I was recently accused of not liking
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To an extent, I can see where they’re coming from. Sometimes I can’t enjoy a movie that’s simply entertaining, especially if it suffers from serious construction and/or narrative flaws. Guess I’m a bit of a douche like that.
Said rampant pessimism in mind, I flipped on FRANKENHOOKER with an open mind, an open heart, and an open fly (unrelated). But when it’s all said and done, Bastards, I shan’t bullshit you.
I didn’t like it.
I always enjoyed this bit.
The story is pretty basic: An aspiring mad scientist tries to reconstruct his shredded fiancée after a freak lawnmower accident. Jeffrey Franken (lol?) decides the best route is to use choice parts from hookers he dispatches via Super Crack (which, like fully loaded Waffle House hash browns, forces the consumer to explode).
I know what you’re thinking. So far, FRANKENHOOKER sounds pretty fucking awesome, right?
I’ll admit, the premise is strong – it ain’t Shakespeare, but perfect for campy genre fun. But that’s the thing: FRANKENHOOKER isn’t fun. I’m not saying it’s dark and bleak, pushes social and ethical issues, or some other pretentious horseshit. We’re talking about Frank Henenlotter, not Darren Aronofsky – and I mean that as a compliment to Frank. Simply stated: I was fucking bored.
While watching the flick, I got the impression they were going for a RE-ANIMATOR vibe, maybe with the occasional dash of classic Troma. Sadly, it came up short in both. RE-ANIMATOR is non-stop entertainment: funny, kinetic, disgusting, and intelligent. The jokes in FRANKENHOOKER are tired, the action lifeless, and there’s nothing witty or subversive going on whatsoever.
Classic Troma is known for being stupid, over-the-top in both gore and raunchy humor, and embracing their trashy sensibilities. FRANKENHOOKER doesn’t do that either. It has plenty of characters and scenarios that would fit seamlessly into a movie by Uncle Lloyd, but they never capitalize. Hell, even the scene where half-naked prostitutes are dancing about a hotel room, smoking Super Crack, making out, and eventually exploding is rather pedestrian. How can you fuck that up?
The real reason for High Definition.
Mild gore and stagnant humor equates to b-movie fail. Also, if your lead character – again, a mad scientist– has the charisma of llama baunch, your FRANKENHOOKER just ain’t gonna work. Imagine if Bruce Abbott played Herbert West instead of Jeffery Combs, but played it just as vanilla as the Dan Cain character. That’s your mad scientist from FRANKENHOOKER.
All in all, a disappointment.
For those diehard FRANKENHOOKER fans out there, the Blu is pretty sharp. The picture is crisp and basically flawless. The music seemed a little louder than the dialogue, but that could’ve been my shitty TV. Hands down, the best feature on the disc is the interview with Jennifer Delora. It’s a bit long, but pretty entertaining and informative.
In summary, if you’re in the mood for some Frank Henenlotter, I strongly suggest you stick with the classics – BRAIN DAMAGE and the BASKET CASE series are good stuff.
VERDICT: SKIP IT!
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1
DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround
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
The Blu drops on 11/8.
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