Katharine Isabelle in American Mary (2012)

Mary the Modifier

Medical student Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle) is finding the bills mounting up which is why she decides to audition at a seedy strip club. But rather than being the dancer she expected her medical skills are called in to use when the owner offers her 5k to prevent a severely beaten up man from dying. That underground operation leads to another when a plastic surgery addicted woman offers her silly money to do a secret operation on her friends who wishes to be desexualized. But the skills Mary is perfecting come in to use when a doctor attacks her at a party and decides to exact revenge.

I am going to stop with that synopsis there as there is a whole lot more which goes on in this horror movie which most certainly has a dark, comedy side. In fact "American Mary" is quite a mixed bag because in one scene we will have a moment of dark comedy where Mary with out motion informs a patient's family that he has had a heart attack and then died. But then a couple of scenes later we witness Mary being raped at a party. The strange thing is that the flip flopping in tone is not a problem with this sort of movie.

As to what sort of movie it is? Well "American Mary" is horror porn which wants to entertain by the subject of body modification and sometimes its graphic representation be that someone asking for their nipples to be removed to Mary getting revenge on the man who raped her. No matter which side it is this is a movie which wants to see how far it can go before the audience has to look away. Personally I am not a fan of this sort of thing but I am sure those who have an interest in body modification will find a lot of this highly entertaining and might even find it a turn on.

That is not all there is to "American Mary" and basically Mary finds herself being investigated by the police as well as hunted down by an angry husband. But in truth the story is never the focus of the movie but the comical darkness of Mary and her unique set of surgical skills. As such a lot rests on Katharine Isabelle selling the movie and she does so in a matter of fact way combined with a bit of cheeky devil, making her character quite playful at times.

What this all boils down to is that "American Mary" is in truth a well made movie and I can see how many would find it really entertaining. But for me the movie often felt it relied too heavily on the graphic nature of body modification to make it work and to make it shock the audience.