The third movie on the Horrorthonpalooza schedule is a ringer. When casting directors decide to cast Katharine Isabelle in a movie I expect quality. Actually, that’s not true, but really you could make a movie and call it “Katharine Isabelle #12” and I would watch it. Not just watch it - but enjoy it. If someone made a movie with Katharine Isabelle and Angela Bettis the horror genre might implode and turn into a new galaxy.
Tonight’s movie is a quirky little Canadian film known as American Mary.
American Mary is a gift of filmmaking brought to life by twins known as the Soska sisters. Jen and Sylvia Soska previously wrote, directed, and produced a tantalizing title known as Dead Hooker in a Trunk. While American Mary lacks such a distinguished appellation – it stands up as a truly, twisted, beautiful contribution to the genre. American Mary had a limited released in May of 2013 and is currently available on Netflix.
Mary Mason is a surgical student. Mary has two things working in her favor; she is intelligent and pretty. Mary, unfortunately, is not wealthy. Mounting loan payments and a general disillusionment with her aggressive instructors turn the worm in sweet Mary’s head.
In order to meet her payments Mary decides to associate with the underworld. This opens a downward spiral both mentally and ethically as Mary parlays her surgical skill into a viable money making activity. At first Mary is aghast at what is asked of her; a brutal betrayal summons her dark side and she soon becomes known as Bloody Mary, the Queen of extreme body modifications.
Of course she needs to hone her skill - some are willing and others not so much.
Katharine Isabelle and Antonio Cupo turn out a fine display of craftsmanship as the main leads. They both digest the script and give depth to their characters. We empathize with these psychopaths and sociopaths. We want them to succeed.
Did I mention Katharine Isabelle is in this movie?
Actresses Tristan Risk and Paula Lindberg are hidden behind deep prosthetic makeup that scream plastic surgery abuse – yet they are also sympathetic characters. We see similar women with Jokeresque grimaces on shows about “real” housewives and we are amused that someone would be so vain. We are also disgusted that someone would be so stupid as to look at themselves in the mirror and believe that the operation improved their looks. Yet, both actresses pull off a certain charm behind the layers of latex. We are intrigued because their motivation seems transcend vanity.
The Soska sisters make an appearance as twins wanting severe body modifications. They are sinister and creepy. The two were on screen for a limited amount of time but I kept thinking of them as tiny, walking sharks.
Would I recommend this movie? In a heartbeat. Another winner for Horrorthonpalooza and another winner for you to check out if you haven’t already. Like I said, it is available on Netflix. Watch it now!