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Normally I run away screaming at anything labeled "horror comedy" but 'Frankenhooker' joins 'Motel Hell' as one of the few exceptions. This is an amusing take on Frankenstein with James Lorinz reveling in the role of a mad scientist obsessed with bringing back his girlfriend who died in a freak lawn mowing accident(!). Using the body parts of some local working girls and some "super crack" he ends up with a lot more than he bargained for! Frankenhooker! Played by the lovely Patty Mullen who is sexy and displays plenty of comic timing. Writer/director Frank Henenlotter had previously made the trash classics 'Basket Case' and 'Brain Damage', both of which are brilliant, and 'Frankenhooker' is just as good. Three movies as original and entertaining as those are three more than most film makers ever come up with, so it is a crying shame that Henenlotter has been strangely quiet for the last decade. Hopefully he will resurface one day with something new. In the meantime, watch 'Frankenhooker' for some serious fun. It's an absolute hoot!
If you're a tiny bit familiar with the more light-headed and grotesque 80's horror cheese, the name Frank Hennenlotter won't sound new to you. "Basket Case" and "Brain Damage" are classics that prove creativity and dynamic motivation are actually all that is needed in order to make a fresh-looking horror film. Another triumph of ingeniousness in Hennenlotter's career is this "Frankenhooker". His most comic and personal film to date. It looks like slapstick, yet with a fair amount of gore, but it never at one point becomes entirely ridiculous or dumb. It's actually hysterical and imaginative (unless you're one of the humorless critics like so many on this review-list). A young electrician/brain surgeon (funny combination, isn't it?) loses his girl in a nasty lawnmower accident. Now, that thing alone actually made me chuckle! He wants to resurrect her, but since most of her body got hacked up, he has to collect new "parts". And where better to find those but in the red-light district of New Jersey. Naturally, both the preparations as the operation itself go horribly wrong and the 'hero' has to face absurd consequences. Like few other directors can manage, Frank Hennenlotter inserts his trademarks and typical styles. Frankenhooker is silly, but also very imaginative (exploding whores, anyone?) and it doesn't feature one dull moment. Hennenlotter surely was one of the most talented and self-educated directors in the horror industry. If he would have slightly more movies, I'm sure he would now enjoy a more justified status. I keep on hearing he will return in 2005 with a project called "Sick in the Head". Well I, for one, really hope it's true.
A Hennelotter classic!
This was one of Bill Murray's favorite movies (I remember reading a Fangoria article with Hennelotter telling Bill Murray constantly catching screenings of this movie)
And who could hate a video box that had a button to press to hear "Wanna Date?"
10/10 a pure classic
Frank Henenlotter's Frankenhooker (1990) is a funny horror comedy starring
James Lorinz as Jeffrey Franken, a young man who is extremely interested in
medical studies and becoming a doctor. He makes his weird experiments in his
house while his parents are little concerned as they think their son is
little weird, understandably. Soon a horrible but incredibly comical
accident happens to his girlfriend Elizabeth so Jeffrey takes all the body
parts he can in order to re-build his girl. But he needs various body parts
in order to complete his love and he develops a drug which makes its users
explode. He goes to the streets searching for prostitutes and you know what
he wants from them. He gets the parts, but will the new Elizabeth,
Frankenhooker, be the same as she used to be?
This film is a must for lovers of B cinema and films which mix horror, gore and comedy. Franken's character is very mad as he talks alone all the time and inserts a power drill into his head everytime he is about to have some nervous problems under pressure. Usually when characters talk all the time without reasons in films it just shows how bad the script is, but in this case, the talking (especially for himself) is normal for this kind of crazy doctor and thus it doesn't feel irritating and bad choice.
Henenlotter's other films like Brain Damage (1988) and Basket Case (1982) are so fantastic as they mix humor and horror so uniquely. They are creepy and very funny (and clever especially in Brain Damage's case) at the very same film. Frankenhooker isn't an exception and the first lawnmower scene convinces the viewer what will the film be like. There are many severed limbs and body parts, but they don't seem repellent as the tone of the film is so tongue in cheek and not wicked. The scene in which some ten hookers EXPLODE is as funny as possible, but not gory at all, since the film had to get an R rating. It is even funnier now as crimson doesn't fly all the time, they just explode!
The mutants and attached body parts at the end are really creepy and almost nightmarish, and reminded me of Brian Yuzna's Bride of Re-Animator which has similar monsters. The effects work in Frankenhooker is fantastic all the way, and it all is now perfect, and wouldn't work anymore if done with computers or CGI. The pace is fast all the time and the viewer doesn't get bored. The Frankenhooker herself is also pretty outrageous and very deadly a hooker! The lady who plays her part is very talented with all her face expressions and movements. I like Basket Case and Brain Damage even more, but still Frankenhooker is a little classic by this talented and mad film maker genius. I give Frankenhooker at least 8/10 now after the first viewing.
