Frankenhooker (1990) – Why, Oh Why

Frankenhooker.The Husband is a smart man – probably one of the smartest men I know. Yet, for some reason, he has fond memories of this cheese fest! Now, that right there could be the reason. Frankenhooker (1990) is cheesy, early-90’s fun. Horrible special effects, bad acting, and yet we couldn’t stop watching it!

Admittedly, I was looking for a TV show, Frankenfood (Don’t ask!), when this popped up.

“No way!” I said laughing. “It’s on Hulu!”

“Nice!” The Husband laughed and called our three older boys down to the living room.

They barreled down the stairs. (Any idea how loud a 20 year old, 18 year old, and 15 year old are? I was pretty sure that a herd of stampeding buffalo was in my house.) They asked what was up. The Husband told them to settle in.

Now, I’d seen this movie about 20 years ago, shortly after it had come out, and about the only thing I remember was the horrible shoes Frankenhooker wore. Well, that and the random hooker parts that get stuck together and come to life. (Stick with me here. You’ll see!)

Note: There are potential spoilers throughout this review, so you may want to stop here and return after watching the movie.

Jeffrey (James Lorinz) is a smart guy. Unfortunately, he doesn’t think along conventional lines and has been kicked out of three medical school programs. His fiancée, Elizabeth (Patty Mullen), doesn’t care though. She loves him just as he is!

But things aren’t meant to be for our naive couple, as shortly after the movie starts, Elizabeth is killed in a freak remote-controlled lawn mower accident. Don’t ask!

The next five minutes, the boys and I are astounded at the ridiculous dialogue.

“Did they just say that her body parts remind them of a tossed salad?” I asked.

“I think so!” One of our sons threw back at me.

“That’s just bad reporting.” I laughed.

This entire time The Husband is laughing and having a grand ol’ time.

Now, we find out that perhaps parts of Elizabeth are missing. Gee, I wonder who has them?

Frankenhooker.“What the hell?” I ask when Jeffrey, the disgraced med student, opens up a freezer. “Why is the liquid in there purple? What is that?”

The Husband is still laughing.

“I think it’s Purple Drank.” Our 18 year old quips, and the four males dissolve into more laughter.

I just shake my head.

“What’s up with that foot?” I ask when Jeffrey takes out what is surely Shaquille O’Neal’s foot. “And that hand?!”

The Husband continues to laugh, clearly enjoying the ridiculousness he is subjecting us too. “Yeah, it is kinda big.”

That was an understatement, and we all watch as Jeffrey fishes out his beloved’s head.

“Why is her hair dry?” I ask, clearly the laws of physics do not apply to this movie.

“Honey, you’re overthinking this. Let it go.” The Husband says. As you guessed, he continues to laugh.

“Yeah, Mom. Sheesh,” the boys chime in.

I shoot them all dirty looks, but lean back, determined to stick it out.

Jeffrey is heartbroken at the loss of Elizabeth, but he knows he can fix this. We see him, with his inner Dr. Frankenstein, working on a very detailed anatomical sketch of a woman with all kinds of notes regarding voltage and muscular size, etc. And with a movie called Frankenhooker, we have a pretty good idea of what it is that Jeffrey is working on.

Jeffrey clearly needs more power (à la Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor) to pull off his plan. While watching the news (Note that the weatherman looks like he may be one of Jeffrey’s creations himself!), we see that the New Jersey area is about to be inundated by storms. Jeffrey only has two days to come up with the necessary parts. Let me clarify, “parts” in this case are body parts.

Now, this part was slightly disturbing. Apparently, Jeffrey needs to stimulate his brain to come up with his “great” ideas. And when I say stimulate his brain, I mean just that. Jeffrey bores holes into his skull with a drill – one that is not sanitized I might add!

“Where is the blood?” I yell, throwing up my hands at the lunacy around me.

The Husband laughs again. I had no idea my husband could laugh this long and barely make a sound. See, I told you he’s gifted! The boys are also all chuckling. Lunacy, I tell ya!

Now, at about this time, I make the decision to try and just enjoy the ridiculousness that is Frankenhooker. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last long.

Jeffrey finally hits upon the idea to use hookers in his project – after all, they’re already selling their parts. I think Jeffrey ignores the idea that they are really only renting out a few parts, but hey, go with it, right?

So, Jeffrey cashes out his Christmas club account and heads on over to the Big Apple. He appraises a few ladies-of-the-night as he drives around, and finally finds an alley he thinks is promising. Don’t look for a lot of character development, as all the “ladies” seem to run together and remembering names is a lost cause.

But alas, Jeffrey finds a lady, Honey (Charlotte J. Helmkamp), who seems willing to set up a “viewing” for him. See, he has pretty specific needs, and he wants a large number of ladies from which to choose. So, our kindly hooker takes Jeffrey to see Zorro (Joseph Gonzalez) who agrees to provide his stable of lovies. Jeffrey also sees Zorro give crack to his ladies, making them crazy, so Jeffrey buys some.

See, Jeffrey is a decent guy. He’s just misunderstood. He gets the idea to make some killer crack – that way there’s no blood on his hands. If the hookers make the decision to smoke his stuff, well, that’s their choice, right? Way to rationalize, Jeffrey.

Frankenhooker.So, Jeffrey shows up at this disgustingly, skanky motel to meet his body parts – I mean, ladies – and more hilarity ensues. Jeffrey measures legs and breasts, butts and arms, but in the end, he’s just too nice and can’t pick just one. Unfortunately, this is about the time the impatient hookers find Jeffrey’s killer crack stash.

