After his girlfriend (Patty Mullen) is killed in a freak lawnmower accident, mad scientist Jeffrey Franken (James Lorinz) hits the streets of New York looking for a good time (or more accurately, body parts).
Released in 1990, with the exploitation feel of the 1970s and the bad taste of the 1980s, Frankenhooker is like a blue-collar Reanimator. Jeffrey is an electrician in New Jersey who tampers with brains in his spare time, and Lorinz’s mad, mumbling performance is better than it has any right to be. In fact the whole film, which bolts together Frankensteinian fun, feminist revenge and splatter comedy, is greater than the sum of its parts.
No one does midnight movies quite like Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case, Brain Damage. Those are films of his, not descriptions. The truth is I’ve met the guy and he couldn’t have been nicer) and his outrageous execution transcends the plot’s sleaziness to become B movie magic.
Replete with exploding prostitutes and guinea pigs, the film is too ridiculous and lovingly made to be offensive. A marvellous mixture of make-up, practical effects and Mullen’s contorting facial expressions breathe life into the title character as she stalks New York City, blowing (up) anyone who tries to get a piece of her.
A sizzling, satirical take on Frankenstein, love and punishment, this excellent exploitationer will have you in stitches. And if you think Frankenhooker sounds unreconstructed, well, look at her.