Nazis on ice. Well, stored in the refrigerator, at any rate. The Frozen Dead formed one half of a particularly paltry pairing from Goldstar Films in the mid-sixties, with director Herbert J. Leder also responsible for It! starring Roddy McDowall. His imported fading star for this earlier picture was Dana Andrews, playing a German scientist hidden away in the English countryside, having kept a number of military personnel in cryogenic stasis since World War Two, awaiting the day when he can thaw them out in a bid to revive the glory days of the Third Reich. Unexpectedly, his young niece and her best friend turn up at his mansion (isn’t that always the way, mad scientists?) and begin poking around in places they shouldn’t, resulting in the lopping-off of one unfortunate girl’s head.
Cheap-looking, slow moving and very, very silly, The Frozen Dead is nevertheless memorable for the frequent scenes depicting the uniformed corpse-popsicles, the horde of failed zombie experiments huddled in the basement, and the wall of severed, electronically-controlled arms (about as far removed from the poetry of Cocteau’s La Belle Et La Bete as possible, despite the visual similarities!). As for the disembodied head, shot in an eerie blue-green light and with perspex-encased pulsating brain on display, this proves to be remarkably affecting, a real testament to the performance of Kathleen Breck who manages to convey the desperation, hopelessness and tragedy of her predicament to genuine effect. Deservedly taking centre stage during the film’s climax, Breck uses the power of her mind to control the adjacent row of dangling, strangling limbs before featuring in a quite stunning closing shot, mouthing the words “Bury me” over and over again to the fade-out.