When Black Comedy meets Horror, it’s a tricky tightrope to traverse. It could either be the best thing ever (Dead Alive, The Return of the Living Dead), or, well, Basket Case. A friend recommended that I check out Frankenhooker, a 1990 film loosely based around the Frankenstein tale, directed by Frank Henenlotter. Because this friend hits it out of the park every time, I bumped it up to the #1 spot in my queue and dove right in.
The DVD arrived in the mail and I saw something dreadful: “By the creators of Basket Case.” Shit. I hated Basket Case. Hate hate hate. I feel like I’ve seen some pretty terrible Horror and Horror-Comedy movies in my lifetime, but Basket Case just wasn’t fun enough to push it over the edge into the land of memorable filmmaking. In fact, I almost sent it back to Netflix without finishing it and I almost never do that. Alas, I cautiously moved forward on Frankenhooker because of the quality of my source and man, did it pay off!
The movie begins at a party where our lead character Jeffrey (James Lorinz) is fidgeting with an experiment. He’s a scientist and he’s doing some science. There really isn’t much more of an explanation than that. (Dude needs to head outside and grab a beer already!) When Jeffrey finally does hit the outdoors to socialize (reclusive weirdo!), his girlfriend Elizabeth dies in a freak lawnmower accident while trying to show off one of her beau’s toys. Her body is mangled beyond belief and some of her body parts go missing…
…because Jeffery decides to play Frankenstein and reassemble Elizabeth with the bodies of drug-addicted, super-slutty hookers from New York City. But then everyone does crack and shit gets weird. And this is exactly when the magic happens!
Jeffrey hits NYC to find some super-skanks so he can drug them up on “Super Crack” – a high-potent version of crack? (I guess? HA!) What follows is one of the best scenes in B-movie history – a menagerie of drug use, gratuitous nudity, girls making out with each other, and exploding body parts. It’s a scene that every Horror-Comedy fan should watch, love and rejoice in!
At a meager 85 minutes, Frankenhooker is a solid addition to anyone’s Halloween Watch list. It takes the mad scientist film trope and completely turns it upside down, mocks it, and makes a fun go at it. I promised myself I’d use the word “bonkers” somewhere in this blog. So, there’s that too. It’s bonkers!