Monday, January 15, 2007


FINALLY. This past October, Unearthed Films released this lovely special edition of one of my all-time favorite b-movies, FRANKENHOOKER. You can read my original review from several years back if you want to know what the movie's about and what's in it (just be warned, I used to write movie reviews in the Joe Bob style so it's not the greatest quality), because in this new review I'm just focusing on the new disc.

Unearthed has done an excellent job with this release, and that's coming from a fan who has been waiting many years for this flick to get a worthwhile digital treatment. It's evident just from the menu screens that it's going to be a reverential affair: glowing purple is all over the place! And someone clearly understood the comic genius of my favorite character Zorro the Pimp, whose scream of "What the FUCK?!" is heard during one of the menu transitions. The movie is presented letterboxed and looks about as good as it ever will, definitely better than the VHS I've had since I was a teenager. It's the full uncut version so you get maximum boob and lesbionage (I just made that word up!) during the legendary exploding hooker sequence.

Lots of extras to be had here, thankfully. The commentary by director Frank Henenlotter (a renowned exploitation/b-movie historian in his own right) and FX man Gabe Bartolos is briskly paced and never gets dull, with Bartolos acting as moderator when not doling out fascinating info about the mammoth task of creating all the bizarre original makeups and gags for the film. My only gripe is that the volume on the commentary track is very very low and I had to turn up my TV considerably to be able to hear it. There are new interviews with star Patty Mullen and hooker extraordinaire Jennifer Delora as well. Mullen talks enthusiastically about everything from getting the role to being in all the makeup (she even dons the original purple wig at the end!) and Delora presents tons of cool polaroids she took on the set. Both women are very very funny and thankfully the interviews give them ample time to give fans what they want. Lastly is the substantial documentary about the FX hosted by Bartolos. No stone is left unturned here, people. Thanks to lots of video archive footage and photos, you truly get a sense of just how much work was done to bring this memorably freaky vision to life.

Thank you thank you thank you Unearthed Films. You did good.


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January 16, 2007 at 7:26:00 PM PST  

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