American Mary

Dir: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, 2010

7/10

The Twisted Twins’ second feature is a unique take on horror while, possibly, offering a commentary on society’s obsession with looks and body art.

Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle) is a medical student, studying surgery.

But Mary is heavily in debt and desperately needs money.

Answering an advert for work in a strip club, Mary is offered $5000 to save a mans life.

She reluctantly does the deed and is sickened with what’s just happened but is pleased with the money.

A couple of days later, a woman named Neatness appears at her door begging her to help her friend, Ruby, and offering a great deal of money. Beatress has had many body modifications to look like Betty Boop.

Agreeing to the request, Mary goes to the destination and meets Ruby who wants to be turned into a human doll. She asks to have her breasts removed and vagina sewn up.

Needing the money, Mary performs the operation.

The doctor at her residency, Dr. Walsh, asks Mary to attend a party he is throwing.

At the party, Mary is drugged and raped by her medical tutor Dr. Grant.

Upset and angry, Mary asks the owner of the club, Billy, to kidnap Dr. Grant.

With the doctor chained up, she performs a series of body modifications on him.

Mary earns a reputation as an excellent surgeon and will carry out any modification that is asked of her.

With a detective on the case of the missing Dr. Grant and subsequent absence of Dr. Walsh, plus a murder to add to her resume, Mary finds herself in too deep.

The first half of the film is brilliant. It’s gripping and shows an interesting facet of Mary’s character as she enters into the world of illegal surgery.

It’s after that when things become subpar.

American Mary descends into formulaic horror and the black comedy vanishes once Mary’s character arc is complete.

Katharine Isabelle is stunningly beautiful and sexy but is also a fine actress.

She is able to do comedy rather well and portrays a very likeable character.

It’s a shame that she doesn’t have more exposure as, with the right work, she could be a big star.

A thoroughly good film with a few flaws but entertaining nonetheless.

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