Frank Henenlotter’s Frankenhooker (1990) is a funny horror comedy starring James Lorinz as Jeffrey Franken, a young man who is extremely interested in medical studies and becoming a doctor. He makes his weird experiments in his house while his parents are little concerned as they think their son is little weird, understandably. Soon a horrible but incredibly comical accident happens to his girlfriend Elizabeth so Jeffrey takes all the body parts he can in order to re-build his girl. But he needs various body parts in order to complete his love and he develops a drug which makes its users explode. He goes to the streets searching for prostitutes and you know what he wants from them. He gets the parts, but will the new Elizabeth, Frankenhooker, be the same as she used to be?
This film is a must for lovers of B cinema and films which mix horror, gore and comedy. Franken’s character is very mad as he talks alone all the time and inserts a power drill into his head everytime he is about to have some nervous problems under pressure. Usually when characters talk all the time without reasons in films it just shows how bad the script is, but in this case, the talking (especially for himself) is normal for this kind of crazy doctor and thus it doesn’t feel irritating and bad choice.
Henenlotter’s other films like Brain Damage (1988) and Basket Case (1982) are so fantastic as they mix humor and horror so uniquely. They are creepy and very funny (and clever especially in Brain Damage’s case) at the very same film. Frankenhooker isn’t an exception and the first lawnmower scene convinces the viewer what will the film be like. There are many severed limbs and body parts, but they don’t seem repellent as the tone of the film is so tongue in cheek and not wicked. The scene in which some ten hookers EXPLODE is as funny as possible, but not gory at all, since the film had to get an R rating. It is even funnier now as crimson doesn’t fly all the time, they just explode!
The mutants and attached body parts at the end are really creepy and almost nightmarish, and reminded me of Brian Yuzna’s Bride of Re-Animator which has similar monsters. The effects work in Frankenhooker is fantastic all the way, and it all is now perfect, and wouldn’t work anymore if done with computers or CGI. The pace is fast all the time and the viewer doesn’t get bored. The Frankenhooker herself is also pretty outrageous and very deadly a hooker! The lady who plays her part is very talented with all her face expressions and movements. I like Basket Case and Brain Damage even more, but still Frankenhooker is a little classic by this talented and mad film maker genius. I give Frankenhooker at least 8/10 now after the first viewing.