19 August 2018



This is a steamy, slinky, sexy, sassy, slutty stylish piece of horror work from the Soska Sisters, a pair of Canadian film-maker twin sisters often known as the Twisted Twins. Although I haven't yet seen their film DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK, I certainly hope that the catchy title earned for the Sisters the plaudits they deserved.

AMERICAN MARY is the story of a young Stateside medical student and aspiring surgeon called Mary Mason, whom we first see in her flat suturing up a turkey from the supermarket as practice for college. She's beautiful, feisty and determined to succeed in her chosen field.

Like most students, Mary is stoney-broke and hasn't a clue how she's going to make the rent on her flat or pay the phone bill to get her phone switched back on by the stingy phone people. Like a lot of female students are doing these days to make ends meet, Mary considers working in the sex industry. Not as a prostitute, though. Things aren't that bad. Yet.

She dresses in her sexiest undies- she has a figure to die for- and wraps the whole package in her little black PVC coat and takes it to a nearby sleazy club, intending to try for work as a stripper/dancer. The club-owner is enchanted by Mary's appearance, but in the end Mary doesn't start work there as a stripper. Something else crops up instead. Something more lucrative and a million times bloodier...

Billy the club-owner offers Mary five grand- that's five thousand bucks- to use her surgical skills to patch up a bloke who's bleeding to death in the club for some reason. Obviously some illegal goings-on have been happening there, don't ask questions, lol. Mary does a good job and runs home afterwards with the dosh, frightened to death by what she's done. But this is only the beginning of Mary's surgical career...

Her illegal but successful surgery at the club attracts the attention of what's known as the body modification community, people who have elective cosmetic surgeries performed on themselves that sometimes regular doctors won't condone, sanction or perform.

For this reason, it's a partially underground community and a 'surgeon' like Mary, who'll perform any surgical procedure at all for money with no questions asked, is worth her weight in gold. Tristan Risk as Beatress Johnson, a stripper who's had her face altered to look like sexy cartoon figure Betty Boop, is Mary's 'in' to the community, which is positively clamouring for her hush-hush services.

I nearly died of fright when I did a bit of research into body modification. Did you know that you can have devil horns 'implanted' into your head so that it looks like you have real horns growing out of your head? When I discovered that you cut a piece of skin in your forehead, 'pop' the 'implants' in under the skin and then just stitch up the lot, I turned cold and tried very hard not to vomit.

Just because I personally wouldn't be able to stomach body modification surgery for myself doesn't mean that it's not okay for the people who want it or feel they need it for themselves. I'm a wuss who doesn't even have her ears pierced so I'm obviously not the kind of person who'd be up for what sometimes amounts to the mutilation of the human body.

For example, the woman who wants Mary to remove her nipples and sew up her vulva so that she looks like a human doll kind of gave me the willies a bit. The woman's boyfriend wasn't exactly thrilled about it either. Maybe he liked her nipples and her vulva the way they were, lol...!

Anyway, Mary needs some 'examples' of her 'work' to show the body modification people, all prospective customers after all, that she can do the kind of jobs they want. After Mary is brutally raped by her horrible and abusive college professor at a party, it looks to Mary like this asshole has just 'volunteered' his services as Mary's guinea-pig and 'model.' He's going to have a whole lot of 'work' done to him in the near future. Let's hope he's happy with his new 'look' because he's going to be stuck with it...

Body horror is not my favourite genre of horror- I love haunted house movies and possession films- but there's no doubt that it has the power to shock. And turn the stomach. Our bodies are ourselves, after all, and when you hurt, mutilate or otherwise 'modify' someone's body without their consent, it hits them where it really hurts. You're hitting out right at the heart of them, sometimes literally. Yes, I'm personally extremely squeamish about this type of thing but it certainly grabs your attention. Tongue-splitting in particular makes me come over all faint.

The DVD I have of AMERICAN MARY, sometimes known as BLOODY MARY (wrongly, I think!), has extra features on it which show the Soska Sisters being very popular with the audience at the launch of the film at the Film Four FRIGHTEST in the UK.

Well, they're sexy twins, wearing miniscule little barely-there black PVC outfits, who make films about extreme sex and horror. What's not to like? The mostly male horror fans lapped them up like they were the sugar on a bag of doughnuts.

The Sisters both came across as lovely and friendly as well and genuinely grateful for all the love and attention they were getting, which was nice to see. I'm going to see if I can find DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK from somewhere and watch that too.

AMERICAN MARY is a great place to start if you're new to the work of the Soska Sisters like I was. I may not watch it again myself though. Any film that makes my nipples and vulva literally quiver with terror when I watch it, well, it's probably sufficient just to see it the once.


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger, poet and book-and-movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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