• Marissa Hernandez

WIHM: Day #1 AMERICAN MARY



Mary’s disillusionment with her profession is very common and while being a med student who can barely pay the bills, she finds an unconventional way to establish herself in the underground world as being a surgeon who does body modification for a hefty sum. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, sure but she quickly accumulates an aggressive following of individuals who also want to establish themselves with their identities by transforming their bodies. It’s a bizarre inspiration and collaboration, which essentially shows one person helping out another all from the perspective of a self assertive woman. She’s not some damsel in distress or is all “boohoo me!” Mary (Katherine Isabelle) takes charge of her life and when one opportunity fails her, another one presents itself and viola! it becomes the catalyst to her new identity and life. This is part of the bizarre fairytale that truly makes my heart flutter but also takes root in bringing a sense of power to one’s life. Perhaps this is why the title’s faint veneer of thematic consideration seeds itself in the homage of what used to be considered a pursuance of the “American dream”.



Don’t get me wrong it’s not all thrills and success, something unforgivable happens to Mary, which alters her state of mind triggering the ultimate fire for good old fashion blood and revenge. This theme will play loosely in the background and makes the audience understand the character’s choices. Because, not everyone is pleased with Mary’s work so this also creates an unfortunate disaster. I won’t give into details, but playing, “Ava Maria” at the end made me tear up. Damn. Such a struggle. But so beautifully brought to fruition in the cinematic climax. It hurts, but its so good.


American Mary is what inspires me, as a filmmaker to keep making horror movies. It’s an original story and those seem so hard to come by these days. Using body modification as the nucleus of such a world gone mad is probably the first of its kind. I can't think or name of any other film, that dives into this subject. Using iconic characters like "Betty Boop" as an example of extreme tempering of one's identity was quite a trip. It forces the viewer to go down a warped rabbit hole of disillusionment which translates into happiness for most of this characters in this dark world. Sure at times there are hints of campiness but that's where the humor truly transpires.



The pacing, the darkness, the wisely chosen music, and a dominant game face by Katherine Isabelle, where the look of death steals every scene, while playing with blood will always be hailed a classic in my collection. And its cinematography is beautifully done along side the make-up effects. Bravo! This film taps into a weirdness that's unexpectedly made me enjoy it, despite its shortcomings at times, but essentially makes me want to identify with the main character maintaining a sense of clarity after enduring a dark experience. Its what makes her unique and shine bright in an underbelly of a world where so many feel like a misfit or rejected. So Jen and Sylvia Soska keep the originality and the horror going. Please! My heart loves you both for it!


Also how freaking cool is it, that Jen and Sylvia Soska are identical twins and make an appearance in their film!!? How damn adorable is that!? I love it!



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