Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mary, Mary

"My initial assumption was that this movie would be a horror film or "torture porn" but it was neither. It was a deliciously beautiful movie that takes a very heavy and disturbing bunch of topics (rape, revenge, body modification, underground surgery), and presents them in a manner where the viewer never feels to queasy or shows scenes that are bloody just for the sake of throwing blood around. The cinematography and music were absolutely top notch as were performances by all the actors involved with a particularly strong showing from Isabelle who was numb to anything in her existence for the last 75% of the film." - T-MAK World (full article)
"Whereas Dead Hooker in a Trunk was a furious, ramshackle donkey ride, American Mary is infinitely more measured than its predecessor. Whilst it would've been easy to frantically pile on the berko body horror shocks and pummel the audience into submission, this is not that kind of film; the Soskas have kept the action deliberate and steady to let the story unfold at a natural pace. It is a credit to their prodigious talents, too, that each and every one of the human oddities and seedy crooks on-screen is carefully etched out in three dimensions as achingly human. Even Billy, potentially a caricature of violent, manipulative masculinity at its worst, is fleshed out into a real character. It cannot be overstated just how much of a quantum leap forward the Soskas have made in honing their craft. 
Strong performances abound, with burlesque dancer Tristan Risk mixing sad vulnerability and wilful kookiness in equal measures to bring the bizarre Beatress to life. Isabelle is absolutely mesmerising. Whilst most genre fans would agree that her appearances as Ginger Fitzgerald were laudable, the required acting range extended from "slightly stroppy" to "very surly"; here she delivers a subtle, nuanced performance which captures a complex character arc without ever resorting to violently unnatural behavioural swerves." - Finbarr Heather, Digital Retribution (full article)

"For a film that focuses so heavily on the surgical aspect, one could almost be forgiven for immediately thinking that American Mary could or would become nothing more then a cheap tawdry excuse in low budget gore. One would be wrong though
. The greatest measure of praise that can be reaped upon American Mary is that it manages to defy all expectations and keep its audience on their toes at every turn. 

Just when I thought I had the film pegged, the Soska sisters somehow managed to find a way to pull the rug out and turn expectations on its head. At one point you could easily mistake it for going in the direction of a standard rape-revenge exercise. Then in the next breathe you could mistake it for becoming another entry in the torture porn catalog But in reality, what it all adds up to is a rather deliberate character study of a woman being empowered by descending into complete madness making all the wrong decisions along the way -- whilst dealing with the chauvinistic pig headed men in her life. Strangely, it is a journey which reminded me of Sion Sono’s Guilty of Romance." - Daniel M, Confessions of a Cinefile (full article)

"A provocative combination of the horrors of a feminist Frankenstein with a fetishist twist and the visceral thrills of the “female revenge” genre, the film is laced throughout with a wicked sense of humour and a darkly erotic charge. Simultaneously beautiful, repulsive, shocking and endearing, Jen & Sylvia Soska’s thought-provoking exploration into the depths of tattoo and body modification subculture seduced audiences at this year’s Film4 FrightFest, being heralded as “Absolutely superb” by Ain’t It Cool News and “Unforgettable” by Fangoria." - Andrew Marshall, Subtitled Online (full article)

"Shades of Cronenberg and David Lynch are evident in American Mary, but The Soska Sisters remain filmmakers of genuine talent, whose debut no-budget cult film, Dead Hooker in a Trunk, was obviously no fluke. Be sure to spot a sterling cameo by the twins too, which points to them as bona fide Tarantinos of the horror world, but better actors. The only mystery is why the film is called American Mary. Is it a reference to Paul Schrader’s American Gigolo, another film that American Mary owes a debt to? This film will creep you out, but it will also excite you about the arrival of not one, but two, classy female directors of the future, who also remember the importance of the past." - Dov Kornits, FilmInk (full article)


No comments:

Post a Comment