The atmosphere was electric as crowds of people lined up for the premiere performance of American Mary’s Frightfest tour which took place at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square. Fans held onto their pre-booked tickets and flooded into the auditorium with excitement.
I along with others was eagerly anticipating the showing of the Twisted Twins Production American Mary, a horror movie directed by two women. Not since Mary Harron’s American Psycho had there been a horror film directed by a woman that sent chills up and down my spine, made me cringe or flinch for the duration. This of course all changed after enduring the endless array of torture laid bare in American Mary.
This film is a contemporary ‘bod-mod’ horror about medical student Mary Mason desperate to finish her studies and become a surgeon. With rising student debts, she seeks work at a sordid strip joint called The Filth, but is dragged into the criminal underworld where she is asked to perform surgery for cash. The day after, she receives a mysterious call from a ‘Body Mod’ Betty Boo lookalike called Beatress requesting her expertise for a very unusual procedure…
Now better off financially, Mary secures a residency at a local hospital working as a trainee surgeon, is befriended by her tutor and invited to a party.
The film takes a brutal turn for the unbearable, when Mary is drugged and raped by her tutor.
In a magnificent sequence of events, we see an almost unperturbed Mary taking control of her trauma and diving head first into a calculated plan of revenge.
American Mary is the first female horror film to home in on the body modification genre, paving the path for future films that do not necessarily have to be horrific.
Performances from Katharine Isabelle and Tristan Risk were heartfelt in places exposing a slow but unconventional bond between two independent women who know what they want.
This film further addresses sexualisation of women and how cosmetic plastic surgery makes women a commodity. American Mary cleverly manages to turn this issue on its head, securing a place amongst existing feminist movies such as I Spit on your Grave, Kill Bill, All About my Mother and a film close to my heart called Provoked. As the women’s slogan goes ‘Yes means yes and no means no!’
Cameo performances by the Soska Sisters were a treat and, one for the trivia board, rumour has it that an extra scene might be shot so we can see their subdermal spine implants…
American Mary is vengeance horror at its best, with a valuable narrative, excellent performances and compassion for a group of people that are underrepresented positively in the mainstream media.
The Q&A at the end of the movie provided a unique cinema experience, as the Soska Sisters arrived along with star actress Katharine Isabelle to fill us in on the making of the film, proving that they really are true horror fanatics!
The icing on the flesh was the signed DVD covers given out at the end of the film – I have already ordered my copy.
Twisted ladies rule.
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