“American Mary” – movie review

From IMDB:

American Mary (2012)

The allure of easy money sends Mary Mason, a medical student, into the world of underground surgeries which ends up leaving more marks on her than her so called “freakish” clients.

Written and Directed by: Jen and Sylvia Soska

Cast: Katherine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk

American Mary

 Although that short IMDB blurb doesn’t quite do this movie justice, it does hit the high points.
Mary (Katherine Isabelle) is a gifted surgical student in some undisclosed medical school that looks like it’s somewhere in Europe (you know? the bad part of Europe….) but could be anywhere, really.
Anyway, with bills piling up, Mary applies for a job as a hostess at a strip club, which she might have gotten, had her medical training not been more valuable, earning her $5000 during the interview to “clean up” an unexpected situation for the owner.
Leaving, Mary vows never to go back, but is later approached by one of the strippers who has a friend that wants–
Well, let’s just say that this movie will show you everything you’ve ever wanted to know, and/or didn’t know that you did/didn’t want to know, about extreme body modification.
This is not a movie for the physically squeamish. Blood, sexual situations, violence, and just some flat-out weird shit is going on.
But it’s Mary that drives the bus. After the incident at the club, and what she believes is a one-time surgical favor for that “friend,” an incident with a professor drives her out of med-school and into the arms of members of the body-mod community who appreciate her skills.
It is, despite its somewhat unusual subject matter, a very interesting glimpse into the descent of an otherwise bright and normal individual into the very depths of madness and revenge. Even gangsters and bad-asses come to fear Mary. But it is, in it’s own way, funny.
Darkly funny, of course. But funny.
If you’re open to this kind of cinematic experience, I’ll tell you to watch it. It’s disturbing on a level similar to “A Clockwork Orange,” but it’s hard to root against Mary, who has done nothing (aside from that one scene–you’ll know it if you watch) really wrong. She is just using her skills to help people.
Living in a time when ideas of sexual, racial, and societal identity are seemingly in such flux, this movie seems relevant.
How far would you go to look on the outside the way you feel on the inside?
For Mary’s clients, that answer is “all the way.”
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