DVD Review: American Mary
Someone in the marketing department decided to make American Mary pose as a seductive revenge horror, where a surgical student uses her skills to take revenge on those who have wronged her. It had me thinking something akin to Hostel, but hoping for something with a lot more substance.
What American Mary turned out to be however, is something else entirely.
Sure, it has a surgical student who uses her talents to take revenge on someone, but this is a minor part of the film.
Rather, American Mary is a kind of political film that wants the viewer to empathize with the misunderstood freaks and geeks of the body modification underworld – the kind of people who have horn implants in their heads, or have their nipples removed to they can look more Barbie like. It is a fascinating, if somewhat disturbing look at an edgy subculture, and shows the seemingly disturbed lengths some people will go to to feel better about themselves.
It also shows the lengths students up to their eyes in debt, will go to to make a little money on the side – though body modification wasn’t Mary’s intended path to financial freedom, her first idea was equally seedy.
American Mary also is more of a big tease than the torture-porn it pretends to be, with most of the gorefest done off camera, and unless you enjoy perving at Barbie when the kids are in bed, Mary doesn’t live up to the other end of the genre ether.
The one thing that American Mary has going for it is that of Katharine Isabelle as Mary. Whilst her character could have done with more time to develop, it is fascinating watching her transformation, and this along makes the movie worth while, at least for those of you brave enough to peep into the world of body mods via the twisted world of revenge.
R18 Violence, sexual violence and content that may disturb.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read