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John’s Horror Corner: Frankenhooker (1990), a raunchy slapstick Frankenstein throwback exploitation film with loads of exploding prostitutes.

February 7, 2016

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This article contains images of prosthetic disembodied breasts and prosthetic naked bodies exploding.  No actual human nudity is present.  But, come on guys, you don’t want to get caught looking at this at work.
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MY CALL: No horror to be found in this gloriously raunchy slapstick horror comedy peppered with exploding hookers and rubber disembodied limbs. MORE MOVIES LIKE Frankenhooker: Basket Case 1-3 (1982-91), Brain Damage (1988), Killer Workout (1987), Death Spa (1989), Head of the Family (1996) and Hideous! (1997). Maybe even Puppet Master (1989), Ghoulies (1985) and Seed People (1992).

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I have somehow gone 35 years of my life without seeing this movie, deprioritizing it, assuming it’s no big deal, sticking to the classics and new releases…boy was that a mistake!!! After just 7 minutes (yes, I paused and checked) of this B-movie madness I already know two things: 1) this movie is garbage, and 2) this is exactly the kind of garbage I LOVE!

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We meet Jeffrey Franken (James Lorinz; Street Trash, RoboCop 3), a man who has somehow been kicked out of three medical schools, and his reanimated Cyclops brain creature experiment that he is working on in the kitchen…and everyone simply thinks he’s just a little weird for working on a REANIMATED BRAIN with one eye on the kitchen table!!!! But his whole life is about to change when his fiancée Elizabeth (Patty Mullen; Penthouse Pet, Zombinatrix) is killed in a freak accident with a supercharged lawnmower he invented. The news coverage of the massacre is hilarious! Oh, yeah, this flick is something special for sure!

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Jeffrey Franken is no Victor Frankenstein (2015). He over-explains his downward spiral into mad scientist mania to his mother as if reading a list of symptoms from a psychiatric manual. While comically narrating his own insanity he draws elaborate blueprints of electrodes over a body’s framework (and it has boobs LOL), power drills his skull to alleviate headaches, and has dates with his fiancée’s disembodied head. Needless to say the acting and writing are terrible (but maybe “good” for the bad horror genre), but this movie remains a delight.

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Is it just me, or does it look like he’s designing a giant female bodybuilder??? LOL

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So since Jeff needs perfect female body parts to bring life back to his fiancée, naturally he goes to the city and arranges a prostitute crack-whore party, plays doctor, measures nipples, wrestles hookers and watches them literally explode as they overdose on drugs–and we overdose on cheesiness.

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Nudity and disembodied limbs abound. Jeff superglues and welds his perfect Elizabeth back together from sacks of spare hooker parts, a pile of severed breasts, and a trash can of severed legs with bunyans from extensive streetwalking.

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Once Elizabeth is back on her feet after a deliciously B-movied-up Frankenstein’s laboratory scene, she stumbles about with all the twitchy grace of a newborn foal and sports a Sylvester Stallone lip sneer. Assembled from mostly hooker parts, she behaves like…well…a frankenhooker–all the way down to the undead sex scene during which she sex-electrocutes her first John to death.

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Written and directed by Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case 1-3, Brain Damage, Bad Biology), this relatively goreless exploitation cult classic deviates from his violent normal pedigree, having not a scary nor brutal moment–it’s pure slapstick comedy shown through a campy horror filter. A few steps above the raunchier Full Moon releases (Head of the Family, The Killer Eye) or anything from Troma studios, this goofy flick boasts severed heads, abundant bare breasts, mutant monsters made of spare hooker parts and rubber limbs galore! It’s awkwardly weird, strangely funny and classically so-bad-it’s-good. The final twist is quirky campiness at its inappropriate best (think Sleepaway Camp).

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2016 2:34 pm

    This movie is a must see for all cinephiles. It’s shows that with a good primise and good actors you can get a very good movie. Patty Mullen is awesome as the title character and was upset she wan’t cast in more things afterwards. Great post

    • John Leavengood permalink
      February 8, 2016 4:05 pm

      Even if other films of the same raunchy comedy style, I’m surprised she didn’t get more work. Unless, perhaps, she wasn’t looking for it…?

  2. February 8, 2016 8:43 pm

    Pure awesomeness, John!

    • John Leavengood permalink
      February 8, 2016 8:46 pm

      More fun than a pile of severed hooker breasts.

Trackbacks

  1. John’s Horror Corner INDEX: a list of all my horror reviews by movie release date | Movies, Films & Flix
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