Hennenlotter does it again with FRANKENHOOKER. How can one man come up
with such geniously ridiculous stuff??? Anyone who has seen the glory
that is BASKET CASE or BRAIN DAMAGE knows exactly where I'm coming
from. Although I like FRANKENHOOKER the least of the three films, that
is by no means putting this film down. It is yet another true classic.
FRANKENHOOKER is about a guy who's wife is killed in a freak lawnmowing incident. Distraught at his wife's early departure, our hero decides to take matters into his own hands and bring his wife back from the dead a la BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR. In search of "spare parts" for his project, he "taps" the most obvious source - New Jersey hookers!!! FRANKENHOOKER is ridiculous fun all the way through. Not really gory, but lots of fun stuff like supercrack-smoking-exploding-hookers (!!!) If you like good-humored sleaze, this one is right up your alley. Definitely recommended - 8/10
This movie is a cautionary tale about the dangers of pushing the boundaries of science too far. Hands down, it's the best movie ever made that features exploding crack whores. It also reminds us of the importance of lawn mower safety, and offers some exciting new possibilities for owners of power tools. Throw in its sensitive handling of foreign relations ("What are ya! Some kind of Swede?") and "Frankenhooker" is a classic. It's an amazing cinematic experience that is weird enough to be both deeply disturbing and hilarious at the same time. The people who made this movie are sick, God love 'em.
Frank Henenlotter's "Frankenhooker" is an excellent horror/comedy filled with gore and tongue-in-cheek humour.James Lorinz plays Jeffrey Franken,a young guy who is obsessed with medical experimentation.After his fiancee Elizabeth Shelley(Patty Mullen)is killed in an accident by a lawnmower,he makes plans to build a new body for her.In order to get the parts for the body he cruises New York's Times Square luring hookers with his explosive super-crack."Frankenhooker" is truly amusing-there are lawnmower mutilations,drills in the head and exploding hookers.So if you liked this one check out two other gems made by Henenlotter-"Basket Case" and "Brain Damage".My highest recommendation.
Frankenhooker is without a doubt one of the most stupid, ridiculous,
moronic, pointless, fun and brilliant films that I have seen. From the
film's opening; which sees our would-be hero working on a strange brain
with an eye in it, with some ridiculously out of place, relaxed
suburbia music playing in the background; I knew that I was in for a
comic treat. This movie features several moments of delicious comic
brilliance; such as the out of control lawnmower sequence that sees the
central character's girlfriend get tragically murdered, to the rather
tactless news report detailing said tragedy, to the exploding whores
and all the way down to the weather report which details a storm that
is coming, "for all you mad scientists out there"; there's plenty to
make you laugh in Frankenhooker.
The film takes obvious influence from the classic Frankenstein story, and it should appeal to anyone that is a fan of cheesy 80's gorefests. Of course, this was released in 1990, but that's incidental. As mentioned, the main character's girlfriend is killed in a lawnmower accident. The accident itself is a comic masterpiece; it's so absurdly silly! Anyway, this accident leads our hero to the brink of madness (to which his mother responds to by asking him if he would like a sandwich), and he decides to make his girlfriend a new body from the parts of various prostitutes that he picks up. Of course, it doesn't quite go to plan, which leads him into all manner of weird troubles. James Lorinz takes the lead role of Jeffrey Franken (and his girlfriend's surname is Shelly...can you spot the tribute?). Lorinz is great as the hero for the movie, he spends a lot of it acting on his own and he more than holds the audience's interest with his speeches and great accent. A film like this needs an offbeat star; and it has one in Lorinz.
Overall, this terrifying tale of sluts and bolts is sheer comic brilliance, and if you're a fan of weird and wonderful cult films, and even if you're not; you won't want to miss Frankenhooker.
Probably, "Frankenhooker" is one of the best trash comedies Tromas has never released..! It´s a brilliant parody on Stuart Gordon´s "Re-Animator", Bill Murray is a huge fan of it and the fans of flicks like "The Toxic Avenger" will surely love this film: the humor is silly but entertaining, the F/X are pretty cheap and there are a lot of naked chicks running over the screen. The finest surprise arises when you don´t expect it: watch out for the 3 second cameo appearance of Rutger Hauer!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A strange film, frankly disgusting in many ways but also extremely
funny, especially the scenes with the Frankenhooker herself which is a
magnificent performance from the actress in question, combining every
Hollywood Hooker cliché you can think off. I also like the fact that
the mad scientist is actually a sympathetic character, he invents the
supercrack but in the end he doesn't give it to the hookers and when
they take it anyway he tries to stop them. The ending is truly weird
but then any film with this premise is going to be. A shame they never
made a sequel, it would be interesting to see where this oddest of odd
couples eventually ends up
Weird but a little wonderful
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