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Frankenhooker Movie Review

henenlotter roles louise patty

At the beginning of Frankenhooker, we see the extremely pretty Elizabeth, whom boyfriend Jeffrey Franken thinks is too fat. On the other hand, Jeffrey looks and is just plain weird. He wants Elizabeth to be perfect and when she meets her demise in a freak garden accident, he makes careful plans to reassemble her. And so yet another Frankenstein variation is born. This one is pretty good, probably because it doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is, a low-budget black comedy for the midnight matinee crowd. James Lorinz and Patty Mullen have a good time in the leading roles, and cult favorites Shirley Stoler and Louise Lasser pop up in supporting roles. There are plenty of body parts in the picture, but they're so obviously clunky and fake that I can't imagine anyone being seriously frightened by them. Frankenhooker is the first movie I've seen that makes jokes about crack; a good companion piece would be the equally bizarre Mystery of the Leaping Fish made in 1916 by D.W. Griffith and Tod Browning with Douglas Fairbanks as Coke Ennyday. At the sold-out premiere screening I attended at San Francisco's Roxie Cinema, the audience was already having conversations with the characters onscreen, a sure sign that Frankenhooker will be around for some time to come.

1990 (R) 90m/C James Lorinz, Patty Mullen, Charlotte J. Helmkamp, Louise Lasser, Shirley Stoler; D: Frank Henenlotter; W: Frank Henenlotter, Robert Martin; C: Robert M. Baldwin Jr. VHS, LV, Closed Caption, DVD

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