Writer/Director: Frank Henenlotter
Cast: James Lorinz, Joanne Ritchie, Patty Mullen, J.J. Clark, Carissa Channing
Synapse Films / Unrated / Regions A, B, C / 1.78:1 Widescreen / DTS-HD 5.1 and 2.0 / 85 minutes / BUY FROM TLACULT
Disk Extras: Audio commentary with director Frank Henenlotter and make-up effects designer Gabe Bartalos / Featurette: A Salad That Was Once Named Elizabeth / Featurette: A Stitch in Time: The Make-Up Effects of Frankenhooker / Featurette: Turning Tricks: Jennifer Delora Remembers Frankenhooker / Jennifer Delora’s Frankenhooker photo scrapbook / Theatrical trailer
Jeffery Franken and Elizabeth Shelley are madly (in his case “madly” is literal) in love but, of course, they have their problems. Her parents think he is weird (um, well, he IS a mad scientist) and that she eats too much. In a freak accident Liz is turned into flesh mulch as Jeffy’s remote control lawnmower that he made for her dad goes haywire and mows her over. Anyone have a good rake? Of course this doesn’t mean the end of a good piece of ass for Jeffrey as he surreptitiously gathers up the “usable” parts of his lawnmowered love. For what you ask? Hey, look at the name of the movie, his and her last name (Mary Shelley ring a bell?)… he’s going to rebuild her body and re-animate it! But where to get the remaining body parts… hmmmmmmm… the mall? Nah, too many teenie-boppers and Cougars. Church? No way, too many whackos.
I’ve got it, he can get hookers in Times Square! But which one(s)? If you are going to do it, do it right, so needs the perfect legs, ass, and tits. So Jeffery hosts some street walkers in a hotel room and accidentally gives a gaggle of 42nd street hizzoes some Super Crack (that’s right, fucking SUPER CRACK) to smoke. The side effects are, well, explosive. After they erupt into sexy bits and pieces (how convenient!), he gathers them up to build Elizabeth a bodacious new bod. But using the bodies of cracked-out, dirty, pre-Giuliani NYC whores can’t be good, can it? For Jeffery, who gets his just desserts in the end; maybe not. For the viewer of this completely fucked up masterpiece of carnage, guffaws and sewn on tits; for fucking sure.
Writer/director Frank Henenlotter (Brain Damage and the Basket Case trilogy) is a demented genius. If you have seen any of his other movies, you know what to expect. His signature mix of scummy New York settings, crazy cast of characters, wonderful gore and make-up effects, garish neon colors and sophomoric toilet humor is on full display here in this wonderful classic. It’s one of those movies you will watch over and over and laugh like Beavis and Butthead at every crude and often ridiculously obvious joke. James Lorinz who had a bit part in another classic low-budget film Street Trash as “Jeffery” is a fanatic mix of everyman and a complete unhinged nutcase but 1987 “Penthouse Pet of the Year” Patty Mullen as “Elizabeth/Frankenhooker” steals the show. Her quirky facial tics, comic timing and bodacious body make her abbreviated acting career (I believe she only had one other film role?) all the more sad.
A few years ago Unearthed Films put out a pretty nice “Special Uncut Edition” DVD with all of the same extras as this blu-ray but with the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The Synapse 1080p disk is 1.78:1 (16×9) which, to my untrained eye, looks to not lose any picture info. The research I did on these two aspect ratios basically said that movies are often shot in 1.85 and changed to 1.78 to better fit the HDTVs of today. I decided to run through both the Unearthed DVD and the blu-ray for picture comparison purposes and came up with basically one conclusion; the DVD is really nice, with rich colors, nice contrasts and surprising clarity but the blu-ray does what it was made for… amps that shit up x10. The biggest difference is the image clarity and details which look really amazing.
So, run along and pick this up November 8, 2011! And while you’re out, go to your local ghetto, pick up a couple of stinky whores, some super crack and enjoy it with your new friends.