Bride of Frank

Director: Steve Ballot
(as Escalp Don Blade)

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Bride of FrankThe Bride of Frank (1996) is a satiric horror movie that has been called "John Waters meets Troma," though comparisons to any other films are difficult, it is so completely uniquely, thrillingly, & appalling.

I regard Bride of Frank a work of true twisted genius, not even counting the musical interlude with an insanely trashy faggy band called the Young & Fabulous.

A tale of love & evil, Bride of Frank shows us in the first shot the uber-disgusting Frank kidnapping a little girl (Morgan Tara, the director's niece), tricking her into believing he's looking for his lost kitten. He then beats her brains in, crushes her with the wheels of a Mac truck, grabs up her squished brains, & eats them.

Graphically doing in children generally remains the last taboo of sleezy slashers, & this one "undoes" its own breach of the taboo by making this only Frank's dream.

Bride of FrankHe's a creepy old coot (played by Frank Meyer, an actual bum) but not quite creepy enough to do what we just saw him do. Dream it sure.

In his waking life he is a homeless codger whom the manager of a Newark shipping company took pity upon & lets him live in a corner of the warehouse. He helps truckers make deliveries & works as a janitor & sort of defacto night watchman in order to justify living in the place.

It's not long before we begin to think of him as kind of a cool old fart instead of just a creepy bastard who dreamed of killing a child. Still, if you try to hurt him, he just might bite your dick off.

He definitely has a moral code. He never hurts anyone without giving them plenty of advance warning. If he tells someone he's going to cut off their head & shit down the stump, & they persist in being annoying because they tend not to believe his threats mean anything, they'll eventually find out Frank's no liar.

Bride of FrankCrude & funny, this is microbudget filmmaking at its horrific best, upraising exploitation horror to a working class artform.

It's not only graphically disgusting, but it's stylishly acted by real people in a cinema verite style, rather than badly acted by amateurs who wish they could act but can't. The director gets great performances out of these non-professionals, several of whom are actual workers in the actual warehouse.

When humorously demented killings occur, it is always in the context of Frank as the company's beloved pet hobo. The workers know he kills people, but not anyone who didn't try to do him injury of some kind, even if the injury amounts mostly to being a dumbass in his presence.

For example, a dweeby dork doing Jerry Lewis's "little kid" routine needs directions & tries to get it from the truckers at the warehouse. He's hardly one to talk, but he begins making fun of Frank. So the workers are fine with helping frank cut off the guy's head, then Frank as he'd promised shits down his neck-stump.

Bride of FrankAnyone who is offended by & despises films of this type could certainly be justified despising this one too, but to me it was pure delight.

Except for having adopted stray cats, which number five, Frank would be so very lonely. When Frank becomes obsessive in a "I want tits!" mode, the guys at the warehouse try to help get a big-titted woman. But a snaggletoothed hobo is not apt to be any gal's ideal date.

Candy (Karen Tansey) is super cruel to Frank so he kills her then plays with her tits. His next date is with Edna the ugly transvestite (Chick Carter, the same guy who played the beheaded Jerry Lewis style dweeb earlier in the tale, as well as the disgusting Bob). This is an hysterical sequence that again ends in comic gore.

[SPOILER ALTERT!] His next important date's with a fat sexy gal (Tasim Atkinson) who again meets him at the warehouse after hours. She calls him "a salty old dog" & doesn't seem disappointed that he's an ugly dirty bum. But then she gets mean, so he rips out of her eyes & eats it. Then he fucks her in the eye-socket (a little effect that is elaborated in one of the dvd's many hilarious extras."

Dolores (warehouse worker Dolores Costaldo) is his next date, after his strange dream of his mother (Arnell Dowret). He & Dolores get along great! They go out on the town together, to see the exhibition of a hundred pound rat (i.e., a capybara). They get married & live happily after after. [END SPOILER ALTERT] Holy effing poop barrel, I love this movie!!

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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