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|Index||102 reviews in total|
The body modification sub culture is sort of the like the old time
carnival freak show. People surgically mold, sculpt and pierce their
way into something else but the person on the inside stays the same.
The 2012 film "American Mary" features Katherine Isabelle, the breakout
star of 2001's "Ginger Snaps", as a Med student who finds herself
performing body mod surgeries that she finds out is quite good at.
Being a poor college student Mary Mason answer's a Craig's List style ad for a sleazy strip club owned by an even sleazier younger guy. During her "interview" something goes terribly wrong outside and Mary if offered $5,000 to do some impromptu surgery on some guy. She is freaked out but does it. Word gets around to the underground body mod culture and she is approached by some pretty strange characters to help them finish their work. Isabelle plays Mary perfectly, she is desperate enough too take these strange jobs, but is still grounded and very professional. She provides a desperately needed service to the extremely rich who believe she is an artist who works in the medium of skin.
She is first pursued by Beatrice who has transformed his/her body into Betty Boop. After completing a surgery on her for $10,000, her friend Ruby comes calling next. Rudy is transforming her body to look like an anatomically incorrect Barbie Doll and has a few things cut off and one thing sewn up. The film has a darkly comedic thread throughout. Ruby, Beatrice and the others are all portrayed as good people on the inside, but different on the out. While the exact opposite is true about the other so-called normal people.
Back at school Mary is invited to a swanky party thrown by one of the big shot surgeons, but she has unknowing just stepped into the lions den. She is drugged and raped by the surgeon, but little does he know the unique skills that Mary has recently acquired. Mary exacts swift and painful revenge upon the Doc. Making him her test subject for new procedures, keeping him alive and aware the whole time.
"American Mary" is full of interesting unique characters and well played throughout. It was written and directed by the Soska twins, Jen and Sylvia, who also play parts as customers to Mary. They bring a real sense of authenticity and care to the film, that would have been lost had it been done by anybody else.
I am giving this film a high rating for the creativity of the plot,
story, and sets. I would call it slick and sexy. Katharine I. did a
great job....probably on those hotist lists after this flick.
This horror story is obscure and almost fun except for all the gore. Most horror flicks just stick to that. This one is a revenge horror film too aside from the other obscure aspects.
I think the Soska sisters may be a pair to watch after seeing this. At least for this genre.
Skipped through some of the more graphic scenes actually, they were just too much for us.
There's no doubt she is by far my favorite actress and all started when
I watched Ginger Snaps. In my opinion she is definitely an underrated
actress who's acted in several movies but few of them have played such
an important role in her acting career like this one and of course
Ginger Snaps. American Mary is a well-developed movie that I very much
liked it because it combines blood, flesh, drama and a good storyline
with such a great acting from Katharine Isabelle besides I must confess
that I'm totally delighted by her work, I really but really loved it.
The movie is interesting from beginning to end, funny at times but
mostly intense and what I liked the most was the evolution of Mary, at
first you're gonna see a student, pretty and very smart living alone,
working and doing little things in order to get some money but you'll
end up seeing someone totally different, a girl with no fears,
vindictive but mainly unstable. Well, in case I hadn't said enough I
wanna add the fact that unlike the typical gore movies where you'll
only see deaths and blood with no sense, American Mary has a very good
storyline about revenge.
Now you might be wondering why after this review I gave only 8 stars out of 10 and that's because of the ending, I didn't like it but I'm not sure if another one could have been better. Anyway, it's worth watching.
Modern imitation of some of David Cronenbergs' filmography is
nonetheless interesting and watchable on its own terms. It's really
more of a drama than a horror film, with touches of gore and dark
comedy, and is slow paced enough that it may have some viewers fumbling
for their remotes. It plunges the audience into a world of sordid and
off putting characters in a tale of sex and fetishism. Ultimately, it
works its way towards a somewhat conventional finish, but getting there
is still an amusing enough experience.