Now, I’m not sure what is in this crack, but soon after smoking, the women start to… well, smoke… and then they explode! It’s clear this isn’t the reaction Jeffrey was expecting.

“Hey, that was a decent transition,” The Husband remarks.

I give him a look. “What the hell are you smoking?”

He rewinds it a bit. Apparently, he is determined to show me this decent transition. “See, right there, where it goes from real woman to fake woman.”

“Yeah, I think you got ahold of some of Jeffrey’s killer crack,” I throw out at him, but do grudgingly acknowledge that it was passable.

On screen, the rest of the hookers blow up, and there is poor Jeffrey – who did try to warn the women what would happen if they smoked his stuff – laying amid hooker body parts.

“Where’s the damn blood?” I’m once again frustrated. “They blew up! Where’s the blood?”

“Let it go, Mom. Just let it go.” Think that was the 15 year old – can’t believe we let him watch this!

Jeffrey feels horribly guilty, yet he sees his chance. After knocking out Zorro, who came looking for his girls, with a decapitated head to the face, he begins collecting everything – legs, arms, heads, torsos, and boobs. Can’t forget the boobs! He puts them all in his trusty trash bags, and carries them to his car.

“Umm… hello?” I say as Jeffrey pulls into his mother’s driveway. Apparently, nine dead hookers is a lot of parts, and Jeffrey had to tie his trunk down. Unfortunately, parts are hanging out all over the place. You can see everything!

“Jeffrey is strong as shit,” I say as he picks up multiple trash bags full of hooker parts, with one hand! What a beast!

The Husband is still laughing – probably more at us and our reactions than at the movie.

The next ten minutes is Jeffrey putting together a cobbled body for his beloved, Elizabeth. A leg here, an arm there, a boob, and a butt cheek. Before you know it, she’s ready to go. He gets her situated on the table, raises it up, and, sure enough, lightning hits it. It also hits the freezer where he has stored the extra hooker parts – but that’s for later.

Frankenhooker.And once the table is lowered… NO WAY! Not only is Elizabeth standing up, but she has on the ugliest shoes ever!

“Where did she get those shoes?” I ask, but apparently the four guys watching with me are tired of my inability to suspend belief. They just ignore me and continue laughing.

Frankenhooker (as I will now call Elizabeth) is not interested in Jeffrey, and proceeds to knock him silly and walk off. Somehow she makes it to the subway, where people recoil in horror from her. Eventually, she makes it back to the alley where Jeffrey found the hookers.

See, even though it’s Elizabeth’s brain, she seems to have all of the hookers’ memories.

“Wanna date?” Frankenhooker screams to people as she passes them. “Got any money?” HILARIOUS!

Apparently, not everyone is turned off by her look – different colored body parts, large stitches on her neck, and twitchy. She finds one willing customer. She takes him back to the same skanky motel, and when they get busy, he explodes! Though the look on his dislodged face assures us it was worth it.

Going back to the bar where Jeffrey first meets Zorro, Frankenhooker takes care of another lecherous fool. Then Zorro sees her and recognizes the brand on her arm, and I guess he decides he wants her back – or maybe just the arm. I’m not sure.

In the meantime, Jeffrey has woken up and sets out to find his woman. He eventually locates her and drags her home. Unfortunately, Zorro decides to follow.

Jeffrey is concerned and doesn’t seem to understand why it isn’t Elizabeth doing the thinking for his new creation, so he decides to “reset” her brain. And it works! Frankenhooker is now Elizabeth!

Too bad for Jeffrey, this is when Zorro shows up and…

“WHAT?” I yell. This is just ridiculous, as Jeffrey’s severed head crashes to the floor.

But wait. The freezer is starting to rock, fingers are peeking out, and before you know it, hooker body parts have tipped it over. Purple Drank spills everywhere, and little blobs of hooker parts start to waddle around attacking Zorro.

Frankenhooker.This is what I remember!” I giggle, finally joining in the laughter.

I’m still not sure what they do to him, but the hooker blobs drag Zorro into the freezer and slam the door shut!

Meanwhile, Elizabeth is heartbroken, but since Jeffrey pointed out his diagrams and notes and told her that his calculations only seem to work on female body parts, Elizabeth has a fix.

And then we see Jeffrey’s eyes pop open… Boy, he’s got a huge rack!

While watching this camp fest, I learned two things:

1) The Husband can laugh for almost 90 minutes straight and barely make any noise! That in itself is kinda creepy.

2) Our older boys have the same sense of humor as he does, because they also laughed for the last 90 minutes and barely made a sound.

I apparently have no sense of humor, because I feel as if I wasted 90 minutes of my life. But in all seriousness, this movie is a hoot! The director, Frank Henenlotter, must have ad a blast making this movie.  The special effects are horrible, the acting is just as bad, and there are so many holes in the plot, you could drive The Husband’s truck through them.

On the other hand, I have seen worse.

2 hooker body parts out of five. (The Husband would probably give this a 4 out of 5 for its fun factor.)

About Xina

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Hello, fellow horror fans! I grew up watching horror, and my love for the genre is still going strong! Slasher films are sort of my secret-well, probably not so secret-obsession, but I'm up for anything-zombies, creature features, B movies, D movies-you name it, I'll give it a shot. Sometimes to the annoyance of my husband. I'm on twitter @Xina143, send me a tweet and tell me what I should watch next!"

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2 comments

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    You need to review the incredibly cheesy insect run amok flick Slugs:The Movie from 1988;about toxic waste that mutates a small town’s slugs and snails into flesh eating monsters in the sewers

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