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Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Produced by James Glickenhaus
Written by Robert "Bob" Martin
Frank Henenlotter
Starring Patty Mullen
Louise Lasser
James Lorinz
Music by Joe Renzetti
Edited by Kevin Tent
Distributed by Shapiro-Glickenhaus Entertainment
Release date(s) April 1990
(Houston International Film Festival)
June 1, 1990
Running time 85 min.
Language English
Budget $2,500,000

Frankenhooker is an American black comedy horror film released in 1990. Very loosely inspired by Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, the film was directed by Frank Henenlotter and stars James Lorinz as medical school drop-out Jeffrey Franken and former Penthouse Pet Patty Mullen as the title character (who wears a fatsuit in the beginning of the film).


After his attractive fiancée is cut into pieces in a freak accident involving a lawnmower, aspiring mad scientist Jeffrey Franken is determined to put her back together again. He sets about reassembling his girlfriend using parts from a variety of New York prostitutes. However, his bizarre plan goes awry when his reanimated girlfriend no longer wants just him, but for money will take on anybody, and afterwards try to kill them.[1]


  • James Lorinz as Jeffrey Franken
  • Joanne Ritchie as Mrs. Shelley
  • Paul-Felix Montez as Goldie
  • Joseph Gonzalez as Zorro the Pimp
  • Patty Mullen as Elizabeth Shelley
  • J.J. Clark as Mr. Shelley
  • Greg Martin as Rufus McClure
  • Carissa Channing as Dolores
  • Shirl Bernheim as Elizabeth's Grandmother
  • Judy Grafe as Newscaster
  • Helmar Augustus Cooper as Detective Anderson
  • Louise Lasser as Jeffrey's Mother
  • John Zacherle as Weatherman
  • Charlotte J. Helmkamp as Honey
  • Lia Chang as Crystal
  • Kimberly Taylor as Amber
  • Shirley Stoler as Spike the Bartender
  • Ari M. Roussimoff as Zorro's Customer


Frankenhooker's initial release was delayed because of difficulty obtaining an R rating from the MPAA; the director recalls that one representative of the ratings body actually said, in a phone call to the production company's secretary, ‘Congratulations, you’re the first film rated S.’ And she said ‘S? For sex?’ And they said ‘No, S for Shit.’ [2]

Frankenhooker was released on home video in both rated and unrated versions; the unrated version has considerably more nudity than the cut version that has played on TV over the years.

Frankenhooker was well known for its unique interactive VHS cover box; when the subway lamp post was pressed by the customer, the box spoke back the line, "Wanna date?" from the film.

In 1998, the R-rated version of the film was released on VHS and DVD in the USA by Simitar.

On October 17, 2006, the film was digitally remastered and released in the USA on DVD by Unearthed Films in its original, uncut form. Featured on the bottom right of the cover is actor Bill Murray's famous quote, "If you see one movie this year, it should be Frankenhooker." Synapse Films released the film on Blu-ray Disc on November 22, 2011.

A second Blu-ray of the film was released by British company Arrow Video—a division of Arrow Films—on January 2, 2012.

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