The lovely Katharine Isabelle, best known for her role as Ginger in the "Ginger Snaps" series, stars as Mary, a promising med student in desperate need of cash. So she accepts the offer from nightclub owner Billy (Antonio Cupo) to patch up a mangled associate of his. This leads to offers from other people, people who are into radical body modification, to perform a variety of "underground surgery". As Mary is immersed in this world more and more, it really takes a toll on her well-being.
If it weren't for Ms. Isabelle, who looks extremely sexy in a variety of outfits, this would have been a little harder to get through. She delivers an engaging lead performance, and is believable throughout Mary's personality arc. It is fun to see Mary take her new business so seriously that she dismisses one potential patient who's willing to settle for something as mundane as piercings. And we do get to see a number of individuals who've had some pretty nasty things done to themselves.
Some people may want to note that at least the gore in this movie is serving the story and never *becoming* the whole reason for its existence. The effects are generally well done.
Sibling directors Jen and Sylvia Soska (who also cameo in "American Mary" as the German twins) do have some potential, so it will be intriguing to watch the progress of their careers.
Six out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To call "American Mary" a horror film is somewhat of a misnomer.
However, it is an understated gem that has clear horror elements, not
unlike those in the movie "May".
As usual, Katherine Isabelle plays her role to perfection, as a diligent and ambitious surgical student, whose life takes an abrupt turn when she finds herself being drawn into the world of illegal body modifications.
Her sudden influx of cash catches the eye of her professor and his colleagues, who (assuming she's working in the sex industry) set her up to be drugged and subsequently raped at one of their parties; something we later discover is a regular occurrence. Her revenge is to use her professor as a live equivalent of the turkeys she's been practicing suturing on...only in this case, the procedures are far more complex and gruesome, with the element of torture that is absent in her new "day job".
While some have written that sadistic streak that leads Mary to be a surgeon, I would contend that it the trauma of her rape that leads her to become increasingly desensitized to the extreme surgeries she's being asked to perform, and to the suffering she inflicts on both her professor and those who may threaten to expose her.
The film truly is a subtle depiction of a woman who is slowly pulling away from the reality of what she's doing, but is not completely lacking insight, as one might expect from the typical horror villain. This is what sets this movie apart from many others in the genre. The role of "victim" and "villain" is fluid and often blurred. "Gruesome" is not necessarily synonymous with "torture" or "sadistic" (although sometimes it is). Our protagonist remains both terrifying and sympathetic throughout the film, aided largely by Katherine Isabelle's wonderfully nuanced performance.
Perhaps this is why the film received such a mixed reaction from critics: It's not easily categorized, and the ending (which has been described as rushed and unsatisfactory) is actually a fitting finale for someone who "lived by the knife".
For those who prefer straight-forward horrors or slasher flicks, you will probably find this film lacking, but for those who enjoy the more unconventional films falling under the "horror" banner, then this is definitely worth watching.
If anyone has ever taken out school loans before, he would know that
they suck harder than the toothless bitch at the corner of 7 Mile and
John R in Detroit. Not only can it take a lifetime to pay off, but
falling behind on payments and plummeting further into an interest
inferno surfaces a sense of desperation that may even manifest a morbid
side you never knew you possessed.
As for Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle), an aspiring surgeon facing the dreadful debt collectors of medical school, had unintentionally found her niche that not even her bastard professor could ever exhibit.
Desperate for cash, Mary stumbles upon an ad in a Craigslist-like fashion at a go-go dancing establishment. But, unwitting to her knowledge, Mary will be performing more than just the "twerk" for those rich bastards driving Porsches to make up for their tiny peters. After looking over Mary's resume and realizing that she's the perfect solution for his dirty little secret, club owner Billy Barker (Antonio Cupo) thrusts Mary into a deal that would forever change her perception on "body modification."
Co-directors/writers Jen and Sylvia Soska, who also star as the sadistic twins looking to be "forever together," draw up a clever, yet peculiar, cast of characters who you couldn't even trust watching over your goldfish. Eventual liaison for Mary's sleazy specialty, Beatress (Tristan Risk), perfectly radiates that jaw-dropping, "WTF" expression upon the viewer's initial speculation.
