It’s the last installment of Queue De Grâce here at Spectacular Optical and it’s fitting that today is Cole‘s (of vitagraph, american) birthday! I know it’s not much of a birthday present, but I’m finally done with the 10 movies Cole so loving hand picked for my viewing pleasure. So let’s wrap this shiz up and end on a high note with Frank Henenlotter‘s FRANKENHOOKER (1990)!
You ever get the feeling that some movies were especially made for you? Well, I can name 3 films* right off the top of my head that have my name written all over them…and FRANKENHOOKER is definitely one of them. Having worked with Cole for years I’m pretty sure he knew this was the perfect ending to our little October movie-palooza.
Before I get too into this post I’d like to share a poem from the film…it was written by the main character, Jeffrey Franken (James Lorinz), for his recently deceased wife (and soon to be title character), Elizabeth Shelley (Patty Mullen)…oh, and he recites it to her severed head over some pizza and Beaujolais (of course).
“Warning: Contents Under Pressure“
By Jeffrey Franken
My heart is packed so full of love for you
That I dreamed I exploded
Like aerosol cans sometimes do
I blew with such force that my bones became shrapnel
and leveled the town except the small chapel
my teeth flew like bullets
I didn’t know what was happenin’
they killed everyone in sight
except for the chaplain
and then thanks to him
we were happily wed
even though at the time I think we were both dead
Now how’s that for true love? But Jeffrey doesn’t stop at wickedly awesome poetry to prove his love to Elizabeth…he plans on reanimating her body so they can finally get married. Wait…I guess I forgot to mention how Elizabeth ended up as just a head and that it’s kinda Jeffrey’s fault. You see, there was this birthday cookout and poor Elizabeth accidentally got turned into a “human salad” by some new-fangled radio controlled lawnmower.
And since the only thing Jeffrey could salvage from the carnage was her head, our aspiring doctor decides to rebuild his heart’s desire with the best parts money can buy…hooker parts. Now I know that’s some faulty logic right there but Jeffrey is a bit “off ” and occasionally uses a drill to stimulate certain parts of his brain…seriously. A drill. So it kinda makes sense.
So Jeffrey needs some hooker parts…and where better to find them than in beautiful, crack filled, pre-Giuliani New York! I have to say James Lorinz really does a great job as Jeffery…his Herbert West meets Andrew McCarthy performance effortlessly carries the first hour of the film before our heroine shows up to really knock this movie out of the park.
Another performance worth noting is Joseph Gonzalez as Zorro the pimp…I know he’s a juiced-up, crack dealing pimp but there was something sympathetic about the guy. I really wanted to give the big guy a reassuring hug after he lost his entire stable of gals to the deadly super-crack. That’s right…super-crack. It makes people really high and then explode. It’s a Hell of a drug.
If you’re thinking the movie sounds a bit whack-a-doodle you’d be right. And it just gets weirder once Jeffrey uses the half dozen exploded hooker body parts to stitch to Elizabeth’s head in order to bring her back to life.
Well you can guess that things might not go exactly as planned when you use crack whores to build your very own modern Prometheus…things tend to get a bit out of hand. Especially when the Eve of your labors becomes a damn Frankenhooker endlessly looking for tricks, money, and crack.
Patty Mullen is wickedly funny and her acting skills are way better than you’d think they’d be in a movie called FRANKENHOOKER. She looks fantastic and somehow her chronic tic disorder adds a certain level of eroticism never seen on film before. It doesn’t hurt that Ms. Mullen is easy on the eyes with her wonderful mix of gal next door beauty and 90s Penthouse Pet sex appeal.
The special effects are pure 80s Henenlotter rubber goodness that make me long for a time when real fake-real looked so much cooler than digital fake-real. But time marches on…and speaking of time marching on, let’s put the Queue to bed already.
So, with all that being said here’s the breakdown…
Things I liked:
- The cast…especially Lorinz, Mullen, and Gonzalez
- The sleazy glory that once was NYC
- Frankenhooker’s design
Things I disliked:
- That Frankenhooker is really only in the last 1/2 hour
Well I hope everyone had fun..I know I did. It was a real treat having someone pick every movie I watched for a week (well, it was supposed to be a week but it turned out to be 19 days) and then blogging about it.
I recommend that you guys and gals should start your very own Queue De Grâces…and if you do please let me know, I’d love to see what y’all come up with.
Thanks again Cole and I’ll see you when it’s my turn to supply the movies..oh, and let’s do this again next October.
* The other 2 films: DR. CALIGARI (1989) and VICE SQUAD (1982)