B-Movie Vault: Frankenhooker
Patty Mullen, James Lorinz
4.5 out of 5 A very pleasant surprise, a genuine masterpiece
When a defunct medical student Jeff Franken’s lady friend Elizabeth gets hacked up into little bits and pieces at the cold blades of his own invention,a overzealously bladed radio controlled monster of lawnmower. Franken sets to right his wrongs by creating yet another abomination. Franken being well versed in bioelectricity (whatever that is) begins the process of putting Elizabeth back together again. Logically, he seeks spare lady parts (haha) where they are being sold for cheap. Frankenhooker is one of those movies that gets looked over for its strange and at times tasteless humor, being strange and tasteless individual myself, well, lets just say you had me at ‘hacked into bits’.
Frankenhooker from beginning to end is a gore hounds wet dream. Movie starts with the lobotomy of a floating brain and ends with juxtaposed body parts killing a muscle-bound man. Sorry for the spoilers, but if you are looking for a good story look elsewhere you pansy. A great deal of the humor lies in the over acting and under acting that the performers give. Where a hooker is ecstatic about a man with glasses, a muscle-bound pimp is hit by the decapitated head of his bottom bitch and doesn’t give it a second thought. The settings are very well done or either were shot in the shadiest parts NYC, the locations had me reaching for my hand sanitizer. The music was over emphasized synthesizer which is exactly how papa panda likes for the flicks of the era. It fit in perfectly with shady alley ways and glowing neon. The feel of the film was surprisingly subversive for such an outlandish movie. I actually felt compelled by the story and dialogue in contrast to other B-movies where you wait for the next one liner or good scene, Frankenhooker was good all of the way through.
It feels weird to say, but this movie fits the criteria for a classic movie border line masterpiece in the vain of Reservoir Dogs and Scarface. It transcends its genre and shines all across the film genre spectrum. You laughed at the outlandish situation, you felt bad for the obviously tormented mad scientist, the gore was scary closing in on disturbing . The brilliant writing was not trying to be more than it should have been and will have you reciting scenes to yourself weeks after you put the DVD back on the shelf. Like Reservoir Dogs and Scarface, I’m having a really hard time trying to decide which scene or line in Frankenhooker was my favorite but for this time around I’m going to have to say the bag of Super Crack in the hotel room was my favorite, but of course that will change next time we speak.