Friday, May 15, 2009

Frankenhooker (1990) Grade - .3

Frankenhooker (1990)
Grade: .3

Apparently this is supposed to be the B-movie to end all B-movies. It’s one of those films that came out in the late 80’s early 90’s that prides itself on being purposely bad. It embraces its’ low budget and creates something purposely campy and tasteless for our enjoyment in the hopes that it will become a cult classic. Well, it has become a cult classic but that does not mean it is good. This movie flat out sucks. I see what it is trying to do but for me personally it fails. For many reasons. Thankfully I was watching this and many other films with Amanda which made the experience of watching it enjoyable which at least is something I can take from it. At least someone else shared in my pain. I had been meaning to see this for years. Let us get started.
The entire first hour is set up. Elizabeth is run over by a lawnmower that Jeffrey Franken, her husband, made. He is a scientist I guess; I really have no idea though. SO she dies in the first 5 minutes. In that time we learn about how she is apparently fat and Patty Mullen, the former Penthouse Pet who plays her is clearly wearing a fat suit and a very unconvincing one at that. Her acting as Elizabeth reads more poorly than a bad soap star but as we will see later it is her performance as Frankenhooker that will bring about the highlight of the film and the one of two very slightly redeeming factors that the movie has to offer.

The film has the right tone. Amanda mentioned it being similar in tone with Dead Alive which is so true. It’s that low budget campy uncomfortable feeling that films of this nature emit. The difference is that Dead Alive is all possible kinds of awesome and Frankenhooker is all possible kinds of suck. A lot of it is because the film is just boring and unfunny. Like I said the first hour is set up and the movie is only 85 minutes. I am going to have to say that the biggest or most overt reason that I hated the movie was because of James Lorinz as Jeffrey. This guy is annoying, boring, obnoxious and just totally unappealing and uninteresting. He is a hybrid of Andrew McCarthy (only awful) and Randall from Clerks (only awful). Since the first hour of the film is essentially Jeffrey talking to himself, you at least need someone that is interesting to watch and funny if the movie decides it is going to rely solely on him. This leads to the other big problem which is the screenplay which has absolutely nothing going for it. It takes way too short a time for Elizabeth to die and then it takes way too long a time for Jeffrey to set his plan in motion because he spends so much time talking to himself and going over the plan in his head and developing his ideas. Then the movie dissolves into a really annoying segment in which Jeffrey examines in detail all of the whores that he buys to he can figure out the one with the perfect body for Elizabeth. I was fully prepared for this movie to be completely tasteless but oh my god this scene lasted like 15 minutes no joke. Also apparently whores are ridiculously vicious and only care about crack, money and cock. Lovely. So anyways finally they all take super crack and explode. Yes you read that right. Then he creates Elizabeth finally. And this part contains really the only goodness in the film. Compared to the rest of the movie, the segments with Elizabeth came like a breath of fresh air. Even though they basically were just comprised of Elizabeth having the combined mind of the whores and repeating lines that the whores said earlier in the film and then making men explode (3 to be exact) when they either kiss, fuck or go down on her. I was also disappointed that all of the deaths were a result of explosions but not even bloody gross explosions, just explosions. It was underwhelming. Then Elizabeth becomes herself and Jeffrey and her talk and Zorro the pimp comes and cuts his head off and then Zorro is taken by the fused body parts of the remaining body parts which was actually the coolest part of the movie. It felt slightly Cronenbergesque which is always appreciating on some level. Then Elizabeth resurrects Jeffrey but because he can only resurrect females, he comes back with a female body that Elizabeth made for him and the film ends with him screaming as he discovers this. The End. The last ten minutes were by far the best part of the movie; by far. The female body on Jeffrey made me feel like I was watching an adult version of Weinerville so that was cool. I liked Patty Muller as Frankenhooker because in these scenes she actually went for it. She was not afraid to look stupid and it paid off in the only way being in a movie like this could; she made me chuckle to myself a couple of times. I mean she is still awful but I appreciate the effort and she was entertaining to watch. In the meantime outside of this and the last 10 minutes this movie was for me a failed attempt to actually be what it wanted to be. It had the tone, the ridiculous concept, the nudity, the bad acting, the short run time. But it was boring, unfunny, annoying, trying too hard and ultimately a complete failure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

just watched this awful film, and i have to agree

james lorinz was horrible and i think that he is responsible for me not liking the film