‘Tis Pity She’s A Horror

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This is the picture for anyone who’s ever wondered what The Brain That Wouldn’t Die would’ve been like if it had been directed by James Whale. Jeffrey Franken (James Lorinz, Street Trash) a scientist who still lives with his mother (Louise “Mary Hartman” Lasser) has finally invented something that works…a giant remote control lawnmower. Unfortunately, his fiancee Elizabeth carelessly tries to show it off to some party guests and ends up pureeing herself. Fortunately, her head is still intact, so Jeffrey sets out to build a new, improved body for his sweetheart, shopping for parts from among the finest crackwhores New York has to offer. He succeeds in building his frankenbride…but the sense memory from all that hooker flesh compels Elizabeth to go streetwalkin’…and she doesn’t just turn tricks…she blows their minds. Jeffrey is a well-meaning, likable guy, but he’s obviously got a major screw loose. He constantly thinks out loud, Popeye-style and many of his improvised lines are hysterical. Patty Mullen is equally funny, doing a kind of hybrid impression of Karloff’s monster and Lucille Ball. Frank Hennenlotter (whose Basket Case I credit with warping my mind the same way Blood Feast did for him) cut way back on the blood and gore this time, weary of being stonewalled by the MPAA and threatened with an X if he didn’t make arbitrary cuts to his films…and they still slapped this one with an X anyway. The MPAA is obviously biased, hassling independent exploitation and arthouse films while letting major studio movies skate through with a pat on the back. I believe the MPAA’s real mission is to maintain the illusion of Hollywood’s “moral superiority” to the indies…when in truth, many Hollywood blockbusters, especially over the last 30 years, are just exploitation pictures with more budget than imagination…Hennenlotter’s pictures have imagination to spare…a very twisted imagination…he’s like the Walt Disney of sickies…

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