American Mary: movie review

Beginning with promising poise but ultimately going for the gross-out, this surgery slasher sets up a likably real protagonist in Mary (Katharine Isabelle, much matured from 2000’s Ginger Snaps), an ace med-school student plagued by collection calls. Strapping herself into a bustier and a take-no-shit attitude, she seeks work in a strip club, but quickly finds herself drawn into a basement emergency situation in which her expertise saves the day. Rougher trade follows as Mary sets up illegal shop as a cutter for body-mod obsessives. American Mary distracts with spectacle—there’s a bodacious, much-altered human Betty Boop (Tristan Risk) and later, a fearsome cameo by the codirectors—but the movie sags after Mary’s weak-willed acquiescence to crime, instantly turning her into a dull-eyed monster. You know her procedures are bound to stray from elective, but it’s hard to care.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

Release details

Rated: R
Duration: 103 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Screenwriter: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Cast: Katharine Isabelle
Julia Maxwell
Antonio Cupo
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