Monday, February 11, 2013

Frankenhooker - Now A Major Motion Picture Review

I'm trying to start doing a lot more movie reviews here, focus less on music since it's become a bit of a pain lately keeping track of everything. 

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Writers: Frank Henenlotter, Robert Martin
Stars:James Lorinz, Patty Mullen, Joseph Gonzalez
Runtime:85 Minutes
Rated: R for Nudity, Lawn Mower Dismemberment, Graphic Bunion Extraction, Smoking

Jeffrey Franken - full-time mook and electric company worker, part-time mad scientist and inventor. Elizabeth Shelley - Jeff's "portly" girlfriend, occupation...not mentioned. Referred to as fat numerous times, despite not being fat.

Like Wayne Szalinski in Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Jeff has created a remote control lawn mower as a gift for Elizabeth's father. Unlike Wayne, Jeff's lawn mower kinda, sorta runs over and dismembers his overweight girlfriend. However, despite being chunked to death by a bitchin' remote control lawn mower*, Elizabeth's head remains completely un-mangled. Jeff is able to procure her unscathed cranium without police knowing about it. If he can find a female body without a head, he should be in business.

So after a montage of Jeff making a Frankenhooker blueprint while muttering to himself he heads into an even seedier looking than usual 1990's Jersey City. With a wad of money and the help of a body-building pimp named Zorro Jeff is able to spend an hour with several of Zorro's best girls (I'd hate to see this guy's worst girls). Jeff's plan is to find the girl whose body has the least amount of gross moles and cigarette burns, kidnap her, lop her head off, screw Elizabeth's on and zap her ass back to life.

On his venture to the city Jeff has brought with him another of his creations, a super powered form of crack called...Super Crack. A crack so super it makes things explode. This guy only seems to invent terrifying, terrifying things. If there is such a thing as an inventing license, this man's should be revoke at once. Upon discovering the Super Crack in Jeff's bag, the ladies of the night go bananas, kick Jeff's ass and smoke up. 30 seconds later, in a hysterical scene that rivals the peeping scene from Animal House, the hookers all go tits up and explode. Of course, since the budget is on the low side, the exploding bodies are represented by various mannequin body parts which are sent flying around the room. A leg destroys a lamp, a butt cheek bounces off the walls, a flying head knocks Zorro unconscious.

So instead of one dead hooker body, Jeff ends up with bags full of parts. (Except torsos, where the hell does he end up getting a torso?) After sorting through the parts and picking out the most symmetrical knockers and filing bunions off of the least smelly feet Jeffrey sews a body together, slaps an Elizabeth head on this strewn together monstrosity, and success! Resurrection!

For some reason, despite having her own brain, Liz promptly adopts some very hooker-like mannerisms. She immediately knocks Jeff out, heads to the city and starts aggressively offering up dates to short, fat business men. Jeff must track her down before she can commit any sex murders.

Not Frank Henenlotter's best, but I adore this movie. James Lorinz's deadpan performance as Jeffrey really makes the movie for me. As good as he is, I also have to give Patty Mullen credit, her performance as Frankenhooker is great as well. This chick makes some of the goofiest faces you will ever see. I'm talking beyond Jim Carrey in Rubberface goofy, it's amazing. Despite what you would assume, this really isn't a very gory movie. Sure there are body parts everywhere but not much blood and guts, I actually consider this movie to be almost a romantic comedy. Make sure your date has a weird sense of humor first though.

I have been a fan of this movie since the early 90's, staying up late watching movies I wasn't old enough to be watching so I guess I have a bit of nostalgia for the movie, so I might be over-hyping it a bit. So first time viewers may need to lower their expectations but fans of stuff like Bride of Re-Animator, or any of Henenlotter's stuff, I think you'll find something to enjoy here.
I highly recommend the Synapse blu-ray.The transfer is stunning, and in addition, it's pretty loaded with features...

Audio Commentary with Director Frank Henenlotter and Make-Up Effects Designer, Gabe Bartalos
A Salad That Was Once Named Elizabeth - Patty Mullen Featurette
A Stitch In Time: The Make-Up Effects Of Frankenhooker - Featurette
Turning Tricks: Jennifer Delora Remembers Frankenhooker - Featurette
Jennifer Delora's Frankenhooker Photo Scrapbook - Featurette
Theatrical Trailer
Widescreen 1.78:1 Color
Screen Resolution:
Audio: (more info)

*If there are any lawn mower company executives reading this, fat people would pay handsomely for this technology.

Things to watch for:

The world's only severed head headbutt
A platter of boobs
A trashcan filled with legs

1 comment:

J.R. said...

I remember seeing this late night on Cinemax i was thinking "What the hell is this crap? It's awesome!" LOL


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