Frankenhooker (1990) – A Review

 Frankenhooker 1990 comedy horrorPoor Jeffrey (James Lorenz). He’s been rejected by every med school he’s applied to and his girlfriend Elizabeth (Patty Mullen) has just been decapitated in a freak lawnmower accident. What a sad story.

Wait a second! Jeffrey is a bit of a mad scientist too and has the idea of bringing Elizabeth back to life! All he needs are some gorgeous female body parts for her head to use. Setting out to use the pieces of the best attributes from New York prostitutes Jeffrey sets out to make Frankenhooker!

This is complete B-movie, exploitative, low-budget tasteless trash. And I kind of dig it.

Patty Mullen Frankenhooker 1990 cult horror comedyThere’s no mistaking Frankenhooker for what it is. You have the title and you get exactly that. Director Frank Henenlotter took his schlocky premise and goes full throttle with it. It doesn’t try to be any more intelligent or creative than what it deserves. It’s for a niche audience and tries to deliver the goods to them. And that’s what you want when you watch a silly, no-holds-barred B-movie. I have to admire that.

So there’s insipid jokes, disgusting special fx, gratuitous nudity, cheap production values and terrible acting. It’s all rolled up with that distinctive title that should be fair warning to everyone what they’re going to get from it.

Elizabeth (Penthouse Pet Mullen in a fat suit) in that ridiculous lawnmower accident and keeps her head. Then much like in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein he happens upon the bright idea of bringing her back to life. Luckily, he can go about selecting the perfect body for her head to rest on.

Unlike Steve Martin in The Man With Two Brains, he doesn’t have to settle on just one body. He can pick out the best legs, arms, boobs and butt from unwitting hookers, lop them off, stitch them together and make Elizabeth the perfect woman!

Frankenhooker 1990 special effects explosion hookerOf course it’s not quite as easy as Jeffrey hopes, which results in one messy, over-the-top explosive evening with a group of hookers. They literally explode for reasons best not to go into. The movie milks the scene for everything it can.

One after another naked hookers spontaneously combust with the help of goofy, unconvincing cutaways to mannequins and limbs flying around. It’s so incredibly absurd I can’t help but laugh with the movie.

Luckily that’s not the only screwy scene Frankenhooker has to offer. Things get more outrageous when Elizabeth comes to life with her sewn on head, purple hair, purple nipples and twitchy head movements. If you’ve gotten into the spirit of the movie by this point Mullen is a hoot to watch. She’s easy on the eyes and is quite funny as she recites hooker-speak to whomever crosses her path. Along with watching unsuspecting customers getting electronic jolts from her. I only wish she had showed up earlier.

Frankenhooker Patty Mullen 1990 b movie comedyIt’s a completely ludicrous movie and it’s not for everyone. I don’t always enjoy these type of B-movies, but somehow Frankenhooker wins me over.

It can easily be marked up as a terrible movie for those outside the target audience for it – which I’m thinking is most people. You have to be in the perfect frame of mind and be in the mood to watch pure B-movie gore, comedy and goofiness unfold in a movie like this and be prepared not to take any of it seriously. It will certainly deliver on that count – and makes no apologies for it.


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