movie film review | chris tookey

American Mary

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  American Mary Review
Tookey's Rating
1 /10
Average Rating
5.40 /10
Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo , Tristan Risk
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Directed by: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Written by: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska

Released: 2012
Origin: Canada
Colour: C
Length: 98

More torture porn.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Following in the blood-stained footsteps of Hostel 2 and I Spit On Your Grave, this is a pseudo-feminist parable about a raped woman taking revenge on the man who has dishonoured her. Since she’s a trainee surgeon, she decides to cut off his arms and legs and hang him by his skin from meathooks. The way you do.

The first half of the film shows a certain amount of promise, as the young surgeon (Katharine Isabelle, pictured, from the superior werewolf movie Ginger Snaps) is drawn by student poverty into the so-called “body mod community”, where fetishists voluntarily undergo mutilation, amputation and needless plastic surgery as a form of self-expression. Moody cinematography by Brian Pearson helps, as does Isabelle’s realistically nervous performance.

Gradually, though, her descent into depravity becomes less and less plausible; and it becomes apparent that the purpose of identical twin-sister directors Jen and Sylvia Soska is not to analyse the phenomenon of body modification or the grotesque motives of its practitioners, but merely to exploit them for sensationalism.

I didn’t see the sisters’ debut, a splatter movie none too enticingly entitled Dead Hooker in a Trunk, but it’s clear that their talents do not extend to scriptwriting or dealing with male actors, several of whose performances in supporting roles are laughable.

The torture and mutilation on display are not quite as horrible as The Human Centipede 2, but it’s even more of a gore-fest. Fans of David Cronenberg’s body-horror movies may derive a surreptitious thrill; but it’s definitely not for the squeamish or the morally discerning.

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