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'American Mary' DVD Review

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating


American Mary
© XLrator

The Bottom Line

A dark, fascinating concept peters out by the end.


  • Strong lead performance
  • Intriguing concept


  • Uninteresting love story
  • Doesn't fully exploit the potential of the central subculture


  • Starring Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, David Lovgren, Paula Lindberg, Clay St Thomas, John Emmet Tracy, Twan Holliday
  • Directed by Jen & Sylvia Soska
  • Rated R
  • DVD Release Date: June 18, 2013

Guide Review - 'American Mary' DVD Review

Desperate for money, promising medical student Mary Mason responds to a classified ad for "sensual massages and private dances" (no sex) at a gentlemen's club, but when she arrives, the revelation of her medical knowledge leads to an offer of $5,000 to perform an emergency back alley surgery. Word hits the streets, and "Bloody Mary" soon gains a reputation for providing grisly and unconventional underground surgeries. When a vicious attack disillusions her from aspirations of a legitimate medical career, Mary descends into the darkness of black market medicine, with deadly results.

American Mary feels like a companion piece to last year's cult film Excision, both Frankenstein tales of anatomy-obsessed women who let madness get the best of them. It's not as audacious or stylish as Excision, but it's also not as off-putting. Katharine Isabelle excels in the titular role, and there's an enjoyably warped nature to the plot revolving around the subculture of voluntary body modification -- sort of like a particularly twisted episode of Nip/Tuck. Unfortunately, the story meanders away from the subculture and gets bogged down in an uninvolving love story that makes the film feel at times more like a sexual thriller than a horror movie.


No special features.

Movie: C+

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the distributor. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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