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A wacky doctor decides to bring his fiancee back to life after a lawnmower accident. He uses cocaine addicted hookers to get most of the errr.. parts.
For more about Frankenhooker and the Frankenhooker Blu-ray release, see Frankenhooker Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on February 11, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: James Lorinz, Joanne Ritchie, Patty Mullen, Joseph Gonzalez, Jennifer Delora, Heather Hunter
Director: Frank Henenlotter
» See full cast & crew
Frankenhooker Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, February 11, 2012
Frank Henenlotter's "Frankenhooker" (1990) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Synapse Films. The supplemental features on the disc include the film's original theatrical trailer; audio commentary with director Frank Henenlotter and SPFX makeup artist Gabe Bartalos; video interview with actress actress Patty Mullen; video interview with makeup artist Gabe Bartalos; video interview with actress Patty Mullen; and more. In English, without optional subtitles for the main feature. Region-Free.
I could think of quite a few films that are so bad that they are actually a lot of fun to watch in the wee hours of the night. Some of Jess Franco's psychedelic films, for example, look quite stylish these days, while a few of Mino Guerrini's copycats (see Decameron II) actually look charming.
Frank Henenlotter's Frankenhooker is a truly bizarre film that is unlikely ever to be considered stylish. Or charming. It is so strange that I wonder if it was made to prove a point of some sort. I have no idea what Henenlotter was going for, but the end result is something only a seriously deranged mind could have imagined.
The film tells the story of Jeffrey Franken (James Lorinz, Street Trash, Who Do I Gotta Kill?), a young man engaged to a beautiful woman (former Penthouse Pet Patty Mullen) who is convinced that he has a bright future as a scientist. While having a barbeque, Franken's newest invention, a remote-controlled lawnmower, accidentally chops his fiancée to pieces. However, instead of reacting like everyone else at the barbeque does, Franken picks up the body parts and heads back to his lab (garage). There, he begins rebuilding his fiancée.
But the project proves more challenging than anticipated, which is why Franken heads to New York City to find the missing body parts he needs (after all, this is once in a lifetime opportunity for him to build the woman of his dreams, looking like his favorite adult superstar and smarter than Albert Einstein). In the city, Franken pays a group of hookers to join him in a sleazy hotel room and gives them some of his 'supercrack', which immediately makes their bodies explode. After a quick encounter with Zorro, (Joseph Gonzalez, Brain Damage), the area's top pimp, he collects the body parts he needs and heads back home.
A few days later, Franken creates Frankenhooker. She isn't exactly as he imagined her, but he is proud of his work. However, instead of staying with him, Frankenhooker decides to go back to the city and check out the area where most of her body parts came from. Along the way, she picks up a few customers who have a thing about strong women with stitches.
Granted there a couple of sequences that are quite funny – such as the one where a short, bald-headed man with a pair of thick glasses decides to have sex with Frankenhooker – the overwhelming majority of the film is pretty bad. But not bad enough to impress those who grew up with Skinemax or Spice, or campy enough to entice those who have a soft spot for classic grindhouse films.
In an intriguing interview offered on this Blu-ray disc, even one of the film's stars, Jennifer Delora, recalls how poor some of her colleagues were in front of the camera. She mentions two striptease dancers who would not kiss as the script required even though they had already posed for a well known men's magazine, and the charismatic Mullen, who had very little acting experience.
Ultimately, Frankenhooker could appeal to viewers who saw it back in the early '90s and remember it for a specific reason, such as a great party where the film instantly became a hit. Watching Frankenhooker alone, however, could be a very disappointing experience. Maybe in another ten of fifteen years it could look charming, but at the moment it looks and feels dull.
Frankenhooker Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Frank Henenlotter's Frankenhooker arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Synapse Films.
The high-definition transfer Synapse Films have used for their Blu-ray release of Frankenhooker has similar characteristics to the one Arrow Films used for their Blu-ray release in the UK. Detail is again very pleasing, contrast levels stable, and clarity good. There are no traces of severe denoising or post production sharpening either. Unsurprisingly, there is a layer of light grain that is very easy to spot throughout the entire film. The only marginal difference between the Synapse Films and Arrow Films releases is in the area of color reproduction. Generally speaking, on the Synapse Films release some of the reds and blues appear slightly darker, while on the release they tend to be brighter (compare screenshot #11 to screenshot #3 from the Arrow Films release). The difference, however, is so small that it is practically irrelevant. To sum it all up, this is a strong and very competent Blu-ray release that should please fans of Frank Henenlotter's cult film. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location).
Frankenhooker Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. For the record, Synapse Films have not provided optional English subtitles for the main feature.
I tested a couple of scenes with the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track to see what type of enhancements it offers (the Arrow Films release has only the original 2.0 track). In my opinion, the most credible ones are during the party sequence (with the explosion), the storm, and then the bar sequence and portions of the finale. There is some extra movement and small dynamic nuances in each of these sequences. Anyone expecting a dramatic audio expansion and impressive surround activity, however, will surely be underwhelmed. I personally would recommend opting for the original 2.0 track - it serves the film well.
Frankenhooker Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Frankenhooker Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Like the Arrow Films release, the Synapse Films release of Frank Henenlotter's Frankenhooker is very good. If you are planning to get one of the two, compare their supplemental features and see which one you like better. Regardless of which one you pick, you won't be disappointed - granted, of course, you know very well what type of a film you will be seeing.
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Frankenhooker Blu-ray, News and Updates
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This November, Synapse Films will bring Frankenhooker to Blu-ray. The cult horror favorite from director Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case) offers a skewed look at the Frankenstein legend with its take on a medical school dropout who tries to reassemble his dead ...
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