Wednesday, March 06, 2013

American Mary - Made by Canadians, Starring Canadians

American Mary
Pain Is Inevitable, Suffering Is Optional

Directors: Jen & Sylvia Soska
Writers: Jen & Sylvia Soska
Starring: Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk
Runtime: 103 Minutes
From the DVD cover:
"One of the year’s most horrific highlights, American Mary tells the story of broke student Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle) who grows disenchanted with medical school and the doctors she once idolized. The allure of easy money sends a desperate Mary through the gruesome world of underground surgeries but soon finds they leave more marks on her than the so-called freakish clientele..."
The second feature film from the Soska Twins (the duo behind 2009's Dead Hooker in a Trunk), American Mary has it's share of flaws, but overall it's a well done, great looking film with a remarkable lead performance from Katharine Isabelle. American Mary is really Katharine Isabelle's show. She is funny, sexy, and at times even a bit terrifying. She absolutely carries the movie and I really think this film proves that she should be a more well known actress. True, she's appeared in close to 100 films and shows, but she doesn't seem to get many lead parts which is a shame since she clearly has the chops for it.

The downside, Katharine's is really the only noteworthy acting performance in the film. I mean, no one stood out as being particularly awful, but there are no real standouts either. Mary's strange stalker/friend Beatress (played by burlesque dancer Tristan Risk) is okay, but her Betty Boop make-up is odd and distracting and the high pitched Boop voice is a bit hard on the ears. There's actually about one second when we first see Beatress where her appearance is truly unsettling, but it immediately gets less creepy the second she opens her mouth..

The men fare worse. Outside of Lance the metal bouncer, the men in the film were mostly despicable, awful people, especially the surgeons Mary worked with in the beginning. If you are a male surgeon in this movie, you are an evil, rapey person with no redeemable qualities. Mary eventually almosst develops a bit of a relationship with Billy, the guy who runs the strip club, but he's also a pretty sleazy unlikeable dude who constantly looks coked up.

I think fans of movies like May or Excision will really enjoy this. With a lesser actress in the lead this might've been a pretty unremarkable film, but Katharine Isabelle's amazing performance really raises the film to a higher level. Check it out. 6.7/10

American Mary is not available in the US yet, but you can import it from I'll update this once a US release is announced.

Does chicken carcass surgery practice count as gore? Given the premise you would think this would be loaded with gore, but there really isn't much shown. There's a guy with a torn out eye, and a body with hooks in it's back, but that's it apart from a good amount of blood near the end of the movie. The gore is hinted at a lot more than it's shown. Though some viewers might be grossed out by some of the body modification stuff.

There's a decent amount of nudity, but really it's not the kind of nudity that's particularly sexy. She doesn't show any skin, but Katharine is really quite sexy and beautiful in this movie. Katharine clothed is a lot better to look at than any of the naked woman in the movie in my opinion.

Things to watch for:

Do you need to bring a resume to a strip club job interview? 
Heart-shaped Nipples
Eyebrow implants
Double nipplectomy
World's first twin sister director cameo?

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