Celluloid Obscurities #06: Frankenhooker (With Tarek of Noise Rock Outfit, Intercourse)


In episode six of Celluloid Obscurities, we bring on our first guest, Tarek, of the rambunctious New Haven noise rock quartet, Intercourse. After conducting an interview with him several months ago and from it, learning the artwork of his band’s latest LP, Everything is Pornography When You’ve Got an Imagination, is inspired (in part) by Frankenhooker, we thought it would be fun to have Tarek expound upon his love for this comedic 80s schlock. This paves the path for future Celluloid Obscurities episodes to feature guests and the one simple rule we impose on these episodes is the guest chooses the film of discussion. This also takes us beyond the scope of films we have discussed on Celluloid Obscurities thus far, porting us to a genre we did not anticipate to traverse. And for this, we thank Tarek for fracturing the mold.

Frankenhooker is a dark comedy from director Frank Henenlotter (Brain Damage, Basket Case Series), scored by Joe Renzetti, and stars James Lorinz and Patty Mullen. Jeffrey (Lorinz) is a failed medical student, a mad scientist, that concocts a bevy of strange specimens and gadgets. His fiancée is Elizabeth (Mullen). On the sunny afternoon of the birthday party of Elizabeth’s father, she unveils a self-automated lawnmower, created by Jeffrey, as a gift to him. Though when she turns on the contraption to show off its bells and whistles, she ends up mutilating and decapitating herself in a complete freak accident. With the guilt of her death weighing upon Jeffrey’s chest, and as he spirals into psychosis, he formulates an unhinged plan to reassemble Elizabeth using body parts from Manhattan street walkers. What unfolds is an absurd romp of copious supercrack consumption, firework exploding sex workers, and sardonic wit. Thank you so much for listening.

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Thank you Graham for mastering this episode’s audio and crafting the droning sounds heard beneath our words. For folks interested, you can download or stream all of Graham’s work for free on his <1 Bandcamp page.

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