Scalpel (1977)

SCALPEL (1977)
aka False Face
Article 3546 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-5-2011
Posting Date: 4-30-2011
Directed by John Grissmer
Featuring Robert Lansing, Judith Chapman, Arlen Dean Snyder
Country: USA
What it is: Southern melodrama

A plastic surgeon rescues a mutilated stripper with the intent of changing her face to that of his daughter’s, who disappeared some time ago. The purpose: to get his hands on a fortune inherited by his daughter. However, complications arise…

The plastic surgery doppelganger plot doesn’t really make this a horror movie, but the fact that the plastic surgeon isn’t just unscrupulous but downright insane does add some horror touches to the plot. It has its fair share of twists; I thought I had anticipated one twist, but it turns out I was dead wrong, and I like a movie that can surprise me. The performances are solid, and the story is interesting, but things do get a little dull at times, and I did get a little annoyed with a couple of the fake-out scenes thrown in on occasion. Nevertheless, this is a mildly engaging little melodrama.

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