Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 12th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1990
Director: Frank Henenlotter
Cast: James Lorinz, Patty Mullen, Louise Lasser, Joseph Gonzalez, Joanne Ritchie, J.J. Clark
DVD Released: October 17th, 2006
Approximate Running Time: 84 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Unearthed Films
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
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.
Frankenhooker is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The colors look faithfully reproduced and nicely saturated. The image remains stable and looks sharp through out. Overall this transfer looks really good and Frankenhooker has never looked better.
This release comes with one audio option the films native English language track which is presented in a Dolby Digital stereo. There are no problems with distortion or any other sound defects. Music and effects sound full. Dialog is clear and easy to understand.
Extras for this release include trailers for Frankenhooker, Bone Sickness, Nails, Visions of Suffering, Das Komabrutale Duell, Lethal Force and City of Rott. All of these tittles are currently available or scheduled for released eon DVD from Unearthed Films. Also included with this release is a gallery of production photos and a segment titled ‘Jennifer Delora’s Frankenhooker photo scrapbook’ which contains photos that she shot during the making of the film. Other extras include 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. This release also comes with a twenty one minute segment titled ‘A Stitch in Time: The make Up Effects of Frankenhooker’. This segment is hosted by Frankenhooker’s special effects advisor Gabe Bartalos and it is filled with a lot of cool behind the scenes footage. The main extra included for this release is an audio commentary track with director Frank Henenlotter and special effects Gabe Bartalos they discuss technical aspect of making the film like the special effects. Frank Henenlotter dominates most of the commentary as he talks about casting and other behind the scenes stories. Overall Unearthed Films Frankenhooker special edition DVD is a dream come true for fans of the film and those who haven’t seen this gem yet will want to pick this one up ASAP.