American Mary | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 103 minutes · 2013

Not for the faint of heart, this odd, hair-raising horror movie bristles with unsettling ideas. The title character (smart, smoking-hot Katharine Isabelle) is an impoverished medical student who unwisely accepts a wad of cash to stitch up a bloodied criminal and subsequently gets sucked into an underground career as a surgeon performing extreme body modification. (Her entrée to this world is a woman, played by Paula Lindberg, who's gotten herself sliced up to look like Betty Boop.) Unfortunately, there's another, much less imaginative story line in which Mary gets raped by a professor and exacts a sadistic and horrifying revenge. Writer-directors Jen and Sylvia Soska don't seem to have their material completely under control, but they've created a worthy entry in the Freaks school of cult cinema.

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