Face of Terror (1962)

Written by slayrrr666 on March 16, 2017

Attempting to solve a medical conundrum, a doctor tests a special serum to restore a disfigured woman's beauty through a secret surgery only to later realize not only does the serum wear off but his victim is an escaped mental patient and forces him to try to stop her.

This one wasn't all that bad of a horror/thriller. Once this one gets going, among it's better qualities is the fact that there's a rather great deal of fun to be had with the effects of the surgery. Although slightly neutered, it comes off rather well in the context of the story and features some rather fun times throughout here with the different after-effects of the operation showing her treatment and recuperation along the way that delivers just enough to give us an idea something is off about the procedure and brings in some rather nice and welcomed elements in this section. From the worries about the liquid drying too quickly to the differences in body temperature causing an adverse reaction to the process, this section really drives home a rather grisly set-up to the later realization that she's deteriorating and coming undone while she continues on with her newfound freedom the lifestyle currently gives her. The ways in which she goes to keep that identity a secret from others, often resorting to shocking murders to cover up her crimes, this carries the later half along with the police investigation to find her after the escape using the different means of evidence to find her. This does enhance the pace leading into the finale in her confrontation in his laboratory from the varying threats and brawling to the surprise manner in which it concludes itself, which along with the grotesque look of the disfigurement makes for the film's positives. There's not a whole lot really wrong here, as the film's main flaw featured here is the change in storyline from the other efforts from that time-period does make this one stumble with it's pacing. Bringing onboard the plotline about her escape into the world at large and not keeping it focused on him killing for attempts to perfect the formula, there's not a whole lot of actual action to be found here for a large part of this one. This focus on the investigation instead doesn't give this one a ton of interesting things to do and simply following her on the run trying to stay out of the police's custody that never amounts to anything and really lets the film get dragged out far more than necessary. It never really keeps to a consistent pace and causes the film to feel far longer than it really should without having much going on around the main story, and while it does enhance the finale with the contrast against the other scenes, for the most part, it's not a big factor going on around here. Along with the quite shortsighted and abrupt ending that just stops the film suddenly, these here are really all that hold it back.

Today's Rating/PG: Violence.