging onto the end of a winch which is in the process of hoisting him upwards (Davy will use this same winch to his advantage later in the movie).
Alternate IBM Room shot from 'NY Action'
A few frames of an alternate take of the group leaving the IBM room appears in 'NY Action', although it's much the same angle as that used in the movie.
In Head, the crying girl set-up occurs during an extra shot which takes place on the factory floor before they reach the computer room. The latter meanwhile is augmented by two lines of morose, unblinking, funeral-garbed pensioners employed as secretaries, not to mention a couple of odd visuals not in the script, including an ominous cutaway of a butcher hard at work chopping meat amidst the computer equipment, and the startling revelation that one of the secretaries is a mannequin (when her head suddenly falls off). As with the other curious goings-on, only Davy notices any of this happening.
The red sliding doors which close at the close of the scene will make a reappearance later in the movie, doubling as an elevator door when the Monkees emerge from the steam room.
Unless we're very much mistaken, the secretaries also reappear during the final chase - as the gaggle of excited old ladies waving the group off in a flurry of black roses after they escape the conveyor belt and finally drive away from the factory in their dune buggy.
Production photo: Bob Rafelson shows an elderly actor how he'd like him to drink on camera.
The scene which follows directly from the computer room isn't in the original script. As the group are led past some machinery by Grevich/Inspector Shrink - as he drones on boastfully about "thermodynamic process" - an elderly factory worker squats down at what appears to be a water tap to pour himself a refreshing drink - but ends up gulping down something which is either intended to look horribly polluted by industrial waste or possibly even blood.
As ever, only Davy notices anything amiss - although, on this occasion, the 'reaction shot' is conveyed only in body language from the elbows-downward, with the camera remaining at floor-level throughout.
They pass through door into a corridor of offices...a line
of SECRETARIES. Another official walks by. One lens
of his glasses is taped over.
Promotion, packaging, shipping,
and all of this...
Davy sees a MESSENGER BOY tuck a gun into the drawer. Grevich
continues with more dialogue as Davy tries to point the
wierdos [sic] out to Peter. Peter listens intently and only to
situated as closely to their
physical co-ordinates as possible.
They take a sharp right turn to an exit door. As the door
opens, a strange fixed - stare albino NEGRO, suited business
executive walks by. All enter new area except Davy, who
remains looking backward for a moment. Then, Peter opens
But Peter continues on in. Davy grabs the door...hurries in.
LOUD SOUNDS. Huge packaging department - conveyor belts.
Three men operate this entire
department. Two in the daytime,
and one at night. Twenty-four
hours; seven days a week. The
process is self-stimulated, automated
He turns back now toward another exit. The Monkees follow.
Davy watches one package on the belt as it is wrapped in steel
ribbon. It is about to be lowered when suddenly it tips off
center and crashes to the ground, three feet from the OPERATOR.
The man doesn't respond to the crash at all. He turns slowly
and just looks at Davy. Impassive.
Davy hurries into the next room. A man with a limp passes him.
The 'line of SECRETARIES' have of course already appeared in the computer room scene. However, set-ups featuring the 'messenger with the gun,' the 'albino negro,' the 'official with one lens of his glasses taped over' and the 'man with the limp' will not make it to the movie.
Although the factory owner's enthusiastic yet impenetrable descriptions never reveal what Pepton Industries actually manufactures, its corporate logo can be seen emblazoned on the packing crates (of varying shapes and sizes) on the conveyor belt. No wording - just a graphic of an anonymous-looking black box. This is the first time the black box is explicitly referenced in the storyline (later in the movie we will encounter Grevich/Inspector Shrink's heavy mob, all of whom sport that same black box emblem on their uniforms).
In the movie, the packages are somewhat overstacked on the conveyor belt and topple over - almost hitting the group as they pass by on the viewing platform - before landing with a loud crash near a factory employee (although he appears to be a security guard rather than an 'operator'). In response, he simply checks his watch (the scripted direction of impassively looking at Davy appears to have been given to the employee drinking the polluted water earlier).
