Frankenhooker (1990) Movie Review (Synapse Blu-ray Review)

Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Starring: James Lorinz and Patty Mullen
Available now
Duration: 85 mins
Video: 16:9 Widescreen (1.78:1) 1080p
Audio: DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround, DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
Reviewer: Horrorphilia Jason

The Lowdown: Mr. Henenlotter proves once again he’s one of the oddest and most creative directors out there.

If you’re not familiar with Frank Henenlotter, he’s the dude behind the Basket Case series, Brain Damage, and the recent cult favorite of mine, Bad Biology from 2008. His movies generally feature nudity, sex related themes, and are just plain twisted. Frankenhooker is no exception to this rule and its generally known to be his most accomplished film, and I don’t have any big disagreement with that. I think I still prefer the awesome raunchy dialogue heavy Bad Biology overall, but this is a close second.

Jeffrey Franken is a medical school reject and he’s about to get married to the love of his life Elizabeth Shelley, but unfortunately in a radio controlled lawnmower accident she is decapitated and cut to pieces. He then comes up with a plan to replace her body parts with hookers that he kills and assembles together. Things don’t go as planned and when his wife is resurrected, she becomes a super whore, killing Johns that she encounters. Jeffrey searches for his wife out on the streets while also trying to avoid the dead ho’s pimp Zorro, who’s out for revenge.

Yeah the movies is about as silly and fun as the crazy synopsis you just read.  James Lorinz plays a weirdo nerdy “Dr. Frankenstein” to perfection. The scenes when he measures the hookers for the body parts is oddly weird but funny. Once Patty Mullen becomes the Frankenhooker she still has a sexy sweetness to her that’s strangely engaging. I do gotta give one more shout out to the lead hooker that discovers the super crack Jeffrey made to kill the women. When she finds the drug, she happily flips out smiling and hollering like no one I’ve ever seen. It’s like a fat chick that just discovers she’s won a lifetime pass to every all you can eat buffets in the world. Flippin awesome scene.

Even though the movie’s subject matter is out there and there is a fair amount of nudity, it never crosses into the raunchy zone as much as the pervert in me would have preferred. Despite having hookers that blow up, the movie is bloodless, which was a decision that I think really works. It’s released in 90 but the feel and watchability factor make it feel like one of the classic 80’s horror movies that most of us know and love.

The ending which becomes predictable at one part is still pretty insane. Spare body parts fuse together and make indescribable monsters. Jeffrey has his confrontation with Zorro and the final shot of the movie is a fittingly freaky ending.

The blu-ray transfer is once again fantastic looking by Synapse. The special features have a commentary with Henenlotter and a few interviews with stars Patty Mullen (who still looks hot btw) and one of the blown up hookers, Jennifer Delora, which is very enthusiastic and an enjoyable watch.

To wrap up, if you like 80’s style horror comedies or if you are a fan of any other Henenlotter movies then it’s a must buy. Even if you own  the movie, the blu-ray transfer is still good enough to warrant a purchase. You can pick it up here.

Final Rating: 7.5/10