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20th Anniversary DVD cover
Directed by Fred Olen Ray
Produced by T.L. Lankford
(as The Eel)
Screenplay by Fred Olen Ray
Story by T.L. Lankford
Fred Olen Ray
John Ray
Starring Jo-Ann Robinson
Richard Hench
Roger Maycock
Music by Drew Neumann
Eric Rasmussen
Cinematography Larry Van Loon
Cynthia Webster
Edited by John Barr
Distributed by 21st Century Film Corporation
Release date
  • 1983 (1983)
Running time
82 min
Country United States
Language English

Scalps is a 1983 American horror film directed by Fred Olen Ray that concerns a vengeful Native American spirit.


Six college archeology students work on a dig in the California desert, despite the warnings of a professor and the town drunk. When the group digs around in an Indian burial ground for artifacts, they unleash the evil spirit of Black Claw. The spirit possesses one of the group and begins slaughtering them one by one.


  • Jo-Ann Robinson as D.J.
  • Richard Hench as Randy/Black Claw
  • Roger Maycock as Kershaw Ellerbe
  • Frank McDonald as Ben Murphy
  • Carol Sue Flockhart as Louise Landon
  • Barbara Magnusson as Ellen Corman
  • Kirk Alyn as Professor Machen
  • Carroll Borland as Dr. Sharon Reynolds
  • Cynthia Hartline as Ann
  • Forrest J Ackerman as Professor Trentwood


The film was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by 21st Century Film Corporation beginning in December 1983.[1]

The film was released in the U.S. on a double feature video format by Continental Video alongside another feature - The Slayer. It was cut by five minutes or so, in order to make room for the second feature, but all the gruesome scenes and violence are intact.[2]

The film was released on DVD by Olen Ray's Retromedia Entertainment in 2004.[3] This release is currently out of print.

The film was loosely remade in 2004 as Blood Desert by Stegath Dorr.


  1. ^ "Company Credits for Scalps". Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  2. ^ Ziemba, Joseph A (September 1, 2005)"The Slayer (1982) VHS review". Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Scalps (DVD)". Retrieved 2011-04-12. 

External links[edit]