American Mary

***½

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (1 People gave this 3.00 out of 5)
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“Wanna make five grand?”

American Mary

Swift shot: A desperate college student turns to a dark world and becomes transformed into something that even the dark fears – a woman scorned.  What makes American Mary so watchable is that you have no idea what is around the next corner.  Much like Mary (Katharine “Ginger Snaps” Isabelle) herself, you find yourself daring to go on.  Be warned . . . you may be scarred by this film.  The old adage of what has been seen cannot be unseen comes to mind.  

Jen and Sylvia Soska wrote, directed, and starred in, American Mary, and their twisted story follows a struggling med school student who needs some help paying her bills.  She happens on a site looking for a leather entertainment worker, no sex, just jiggle work, and her life becomes immediately unrecognizable.

At the club, she meets Billy Barker (Antonio Cupo) who is willing to hire her, but he finds out she is in school to be a surgeon . . . a slasher.  Tonight, he is short one, and tells her she can make five grand if she’ll help him attend to one of his guests.  With mounting school debt, and a professor, Dr. Grant (David Lovgren), who tolerates zero bullshit excuses, she seems trapped to say yes.  But, no, there is something hidden in Mary that she would never admit to her Nana (who serves as the only truly sympathetic character of the film).  Mary wants to see what’s beyond the normal.

From that moment on, her life is never the same.  And when wind of what she has done reaches the body modification community, she is again offered a job as a slasher.  Here is where the film really started freaking me out, as I had no experience with this whole world.  I had heard of a few people scarring themselves and getting extreme piercings and the like, but nothing to this degree.  When you first meet Beatress Johnson (Tristan Risk) and Ruby Realgirl (Paula Lindberg) it’s a bit jarring.  Beatress looks a little too much like a certain cartoon sex symbol from yesteryear, and Ruby wants to become as close to a real doll as possible.  Mary is a bit reluctant, at first, to even meet with them both.  Again, the money, and the thrill, prove too great to refuse.

Mary learns about the true nature of the dark, that it hides best in the light, as she is deceived by someone she used to respect.  The deception transforms Mary, psychologically, as much as her blade modifications changed her clients/patients.  After the darkness takes over her, and after the one thing keeping her grounded in reality is lost, Mary becomes a bloody visage of her former self.  There is no body mutilation she won’t perform, and she even keeps a little diary, of sorts, to sharpen her skills.

With an increasing crescendo of apathy, Mary becomes a perfect nightmare.  American Mary deserves a place in horror-iconography as a woman you most definitely should never cross.  The classical music sutures everything together nicely to give the film a sense of foreboding and dread.

I caught this one on Netflix, and I sure hope it is available for you to view for Halloween, because it really is worth a watch.  Some of the romantic tension was wasted on me, but I am not about to start slashing this film by Jen and Sylvia, who make a disturbing cameo.  I think their bite would leave a mark I couldn’t easily forget.  And, Mary makes Liz Salander look like Hello Kitty!


One Response to “American Mary”

  1. H-Man Says:

    I've been curious to check this one out on Netflix for a while, and I think your review just convinced me. Definitely will be nice to see Isabelle in a lead role outside of the Ginger Snaps flicks.

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