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Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Produced by James Glickenhaus
Written by
Music by Joe Renzetti
Cinematography Robert M. Baldwin
Edited by Kevin Tent
Distributed by Shapiro-Glickenhaus Entertainment
Release dates
  • April 1990 (1990-04) (Houston International Film Festival)
Running time
85 minutes
Language English
Box office $205,068[1]

Frankenhooker is a 1990 American black comedy horror directed by Frank Henenlotter. Very loosely inspired by Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, the film 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).


Jeffrey is heartbroken after his fiancée Elizabeth is killed by a lawnmower during a cookout. He decides that the only way to confront her loss is to use his science skills to bring her back to life. As her body has been cut into pieces, Jeffrey must take new parts from other women and he ultimately chooses to harvest them from the bodies of New York prostitutes he lures back to his house and kills via exploding crack. He uses the body parts to bring Elizabeth back to life, however her mind isn't fully restored. The newly revived creation escapes and begins looking for customers, who end up exploding after encountering her. Jeffrey also has problems in the form of the pimp Zorro, who comes looking for the women Jeffrey hired. He threatens Jeffrey and strikes Elizabeth, which causes her to regain her senses. During all of this the spare hooker parts are reanimated into a many limbed monster, which drags Zorro away - but not before he kills Jeffrey. Wanting her lover back, Elizabeth decides to revive Jeffrey via the same procedure he used on her. Since the process only works on female bodies, Elizabeth had to use the hookers' body parts. Jeffrey has a brief moment of clarity before his brain begins to go haywire in the same manner that Elizabeth's did earlier in the film prior to the film cutting to black.


  • James Lorinz as Jeffrey Franken
  • Patty Mullen as Elizabeth Shelley
  • Joanne Ritchie as Mrs. Shelley
  • Paul-Felix Montez as Goldie
  • Joseph Gonzalez as Zorro the Pimp
  • J.J. Clark as Mr. Shelley
  • Greg Martin as Rufus McClure
  • Carissa Channing as Dolores
  • Shirl Bernheim as Elizabeth's Grandmother
  • Helmar Augustus Cooper as Detective Anderson
  • Heather Hunter as Chartreuse
  • Louise Lasser as Mrs. Franken
  • Charlotte Kemp (credited as Charlotte Helmkamp) as Honey
  • Lia Chang as Crystal
  • Kimberly Taylor as Amber
  • Shirley Stoler as Spike the Bartender


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] To his dismay, Henenlotter's conservative parents insisted on attending the film's premier in New York City; Henenlotter expressed surprise that they were not offended by the exploitative elements.[3]


Variety wrote, "Frankenhooker is a grisly, grotesque horror comedy recommended only for the stout of heart and strong of stomach."[4] Vincent Canby of The New York Times wrote that "there is a legitimate sense of the absurd lurking within Frank Henenlotter's Frankenhooker" but it is "overshadowed by special effects" and elements that recall soft-core pornography.[5] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called it a "hilarious, totally outrageous grin-and-gore comedy".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Frankenhooker box office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
  2. ^ Bett, Alan (2013-05-10). "Exploitation: An Interview with Frank Henenlotter". The Skinny. Retrieved 2014-09-18. 
  3. ^ Thompson, Tristan (2013-05-31). "The Monster Movie Memories of a Brain-Damaged Basket Case: In conversation with Frank Henenlotter". Fangoria. Retrieved 2014-09-18. 
  4. ^ "Review: 'Frankenhooker'". Variety. 1990. Retrieved 2014-09-18. 
  5. ^ Canby, Vincent (1990-06-15). "Frankenhooker (1990)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-09-18. 
  6. ^ Thomas, Kevin (1990-06-01). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Frankenhooker': A Fun Slice of American Gothic". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-09-18. 

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