Back in the 1980s, one of the best midnight movies doing the rounds was 1982’s Basket Case, a low-budget horror comedy about a teen and his monstrous half-aborted brother who seek revenge against the doctors who separated them.
This deliriously warped exploitation won its director, Frank Henenlotter, a legion of fans thanks to the newly emerging home video market. The maverick followed the monster hit with 1988’s addictive Brain Damage and then 1990’s Frankenhooker, which would prove to be his most challenging and – according to the director – a disaster from beginning to end.
Here, we find science geek Jeffrey Franken (played by Basket Case’s Kevin Van Hentenryck) reanimating his dead girlfriend using the body parts of dead prostitutes. Only his creation is a foul-mouthed freak looking for her next John.
Henenlotter literally threw this twisted tale together while shooting his Basket Case sequels – and it shows. But its saving grace is seeing the cast of real-life New York streetwalkers and porn models blow up before your eyes after getting hooked on the super crack that Jeffrey uses to obtain his body parts.
Frankenhooker may be silly, but its inspired pyrotechnics certainly make up for the terrible script, amateur dramatics and lack of gore.
Arrow Video‘s new HD transfer of the film really makes those explosion scenes roar, and the host of extras have been lovingly put together by real admirers of Henenlotter’s work so there’s some tasty treats in store for midnight movie fans.