The story follows broke student Mary Mason who grows disenchanted with medical school and the doctors she once idolised. The allure of easy money sends a desperate Mary to the underground world of body modification surgery, but soon finds that her choices leave more marks on herself than her so-called freakish clientele...
Dead-pan humour, rape/revenge, body modification. Bizarre or what?
- American Mary review by RP
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You rated this film: 3
I really didn't know what to expect from this film - horror? torture porn? What, exactly?
It's a low budget Canadian film which combines dead-pan humour with a rape/revenge story set in the world of body modification. Bizarre or what? There aren't any shocks - other than learning what some people will apparently do to their bodies and there's no horror, or not what I call horror anyway.
What there is - despite the low budget (it was apparently shot in just 15 days) - is a stylish, well acted, good looking film with a bizarre storyline, directed by the so-called 'Twisted Sisters', the Soska twins. There aren't many women film directors, let alone of films in the horror genre - so it's worth seeing just for that - and the twins even have a cameo role.
The story itself goes something like this: Mary Mason (well played by Katherine Isabelle) is a promising medical student. Short of cash, she goes for an audition at a strip club but is diverted into sewing up a wounded (tortured?) man. One of the dancers at the club is into body modification and has had surgery to make her look like Betty Boop and introduces her to her next 'job': surgery to make a woman look even more doll-like. After that comes a rape/revenge sequence, and separately Mary's reputation grows and she build up wealth and a lengthy client list. It turns out that Mary is keeping the rapist alive and continuing his torture, but her works come back to haunt her via the husband of her first client...
With a story like that you'd expect buckets of blood and gruesome scenes, but strangely it's all quite restrained and just about everything happens off camera. So it's not torture porn at all...
It is quite well done and has the look and feel of a possible minor cult classic, but for me it's not worth watching a second time.
I'll give it 3/5 stars - it's not bad, but I've seen a lot better. Just nothing quite like it :)
A rather peculiar movie with a strange premise American Mary tells the story of Mary Mason, medical surgery student, who finding herself increasingly strapped for cash takes a job as an underground surgeon working in the body modification scene.
Those looking for a real horror trip may find themselves a little disappointed by this surprisingly character lead piece in which Mary finds her experiences in the underworld are changing her in ways almost more visible than the bizarre modification requests she fulfils. This is certainly one for the B movie fans; with weird fantasy/dream sequences and beautifully enigmatic if not visually unusual characters such as Beatress the stripper or the twins played by writer/director duo the Soska sisters.
The dark elements of the horror/thriller story and the fantastically still and explorative camera work and cinematography really lift this movie from the depths of simple torture porn and other gore fests. But don’t let that fool you, there are certainly scenes that will set off those with even the strongest of stomachs, graphic scenes of surgery and physical revenge populate this dark but intriguing genre hopper.