Saturday, December 5, 2015

"Frankenhooker"(1990)d/Frank Henenlotter

Frankenstein's creation was never my favorite movie monster(despite the fact that I wear his boots all the time), to be truthful, I've always been more of a werewolf guy. You know, beast within, howling at the moon, at the ladies' throats and so forth? At least until the first time I saw Frankenhooker, that is, the fourth full-length feature from Frank Henenlotter and Co. One thing I've always dug about his films, is the effortless way he's able to blend horror and absurd comedy on challenged budgets into substantial genre art. Nowhere is that more evident than tonight's review, a collaboration with original editor of Fangoria magazine, the steadfast 'Uncle' Bob Martin, who adapted the Brain Damage(1988) screenplay into a novelization, as well as penning the initial drafts for tonight's film and Basket Case 3: The Progeny(1991). The effort stars the deadpan James Lorinz, (who woprophiles will remember as the wisecracking doorman in cult classic, Street Trash, three years earlier) as the resident mad electrician, and the savory former Playboy Playmate/ Penthouse Pet of the Year, Patty Mullen (who really proves she's more than another gorgeous face) turns in an exceptional and highly memorable comic performance as the titular patchwork(and partially purple) prostitute.

"Hey Ma, I've invented the webcam!!! Come make a duckface in front of it."
We watch in horror (not really...) as electrician/med school dropout/inventor, Jeff Franken (James Lorinz) provides his father-in-law to be with a remote controlled lawn mower that naturally goes awry and fatally cuts down his pudgy pretzel-chewing fiancee, Elizabeth (Patty Mullen), into pieces. Obsessed with resurrecting his lost love, he spends long hours in experimentation when he isn't getting scolded by his mother (Louise "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" Lasser) or self-medicating against migraine headaches with a power drill. He's managed to steal some of his late girlfriend's more important parts from the county morgue, and keeps them dormant and immersed in a preservation/rejuvenation fluid until the later date on which he can piece her back together. Having spent many nights cruising Manhattan's forty-deuce in search of acceptable replacement parts, he arranges a hotel room party with several striking hookers from the stable of a highly possessive and equally muscular pimp named Zoro (Joseph Gonzales), only to kill them off after they sample a fatal form of "super crack" he's developed that blows them into pieces. He hoards the parts into plastic garbage bags and heads back into New Jersey, with much work to do...

"Jersey Boy"(James Lorinz) is hella ambitious: I still haven't replaced the LED lights in my digital Detroit Lions helmet alarm clock from the seventies.
Back at the lab, he sorts through random asses and tits, etc.,  for the perfect combination to add to his former girlfriend (whose disembodied head he writes bad poetry to and even wines and dines on occasion) and after piecing her back together with well-placed stitches, sends her lifeless form through the garage roof into the heart of an electrical storm, which naturally brings her back to life, but there's one or two slight problems Jeffery has to deal with.The first is the muscle-bound mack Zoro who's looking to exact bloody revenge upon him for blowing up his best bitches, the second is the foreign body parts that comprise Elizabeth's patchwork frame have somehow retained the memory of their previous lives, being sex workers. This results in his Frankensteinian fiancee impulsively stomping back off to the Big Apple to get back to work, after knocking her would-be saviour unconscious. One of her new tricks explodes into pieces as he reaches orgasm. Oh my. Can Jeffery reach Elizabeth in time and fix her faulty flaws before Zoro spots her partially purple ass and lays claim to the pieces that were once his? I'll save the wild finale for you to discover on your own, once you've picked up a copy for yourselves, which should be as soon as possible, You'll love it.

Franken full of despair, the whores 'sploding in air, gave proof through the night, that super crack had been therrrrrre...
The first VHS release of the movie came with an optional talking box that asked you if you wanted a date if you pressed a subway lamp on the poster artwork. I bet copies that still work are pretty rare these days. If you're a stickler for detail, you'll surely notice horror host extraordinaire who voiced Henenlotter's Aylmer in 1988's Brain Damage, John Zacherle himself, as a weatherman on television here. Beverly Bonner also reprises her Casey character from Basket Case in a cameo. Among the, errr, working girls... you'll note the likes of December 1982's Playboy Playmate, Charlotte Kemp (later Helmkamp), December 1988 Penthouse Pet of the Month, Kimberly Taylor, and Nubian porno delight Heather Hunter, who you'll no doubt recall from her roles in things like Coming on America (1989) and Screw the Right Thing (1990). The ungainly practical effects were purposely provided by Gabe Bartalos and company, and I got it. Horror comedy of the highest order, for sure, as I could easily spend the whole paragraph waxing nostalgically about all the pleasure I've gotten from Frank Henenlotter's movies over the years, from that first sixty-five dollar Basket Case (1982) VHS I bought at the mall as a teenager, to 2008's Bad Biology (and not excluding his excellent work with Something Weird over the years, by any means). Four Wops on the rating scale, and my highest recommendation, for sure.

 photo frankenhooker-1_zps30bf8c30.jpg
I was gonna give you a purple nurple, but I see you've already got a couple, baby...
 photo nu4w_zps43affeb5.jpg

No comments:

Connect with Facebook