Frank Henenlotter, USA, 1990, 85 min.
We open on a brain in a jar. A brain with an eyeball. One of Jeffrey Franken’s experiments he works on at the kitchen table. This doesn’t make much sense but quickly sets the tone of the film: unrealistic but gleefully bizarre.
After a lawnmower accident kills Jeffrey’s fiance he turns his nervous brilliant energy to bringing her back to life, Frankenstein’s monster style. But due to the graphic nature of her untimely demise, he needs to get some other female body parts to make her whole again.
So where can he buy good-looking female parts? What happens next is a fantastic and humorous mix of bizarre ideas, incredible ad-libing, and just-right special effects. The screenplay is tight and the characters are memorable.
It’s rare that a film with such a story can remain fun and light instead of dark and sleazy. Credit has to go to the writers, the director, and the great performance by James Lorinz. The story is broad and offensive, but the great surprise of Frankenhooker is that the film is just the opposite.
Thanks to Crystal Plumage I was able to see this flim in the theater with a Q&A and intro by Frank Henenlotter, in person. It was part of a great double feature with Basket Case. Check out Crysal Plumage’s Facebook for a list of upcoming screenings!