As already mentioned, The Monkees encounter the conveyor belt again later in the film under less hospitable circumstances.
The question is not one of time-off,
gentlemen. You will come to realize
that soon enough.
Grevich has his back to the exit door. Two men pass by with
what looks like a four-wheeled stretcher.
And to the degree that we understand
these mechanical-electrical devices
to be simple extensions of our brains
to that degree we are able to use the
machines productively. This way, gentlemen.
He holds open the door. The Monkees file by. Davy tries
to talk to Peter but to no avail. The last thing we see, just
a fraction before the cut is Grevich's hand...the forefinger
encased in a black leather case.
Production photo: Bob Rafelson directs the factory scene
Although the script direction seems to indicate that the final shot of the factory floor would feature Grevich/Inspector Shrink standing in front of the exit door, in the film we see the action from the POV of the black box itself.
Grevich/Inspector Shrink's forefinger is indeed encased in a black leather case (of the sort used to protect damaged fingers after medical attention) - which accounts for why he kept that particular hand in his pocket for most of the preceding scene, so as not to spoil the big 'payoff'. However, the motion of him revealing his hand in order to slam the steel door is so brief and subtle that one would hardly notice it - unless one was actually looking hard for such details.
The encased finger is however far more evident later on in the movie - e.g. during the scene where Davy shows how to break out of the box
"Tuff Removes Dandruff"
Suddenly four spot lights find the Monkees. We are in total
black except for four waist shots. CAMERA IS VERY FAR BACK
so that wherever they are, it seems huge. As the lights
hit, their arms go up in startled reaction. "What's
that...what's going on? Etc." A casual voice echoes
from a hand speaker.
All right. Settle down, fellas.
Take your places. Come on...settle
Monkees can't understand what's happening. But throughout
the scene, their bewilderment, fear and physical reaction
is ignored by the voice droning warmly, indifferently --
moving them into position.
Squeeze in the center more, huh?
Fellas...that's it. Now, start
jumping up and down, that's good. More,
no. No. More. Come down a little
They come down a little closer (a few feet compared to the
overall distance from the camera at 25 yards).
Because they're closer, we can now see in the middle of the
blackness, what seems to be a clump of weeds...just barely
outlined. The clump isn't very wide about the width of the
four Monkees abreast, and as they walk through it, around it...
it only comes up to mid-screen -- the voice becomes more
Now, you've got it. Perfect. Up
and down. Fall down. Up. Down.
Don't get closer. Up.
Look, fellas. You're supposed to be
dandruff. O.K.? Again. Good.
Music over. A dandruff jingle. Incomplete. Only about 13
seconds of the middle.
Contrary to the stipulations in the script, the dandruff jingle is actually played in full and proves to be a pitch-perfect pastiche of close-harmonised TV ads, so prevalent on American TV in the 50s and 60s. Interestingly, the vocals and musical backing were also separated on the original movie three-tracks - with the vocals forming part of the Dialogue track. The tersely-edited version of the sequence included on the Head soundtrack LP chooses to present extracts from just the Dialogue track, looping the opening refrain "Dandruff, Dandruff..." acapella (along with the corresponding chatter of Rafelson's director character) a few times.
'Dandruff' - from the German-dubbed edition. [Massive thanks to Rainer Moddemann]
The isolation of Dialogue tracks from Music and Effects was of course pretty handy when it came to redubbing movies for foreign territories. In the case of the German-language edition of Head (which enjoyed at least one broadcast on the now-defunct channel KABEL) a few curious anomalies occur along the way, including stripping the entire 'Can You Dig It' sequence of its vocal track, leaving viewers with an exclusive instrumental version.
Similarly, the vocal track for the 'Dandruff' ad is excised - all bar the final line - allowing the excitably barked orders of the re-voiced director to rather take centre-stage throughout the action. This however can be explained as a technical necessity since the original english dialogue and the jingle vocals had shared the same track.
'Dandruff' jingle vocals isolated from the 5.1 mix