24 October 2014

Scalpel (1976)
95 min.
Directed by John Grissmer.
With Robert Lansing, Judith Chapman, Arlen Dean Snyder, David Scarroll, Sandy Martin.
Another inheritance, another scam to get it wrongfully.

Psychotic plastic surgeon Dr. Phillip Reynolds (Lansing) is royally pissed off when he discovers the contents of his super wealthy father-in-law's will.

Seems the old geezer has bypassed him entirely, and instead bequeathed his entire fortune - a nice $5 million - to his granddaughter Heather (Chapman), Phillip's daughter.

But for a nip & tuck guru like Lansing, this isn't such a big problem, really. For starters, Heather's been missing for some time and nobody knows where she is...

So, when he discovers a go-go dancer lying near death in the street - her face beaten beyond recognition - he decides to reconstruct the poor woman's mug to look like a dead ringer for Heather...and then the two will split the $5 mil 50/50!

All goes well in the beginning. But then guess who shows up?

That's right. When the real Heather comes home, she discovers her father in an affair with a woman who looks just her...and apparently she's become a liability to them both!

What will happen next?

We were able to follow this a bit better than the similarly-themed Lies (1983). But ultimately this sort of thing should be left in the hands of the Master of Suspense, or Brian De Palma.

Still, Chapman gives a relatively strong performance(s) here and makes this a fun little thriller.

Also known as False Face.

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