Can you briefly explain the plot of American Mary?
Sylvia Soska: American Mary follows the story of Mary Mason, played by Katharine Isabelle, as she grows increasingly disenchanted by her medical school and the surgeons teaching her and the allure of easy money and notoriety sends Mary into the messy world of underground surgery and body modification which leaves more marks on her psyche than her freakish clientele.READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW HERE!
Jen Soska: I love it when she does that.
What interested you about the world of body modification?
Sylvia Soska: I was looking on the internet one day and we found this April’s Fool’s prank, at the time we didn’t know it was an April Fool’s joke.
Jen Soska: We actually didn’t know it was a prank until we were filming and we mentioned it and our body mod consultant laughed in our faces.
Sylvia Soska: But the story goes there were two identical brothers and one of them had his arm sawn off and grafted onto his brother’s chest and the other had his ring finger removed and grafted onto his brother’s hand to have an elongated finger, because they were genetically identical you can do limb swaps with twins without rejection. That didn’t disturb me, or even the photos, as much as these big long love letters about being one half and having this connection and I thought it was very creepy and felt very scared and thought what is wrong with the world? But every time something scares me I become obsessed with it so went online, onto message boards and I would pretend I was going for all this surgery, it was just for shits and giggles.
Jen Soska: It was not originally intended for a film, it was just something that fascinated us, we’ve seen a lot of things in our lives and we’re not really phased by much, we were raised in a very open way. I mean when we were 12 we watched Hellraiser and it wasn’t a big deal, our mom would watch horror movies because she loved horror movies and she didn’t want to watch shitty kid’s shows so we watched them with her and she would explain them to us.
Sylvia Soska: Then later we were trying to sell our first film, Dead Hooker in a Trunk, and we had no money for food or rent and we were going down to LA to try and get into mainstream filmmaking and every time we did we’d meet these horrendously awful human beings.
Jen Soska: As you do when you are in Hollywood.
Sylvia Soska: I blame Penthouse, people take identical twins in the worst way possible, [laughs] anyway we met a great producer and he said 'why don’t you focus on your next script what else do you have?' At the time we had nothing so I lied, I was like ‘I have so many scripts I don’t even know what you want to read.’ And I made up a bunch of things I knew we could make up in a couple of weeks so I went ‘this one and this one and this one about a medical student’ and he goes ‘yeah the medical student one, I just want to look it over,’ so we wrote it in two weeks and everything we had been through accidentally went into the script. I didn’t even realise how personal it was until people were pointing it out and I started getting very uncomfortable.
Jen Soska: It’s very much an analogy of our own misadventures in the film industry, we used mainstream medicine instead of Hollywood and the body mod community in place of independent film and the horror community. We were always so embraced by the horror community our first film, Dead Hooker in a Trunk, most people said a title like that it’s got to be a shit film but the fans loved it so much that it became this online cult phenomenon so we managed to get distribution.
Sylvia Soska: And that led to the opportunity to make this one.