- Directed by Howard Rubie
- Starring John Waters, Elizabeth Alexander, Ron Haddrick, Cameron Mitchell
- Written by Ian Coughlan
The Scalp Merchant (1978) -- Among a substantial number of films belonging within the Theatre of Paranoia genre, a common type is that depicting a loner who is confronted by hostility from an entire community, the cause for which is seldom explained from the script's opening pages, forcing the victim to determine the often ambiguous reason upon his own, most generally an unsafe proposition, as is the case with this low budgeted action oriented Australian production.
The film opens with an outrageous prison escape scene with outside assistance, benefiting a sole convict, Eric Bruhr, that entails kidnapping of the head warden along with the Australian Minister of Defence. Bruhr flees to his old homestead ensconced amid rugged mountains of Western Australia where he had secreted the stash from a payroll robbery that placed him behind bars. At this same time, Cliff Rowan (John Waters), a private investigator, or "scalp merchant", free-lancing as an independent contractor (after losing his license) for a large insurance firm, is originally from the same town and has returned there, assigned to locate the hidden loot. Bruhr, whose family resides in the community, is more welcome there than is Cliff, as the latter discovers through numerous attacks made upon him by means of guns, explosives, falling trees, and large vehicles, but curiosity and doggedness enable him to remain focused upon his search for the missing funds.
There seemingly are other parties involved in the hunt, but after a long-time friend of Cliff, Riley (Cameron Mitchell), who has remained loyal to him, is mistakenly killed by a bomb meant for Rowan, the local townspeople display a remarkable unanimity in their urge to expel the investigator, whose only remaining allies will be, not surprisingly, attractive young women.
The Scalp Merchant DVD is offered as a compact edition. This transfer is manufactured on demand and is presented on premium DVD-R with thermal disc print in a clear plastic wallet. Important: This title has been manufactured from the best-quality video master (rated 9/10) currently available and has not been remastered or restored.