The Soska twinsies implement a pretty even mixture of character development, story progression and practical effects, including quadruple limb amputations (of which Dr. Grant undoubtedly deserved), tongue splitting, and a considerable dose of slicing and dicing throughout (yup, no CGI here!). Isabelle portraying Mary, who actually did her homework and observed a legit medical school to research her subsequent role as a surgeon, radiated much charisma as she progressively transformed herself from a stressed out student to one badass bitch who knows her way around a scalpel. Hell, she even learned how to suture a damn turkey for one scene for Christ's sake.
For being shot in only 15 days, I would say that American Mary is a fun flick with the right amount of bloodshed, comic relief and sensuality, not to speak of the nipple nixing and vanishing vag procedures, which I'll let you experience for yourself.
This is a truly wonderful and truly disgusting movie. Don't know how
munch its true, just when i though i knew everything about deviant
sexuality, this thing shows me new limits and just so happens to deal
I loved the characters, this is not a good guy versus bad guy, this is bad ass vs really screwed up bad ass. Each character is more deviant than the previous.
I really like this twist ins the slasher genre, i had always thought that doctors (The successful ones $$$) are really smart little sociopaths.
Extremely recommended, the end is kinda disappointing to me, but makes sense.
Some horror fans love it, others not so much, which where horror film
fans are concerned comes as absolutely no surprise. So roll the dice
and take your chance here then!
American Mary is written and directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska. Katharine Isabelle (looking uncannily like Mary Elizabeth Winstead) stars as the titular Mary of the title. She's a medical student who during a cash crisis is lured to the underground world of surgeries not deemed as the norm in medical school circles...
Hoo-hah! Get ready for sexual deviance, dismemberment, human splicing and a whole host of other things that are brilliantly caked in a caustic satirical sauce by the Soska girls. Imagery is strong, the aftertaste lasting as you enter at your own peril a world of repugnant beings masquerading as humans, of fetishists pushing the boundaries, it's noirville but not as we know it Jim. But always there's a pierced and bloody tongue prodding the cheek, even if the odd period of time spent in bizarro world fails to add up.
Wonderful. Go Mary! Go Soska Girls! Just don't call on me any time soon, huh... 8/10
If you find yourself in a movie with Katharine Isabelle, you really
should avoid pissing her off. The star of the excellent Ginger Snaps
films (see all of them, seriously) plays a med student who gets
involved in extreme body modification. This is a true original, and the
Soska sisters are now officially on my radar. The script has some
problems in the movie's second half, but the many virtues here make
that easy to overlook. Ms. Isabelle is the biggest asset, giving a
perfectly tuned dry and sardonic performance, while not sacrificing the
emotions of all she is put through. The body modification culture is
depicted without judgment, and there are a half dozen genuinely
memorable characters. One thing I liked is how this avoids being a
generic revenge story. Mary suffers a horrible violation early in the
film, and to my amazement--because movies almost never work this
way--she takes about five minutes to get her revenge. No dragging that
out, the movie has other things on its mind.
I'm not sure in the end what statement the film is making, if any, but it tells a gripping story of a life on the extreme fringes. I'm also unclear why the Canadians who made this gave it the title American Mary, memorable though it is. But whatever, there's a real talent here. Back in the '90s an offbeat vampire flick called Near Dark came out of nowhere, directed by one Kathryn Bigelow. She proved to be a director to watch, and I want to see what else the Soska sisters get up to in the years ahead.
Canadian actress Katharine Isabelle popped onto the scene in Ginger
Snaps, one of the most original and memorable films ever to emerge from
a country that specializes in tired sequels and technically perfect but
massively dull x-mas special and lifestyle movies.
(Typically, they tried two sequels to Ginger, each worse than the other.) Mainstream should have snapped her up, she has both looks and talent, but this guilty pleasure from the Soska sisters, which branded it as a cult film from the moment they put film in the camera, nonetheless gets a great and memorable performance from Isabelle.
She deftly plays against type, but being coy in a part which shows her visually to be stunning and characteristically to be a killer. It is a joy to watch her work,
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