It’s no mystery that I am a bonafide fan of director Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case 1-3, Brain Damage, Bad Biology) and that very recently I have rediscovered the magic and the wonder of his third film, the estrogen based freak show that is Frankenhooker. Don’t judge me, ok? Bill Murray is a fan of Frankenhooker, so take that! Can I also point out that this film stars James Lorinz (Street Trash) and Louise Lasser (Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, Happiness)? Frank’s got his finger to the pulse even if it is a reanimated one! This film is as funny and bizarre as a chicken with lips!
James Lorinz is Jeffrey, an electrician by trade, who flunked out of medical school a few times and spends his time creating strange inventions. Patty Mullen plays Elizabeth, Jeffrey’s overweight fiancé who deeply loves and supports her oddball boyfriend. While celebrating her father’s birthday, Elizabeth demonstrates his new remote control lawnmower which Jeffrey proudly modified. In the process of demonstrating the mower to her father, she is turned into a salad once known as Elizabeth! Parts of Elizabeth are discovered missing during the police investigation and with the usual sensitivity of news reporters during times of crisis, one attempts to interview Jeffrey. When asked about the missing parts, namely her head, Jeffrey replies, “The last time I saw her head it was spinning through the air!”
Jeffrey saved the parts that could be saved and in his grief decided to rebuild Elizabeth. So in short, after much deliberation (involving a power drill) Jeffrey invents Super Crack which is designed to detonate when smoked. What does he plan to do with this? Let’s just say he’s arranged a get together with some top of the line hookers to get the right parts! But if he can actually pull this off can Jeffrey bring Elizabeth back? Will she be the same? No spoilers here my friends! This is another of those films that simply needs to be seen to be believed. It’s so outrageous and funny and bizarre that it was destined and conceived to be a true cult gem. And if you’re concerned about gore, there really isn’t any! It’s more for laughs and sheer absurdity! It’s an enjoyable watch – though that really all depends on how far out there you like to go and with that being said may I remind you… this is a Frank Henenlotter film!
Synapse delivers yet another beautiful restored transfer and sound. There are some extras here as well such as a Retrospective with new interviews and archival materials as well offering insightful and amusing anecdotes. James Lorinz got the role in this film being that Henenlotter saw Street Trash and loved his performance. Also, James Muro worked on Frankenhooker and he provided some amazing Steadicam work for and directed Street Trash. Again, it’s difficult for me to watch films I enjoy with audio commentary although I’ll force myself to do that at some point. My opinion is that you simply cannot go wrong with a Synapse release! They put a lot of time and care into what they do and it shows.