“Scalpel” is a Southern Gothic tale about a doctor trying to find his daughter while helping another woman. When the doctor gets cut out of his rich father’s will, he cooks up a plan. The grandfather left the doctor’s missing daughter all of his money. In order to get his hands on the $5 million in play, the doctor uses early plastic surgery to rebuild this new woman’s face. Now, the duo are passing her off as the missing kid so they can collect the money. Yeah, it’s that kind of movie.
What makes it even more fun is seeing a young Sandy Martin show up roughly 30 years before playing Mac’s mom on Sunny. The thriller nature of the film is quite fun, even if the movie starts to damper after an hour. The film was on VHS secondary labels for ages before it disappeared in the 1990s. I’m totally thrilled to see Arrow dipping into the well this far. It’s just that the movie is lesser horror from the mid 1970s.
That being said, it’s something to experience at least once. Hell, you might like the twist.
- 1.85:1 1080p transfer
- LPCM 1.0 MONO
RELEASE DATE: 2/20/18
The Plot Thus Far
US television staple Robert Lansing (Star Trek, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone) stars as a deranged surgeon in this twisty-turny psychological thriller from Blood Rage director John Grissmer.
In Scalpel, Lansing plays Dr. Phillip Reynolds, a man whose daughter Heather (Judith Chapman, As the World Turns, General Hospital) has run away from home a year prior following the suspicious death of her boyfriend. When he happens across a young woman one night, her face beaten beyond recognition, the unhinged Reynolds sees his an opportunity to put his trusty scalpel to use – hatching a plan to “reconstruct” her face in the image of his missing daughter, and so claim her sizeable inheritance.
Photographed by celebrated cinematographer Edward Lachman, who would go on to serve as DP on the likes of Erin Brockovich and The Virgin Suicides, Scalpel is an exemplary slice of Southern-fried gothic, filled finally rescued from VHS obscurity in this revelatory new Blu-ray edition from Arrow Video.