TRIGGER WARNING: Be advised, this movie uses rape as a catalyst.
As a fan of bodymods, from mild to extreme, I was looking forward to this movie, but it lacks…
The story has potential: a not your average girl-next-door in med school taps into a unique way to pick up cash, gets raped, goes on a revenge kick, makes a career change, finds her niche, makes a unique set of new friends, contemplates running away from it all, culminating in a bad meeting with the angry husband of a very happy client.
The acting is indie horror standard: the most believable scene being a moment towards the end, a reality check delivered by Lance (Twan Holliday), the strip club owners henchman. Tristan Risk as Beatress, the Betty Boop devotee shows true heart, as does Paula Lindberg who desires to be a real life Barbie; both portray as kind and caring, in spite of their unique physical aesthetics. Mary’s weirdly potential love interest/occasional business partner (Antonio Cupo) vacillates between seedy strip club owner and puppy in love, quite well actually; as though he’s never had real emotions and has no idea what to do when they happen, but knows he wants to rescue Mary from a world he, himself, accidentally dragged her into.
The element that was sorely missed was one I feel is important for every horror film…the comedic aspect. There were no laughs, nothing that made you see the main as anything other than a vehicle for short skirts, which is hard, because I really wanted to like her: in theory, her character is good, but I”m not sure who the blame lies with, the actress portraying Mary (Katharine Isabelle) in such a deadpan fashion, as if she’s almost uninterested in her own life, or the Soska Sisters (who pulled a total M. Night Shyamalan by casting themselves in a rather obvious part…).
Here is my final verdict for “American Mary,”
Gore: 2/5 (it’s there, but nowhere near as graphic as it could have been considering the subject matter)