28th Oct2021

‘Doctor Carver’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Chelsea Greenwood, Zuza Tehanu, Mia Blackman, Ricardo Freitas, Sofia Lacey, Julia Quayle, Andrea Richardson, Danielle Scott, Amanda-Jade Tyler, Tom Jeffrey, Shawn C. Phillips | Written by Louisa Warren, Shannon Holiday | Directed by Louisa Warren

Doctor Carver, Conjuring the Plastic Surgeon, Conjuring the Demon Surgeon... it seems no-one can decide on a title for this supernatural plastic surgery tale. It also seems no-one can decide how far to take the gore in this film either – which has surfaced online in both a 84 and 88 minute version. The former on the V Horror YouTube channel, which has become home to a number of Scott Jeffrey produced horrors in recent months and the latter on Amazon Prime, where renting the film gets you four whole minutes more of the film – mainly comprising of gore.

As GavCrimson pointed out in his review, which pointed out the initial discrepancy between version of the film online, the censored version really does feel like you’re watching a film from the James Ferman era of the BBFC, with a rape scene early on in the movie (which is detestable yes, but also a big part of one characters motivation for what follows) censored so much that footage is looped and you can clearly see the rough edit where it occurs. I don’t know if the censorship is on YouTube’s part or the filmmakers or distributors but if it’s the latter it seems an odd choice to cut the gore – right from the very first scene, a prologue of all things – in a movie that is about a demonic plastic surgeon… you’d EXPECT to see some gore in a horror film about surgery!

In terms of plot, Doctor Carver tells the story of four women who all, for various reasons, want to go under the knife and have plastic surgery. Tonya (Chelsea Greenwood; Dragon Fury, Dinosaur Hotel) as model who’s abused by a photographer both verbally and physically and the subject of online abuse – all of which she attributes, wrongly, to the size of her nose. Belle (Amanda-Jade Tyler; Conjuring the Genie, Bats) is feels that age catching up with her appearance; Dina (Julia Quayle) feels plastic surgery will stop her boyfriend’s wandering eye; whilst Peppa (Sofia Lacey; Amityville Scarecrow, The Leprechaun’s Curse) is a glamour model in search of bigger breasts. And they all take up a ridiculous offer of FREE plastic surgery!

Yes, Doctor Carver is literally a case of “to good to be true” for these women… But then, if the plastic surgery company you go to asks you to perform a seance to conjure up a demon to perform surgery then you probably deserve everything you get. Though as I said in the opener, the situations some of these women have been in – in particular Tonya, whose self-esteem is in the toilet following the abuse from her last photo shoot AND the fact her agent is about to drop her, ending her career as a model – forces them to go along with the ridiculous and dangerous task of conjuring a demonic plastic surgeon.

Said demonic surgeon, played by Zuza Tehanu, seems to be related to Bloody Mary, the demon from another Scott Jeffrey production, as they seem to share the same face. Yes, it looks like recycling is the order of the day when it comes make-up effects in Doctor Carver… OK, maybe not recycled but you can’t help but feel like one effect inspired the other – though it seems this doctors appearance gets more grotesque as the film goes on! Our titular surgeon is not alone in their devilish endeavours though, oh no. Nurse Alexa (Danielle Scott; The Curse of Humpty Dumpty), the one who approaches the women in the first place, is a sadistic angel of death who seems to relish in the brutality and destruction wrought on the surgeon’s victims – more than the doctor it seems; someone who, whilst exacting vengeance on their patients, decries how stupid they are for even contemplating surgery and putting themselves through the risk!

Having just sat through director Louisa Warren’s The Leprechaun’s Curse I was honestly taken aback by Doctor Carver. It is worlds apart from that film, which was absurdly camp, using the tropes of the horror genre to tell a story that talks about a much larger issue: societies focus on beauty and appearance and how that can affect one’s self-esteem, body image and overall mental health. Oh and it lathers on the gore too – much moreso than a lot of the recent low-budget British genre films we’ve reviewed. But being a film that deals with plastic surgery, a gruesome enough procedure in real life never mind a horror film, the gore is rather apt.

Much like The Curse of Humpty Dumpty, which was also produced by Scott Jeffrey, Doctor Carver is both a great horror movie and a brilliant metaphor – touching on the desire to fulfil ones own wants and needs; the pressure to conform to societies vision of beauty; and the very selfish nature of modern society – all wrapped up in director Louisa Warren’s best work to date.

**** 4/5

Doctor Carver is available to rent or buy UNCUT on Amazon Prime now.

One Response to “‘Doctor Carver’ VOD Review”

  • Heywood Jablome

    Worst 4/5 review I’ve ever seen. The movie was utter crap. Dismal acting, humorous special effects, garbage lighting. Moral of the story was kinda decent, I guess?