The Hands of a Stranger fuse nicely, but there’s one unfortunate side effect: Vernon now tickles the ivories with as much finesse as a kindergartener who forgot his Ritalin. Make that two side effects: He also kinda sorta becomes a killer.
In the Hands of writer/director Newt Arnold (Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Bloodsport), the 1962 chiller is played rather melodramatically and with stiff performances, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing when dealing with black-and-white B movies. After all, there’s a reason the transplant-gone-amok premise keeps popping up in horror films such as Mad Love, The Hand and Body Parts: Because it never gets old, and at the very least, it’s going to be fun. Arnold hits his apex in a nightmarish sequence at a carnival that looks like it influenced a young Tim Burton.
Although free of extra features, Warner Archive’s MOD DVD sports a better print than various public-domain editions out there. If nothing else, Hand it to them for that. —Rod Lott