Sunday, October 28, 2012

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 24: Phil reviews FRANKENHOOKER (1990) Blu-Ray from Synapse Films-Oct. 24, 2012

FRANKENHOOKER Blu-Ray Cover (2011)
Starring:James Lorinz, Patty Mullen, Louise Lasser
Written by  Robert "Bob" Martin & Frank Henenlotter
Produced by James Glickenhaus
Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Originally released by Shapiro-Glickenhaus Entertainment
Distributed by Synapse Films

Hello again my friends! Let's get Day Twenty-Four started, shall we? Today's film is another hybrid film that is equal parts horror and comedy, which has made the film such a huge cult classic!  From director Frank Henenlotter comes his infamous cult film FRANKENHOOKER!

The film's about a medical student dropout named Jeffery Franken (James Lorinz) whose fiancée Elizabeth Shelly (Patty Mullen) is accidentally killed in a tragic lawnmower accident. The only thing he could save of her was her head. Determined to bring her back, Jeffery ventures out to the red light district in New York City and lures several prostitutes back to his seedy hotel room to pick out body parts for his Elizabeth. Things go horribly wrong when the prostitutes mistake Jeffery's vile of explosive superdrug for rock cocaine and they begin to smoke it, leading them to all simultaneously explode. Jeffery returns to his garage lab and, using all the dead prostitute pieces, rebuilds his fiancée, but it backfires as the resurrected Elizabeth now thinks she's a hooker.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1990)
Henenlotter directed the film and co-wrote it with Robert Martin. Henenlotter originally met with producer James Glickenhaus to pitch his film INSECT CITY. Glickenhaus passed on the project but asked him what else he had. Believe it or not, Henenlotter made up the plot for the film on the spot! Glickenhaus loved the idea and gave it the go ahead (along with BASKET CASE 3). The film was originally released on June 1, 1990 with a budget of $2,500,000, but the film only grossed $205,068. However the film was given a new lease on life on VHS, thanks to a clever and effective cover box gimmick: when the subway lamp post was pressed by a customer, the box spoke back with the line, "Wanna date?" It also didn't hurt that actor Bill Murray gave it a great review, "If you see one movie this year, it should be FRANKENHOOKER." The film has been released in edited and uncut versions for years, which leads us to the Blu-Ray release.

Synapse Films has done a great job with this release, which is the uncut version of the film. The transfer looks incredible, considering how old the film is. The colors are bright, the picture quality is sharp and crisp, and the detail is amazing! You can see everything from the blades of grass to the dirty NYC sidewalks. For the special features, there's an audio commentary with Henenlotter and Make-Up Effects Designer Gabe Bartalos, A Salad That Was Once Named Elizabeth: Interview with Patty Mullen featurette, A Stitch in Time: The Make-Up Effects of Frankenhooker documentary, Turning Tricks: Jennifer Delora Remembers Frankenhooker featurette, Jennifer Delora's Frankenhooker Photo Scrapbook featurette, and the film's original theatrical trailer.

FRANKENHOOKER is more comedy than horror, but it is a true cult classic, brimming with hilarious one-liners, a mad scientist, exploding hookers, death by lawnmower, and the amazing Patty Mullen who gives one of the best performances ever captured on celluloid. This is what I call "The perfect cult film." This Blu-Ray makes the perfect Christmas gift, so make sure you buy one for each member of your family! And have fun watching it on Christmas morning! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

FRANKENHOOKER is currently available on Blu-Ray at your local retailer and also on the Synapse Films website. To purchase a copy, visit

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

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