Horror on the Lens: Hands of a Stranger (dir by Newt Arnold)

After concert pianist Vernon Paris (James Stapleton) loses his hands in an auto accident, he is the recipient of a double hand transplant.  Unfortunately, Vernon isn’t happy with having a stranger’s hands and he fears that he’ll never be able to play the piano again.  Even worse, he soon becomes convinced that the hands are evil and are trying to force him to commit murders.

But is it the hands or Vernon’s own unstable mind that’s responsible his actions?

This 1962 horror film was the fourth adaptation of the Maurice Renard’s The Hands of Orlac.  As opposed to other film adaptations of Renard’s novel, Hands of Stranger plays up the ambiguity of whether the recipient of the hands is truly possessed or if he’s just using the hands as an excuse to indulge in his dark side.