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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 January 7, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Director: Frank Henenlotter
Starring: James Lorinz, Joanne Ritchie, Patty Mullen, Joseph Gonzalez, Jennifer Delora, Heather Hunter
» See full cast & crew
Frankenhooker Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, January 7, 2012
Frank Henenlotter's "Frankenhooker" (1990) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Arrow Films. The supplemental features on the disc include the film's original theatrical trailer; exclusive UK audio commentary with director Frank Henenlotter and star James Lorintz; making of featurette; video interview with actress actress Patty Mullen; video interview with special makeup effects artist Gabe Bartalos; video interview with actress Jennifer Delora; and more. The disc also arrives with an exclusive collector's booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by Calum Waddell, double-sided fold-out artwork poster, and reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphries. In English, with optional English SDH 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 Arrow Films.
The high-definition transfer is surprisingly good. Close-ups, for example, convey pleasing depth, even where light is restricted. The panoramic vistas from New York City also boast decent clarity (see screencapture #8). Color reproduction does not disappoint either, though it is easy to tell that Frankenhooker isn't a big-budget film (the lighting is often quite rough). The best news, however, is that there are no traces of severe denoising. It is easy to see that post production sharpening corrections have not been performed either. Unsurprisingly, the film has a consistent organic look that will please those who might have been disappointed with some of Arrow Films' early Blu-ray releases. Lastly, there are a few specks and tiny scratches popping up here and there, but they are never distracting. (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. For the record, there is no problematic PAL or 1080/50i content preceding the disc's main menu).
Frankenhooker Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: English LPCM 2.0. For the record, Arrow Films have provided optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature.
The English LPCM 2.0 track has pleasing depth but it is never intense enough to make an impression. However, this is not to say that there are serious technical issues with it, rather that the film's sound design is fairly modest. The dialog is consistently crisp, clean, stable, and very easy to follow. Additionally, there are no pops, sync issues, heavy background hiss, or audio dropouts to report in this review.
Frankenhooker Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Note: All of the supplemental features on this Blu-ray disc are perfectly playable on North American Blu-ray players, including the PS3.
Frankenhooker Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I can't say I was impressed by Frank Henenlotter's Frankenhooker, but I thoroughly enjoyed the supplemental features Arrow Films have included on the Blu-ray. The making of featurette in which the director recalls how the film came to exist and the surprisingly honest interview with actress Jennifer Delora are excellent. If you want to know how B-movies are made, do not miss them, because these people speak the truth. Arrow Films' presentation of the film is very good.
Frankenhooker: Other Editions
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Frankenhooker Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Frankenhooker UK Blu-ray Announced - October 22, 2011
Arrow Video have officially announced that they will release on Blu-ray Frank Henenlotter cult horror comedy Frankenhooker (1990), starring James Lorinz, Patty Mullen, and Louise Lasser. Boasting a brand new high-definition transfer, the Blu-ray will be available ...
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