[UK] SCALPEL Blu-ray Review

Synopsis from the Arrow Video Website:

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.


Picture Quality

Picture quality is sharp, with little to no grain or drops in quality throughout the 95 minute run time. The colours on display look sharp and natural. This Blu-Ray release comes with two options in regards to viewing, with the “Edward Lachman Grade” providing heavy focus on warm green and yellow tones. The “Arrow Grade” has the more traditional look you would expect from your average restoration.

Sound Quality

The audio format for this release is PCM 1.0. Speech and sound are crystal clear, with no over bearing background noise or distortion. The score for the movie is well presented and sounds clear without drowning out other sound. As with the Picture quality, there is little to no drop in sound quality throughout the films run time.

The Specs

  • Region Code: B
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Disc Format: 1080P HD Colour
  • Audio Format: PCM 1.0
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Running Time: 95 Minutes


Special Features

  • Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original Uncompressed Mono Audio and Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary by film historian Richard Harland Smith
  • Brand new crew interviews
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by Bill Ackerman

Scalpel is available directly from the Arrow Video Store, as well as Amazon and Zavvi.


Will you be checking this release out in the near future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

About the author

Horror Fan, DC encyclopaedia, Collector, and Student. Trying to look like I know what I'm doing.