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The Globe and Mail

American Mary: Alt-festival hit is truly a cut above

Jen and Sylvia Soska‘s new film is American Mary.

American Mary
Written by
Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Directed by
Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Katharine Isabelle

By the time the Soska twins (Jen and Sylvia) turn up in American Mary – entering a bar that fronts as a high-end cosmetic surgery service that is not for the squeamish – you've been exposed to so much twisted weirdness that you may not notice the leather laces stitched into their backs.

But that's the kind of movie the Vancouver-born writer-director team has – so to speak – stitched together: a journey into delirium-high body-modification fashion fetishism so out there that twin sisters with leather stitching in their backs pass for just another drive-by oddity.

The second feature by this hugely cult-buzzed duo (whose premiere was the daintily titled Dead Hooker in a Trunk), American Mary follows the entrepreneurial innovations of a dropped-out student surgeon (Ginger Snaps' drop-dead dangerous Katharine Isabelle) whose artistry in the customized skin arts flourishes after she exacts an appallingly appropriate revenge on a rapist.

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No wonder American Mary has been sparking the fan-based alt-festival underground circuit for the past several months: This is truly a cut above.

American Mary screens on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. as part of Cineplex's Sinister Cinema series at the Yonge and Dundas theatre in Toronto.

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