American Mary (18)


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The Independent Culture

This gruesome horror-comedy about body modification begins with a risky image – an uncooked turkey being sutured – but transcends it with a glint of true steel.

Katharine Isabelle plays Mary, a promising surgery student with money troubles. One night she finds herself in a sleazy underground club being offered $5,000 to stitch up a man who's almost been cut in two. "You're gonna make a great slasher," jokes her resident surgeon in college, but he doesn't know the half of it. Mary becomes a freelance sawbones to a fetishistic cult of weirdos who want their body parts altered or (gulp) removed.

Directed by the Twisted Twins, aka Jen and Sylvia Soska, the first half hour fairly roars along, and its glimpse of a strange subculture is compelling, if unedifying. The second half of the film comes unstitched with sloppy plotting and wrong turns, but if it's creepy shock-of-the-new you're after this is prime.