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on 4 March 2008
What more can anyone really say? With a title that always brings a schoolboy smirk to my face and some of the most ridiculous scenes in a modern horror film that I can recall - ''Frankenhooker'' is the perfect midnight movie for fans of subversive and rather silly cinema.
Director Frank Henenlotter (recently only returning from MIA with the eagerly awaited BAD BIOLOGY) has always made movies that walk the line of absurdity. From his ''Basket Case'' trilogy to his drug addiction metaphor splatter epic ''Brain Damage'', Henenlotter's movies have always been horror comedies with an undercurrent of an actual idea behind them. Not just 'face value' horror pap - actually, something going on behind all the rubber and blood. Frankenhooker, although not as clever as something like 'Brain Damage' - does work on many levels, but also does what it says on the tin. It has a woman reanimated as a hooker. Which for me, is what makes this director very special.
The story has Jeffrey Franken (played to perfection by James Lorinz) overcome by the death of his fiance (Patty Mullen) in a freak lawn mower accident. Distraught to the fact that his love no longer has a body (and only a severed head!), he decides to re-animate her by collecting body parts of various prostitutes in the vain hope that he can somehow recreate his diseased partner. Along the way, Jeffrey gets involved in 'super crack', a pimp named zorro and many, many ladies of the night. It's all played for laughs and is easily the work of a guy who loves 50s nudie movies and gross out gore and comedy. Its low budget actually helps keep the movie on the seedy side and the cast are pitch perfect in their over the top delivery. Henenlotters' direction is sharp and his screenplay is both funny, playful and ridiculous.
Synapse Films' disc is well produced with a decent transfer and a host of (though short) documentaries and featurettes - one featuring Patty Mullen recollecting the movie and the other with Gabe Bartolas talking about the various effects. The commentary by Henenlotter and Bartolas is both funny and involving. All in all, not the most thought provoking film out there - but, if you are on the lookout for great fun, cheep gore and exploding hookers - this movie is for you. All three of you.