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Frankenhooker – Synapse Films (BluRay) 
Written by: on September 23rd, 2011


Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1990
Director: Frank Henenlotter
Writer: Frank Henenlotter, Robert Martin
Cast: James Lorinz, Patty Mullen, Louise Lasser, Joseph Gonzalez, Joanne Ritchie, J.J. Clark

BluRay released: November 8th, 2011
Approximate running time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround English, DTS-HD MA Stereo English
Subtitles: N/A
BluRay Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.95


Synopsis: After the tragic death of fiancée Elizabeth who died due to a freak lawnmower accident her fiancée Jeffery Franken dreams up a too bring her back to life. He decides to give her new body by taking the best body parts from various prostitutes. After he reassembles Elizabeth he gets more then he bargained for when she takes on the persona of the prostitutes who body parts now make up her body and she goes on a rampage through the streets of New York looking for John’s who are looking for a date.Frankenhooker is like a cross between Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and the film Weird Science. Who hasn’t dreamed of or wouldn’t want to put together a perfect woman. Unlike these other films that explore a similar idea the plot for Frankenhooker sees Jeffrey Franken who wants to bring his dead girlfriend because he misses her and not to advance science. It is also amusing how he wants to give her the perfect body when while she was alive she battled a weight problem.

 

One of the films strongest assets is its special effects which while at times not perfect they still get the job done. The most memorable scene is when a group of prostitutes start smoking the super crack Jeffery Franken made and then they all start to explode. The most colorful and charismatic character in the film is a pimp named Zorro who brands his ladies with a Z that he burns into their arms. Patty Mullen (Doom Asylum) is also really good especially once she takes on the persona of Frankenhooker. She also gets some of the more memorable lines in the film. James Lorinz (The Sweet Life) is wonderful as the prototype mad scientist Jeffrey Franken and his enthusiasm for his work is infectious.

Part of Frankenhooker’s charm is that the film never takes itself seriously. Fans of director Frank Henenlotter who go into the film expecting the gore and violence to be on the same level as his previous films Basket Case and Brain Damage might feel under whelmed since this film relies more on comedy on less on these two things. Overall Frankenhooker is a biting satire that cleverly pays homage to the Frankenstein legacy.

 

The BluRay:

Frankenhooker comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. For this release Synapse Films have created a brand new 2K high definition transfer from original vault elements. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black and contrast levels look consistently good and details look sharp throughout. There are no problems with compression and DNR is never an issue.

This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround mix in English and a DTS-HD MA Stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes sound great, with the differences between the two being minimal. Dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented.

When compared to the Unearthed Films DVD release, the audio / video presentation for this new release from Synapse Films is a substantial upgrade.

Frankenhooker was originally released on DVD in 2006 by Unearthed Films and all of the extras pertaining to the film have been carried over for this release. Extras include a theatrical trailer for the film (1 minute 33 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), three interviews, the first interview with actress Patty Mullen (8 minutes 53 seconds – 4:3 full frame), the second interview with actress Jennifer Delora (19 minutes 32 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and the third interview with special effects advisor Gabe Bartalos (21 minutes – 4:3 full frame) and a image gallery titled ‘Jennifer Delora’s Frankenhooker photo scrapbook’ and a audio commentary with director Frank Henenlotter and Gabe Bartalos. The interviews with Patty Mullen and Jennifer Delora, both ladies are candid as they recall in great detail working with director Frank Henenlotter and their experiences making Frankenhooker, while the interview with Gabe Bartalos covers the make-up effects and this segment is filled with a lot of cool behind the scenes footage. Topics covered in the audio commentary track with Frank Henenlotter and Gabe Bartalos include technical aspect of making the film like the special effects, casting and other behind the scenes stories. Also included with this release is reversible cover art. Overall Synapse Films gives Frankenhooker its best audio / video presentation to date.

 

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