So there I was, 4 am and nothing to do but watch a little Netflix, and what did I find but a movie that I’ve been wanting to watch ever since I saw the blurb on Amazon: American Mary. This 2012 horror flick about a med student who drops out of med school to perform underground surgeries is deviant, sick, and bloody, and it has a certain twisted brilliance about it.
Mary Mason is struggling to make it through medical school. Not academically–no, she’s got intelligence and skill in spades, but it’s a lack of funds that is severely hindering her advancement. She even goes so far as to apply for a job at a seedy “gentleman’s” club, hoping to make some fast cash to ward off creditors. Her professionalism proves to be her undoing, however, when the owner sees her neatly typed resume takes advantage of her surgical knowledge to have her save the life of a man he’d tortured. It’s bloody, illegal work, but Mary needs the money.
Enter Beatress Johnson, a woman who has had heavy plastic surgery to look like a real-life Betty Boop. She seeks out Mary on behalf of a friend, Ruby, who wants some under-the-radar surgery to modify her body. Mary is hesitant, but she takes the money and performs the procedure. Soon she joins the world of body modification, performing tongue splittings, horn implants, and other procedures catering to those who want to make permanent changes to their appearance.
Her life changes even further, however, when she is lured to a party held by some of the most respectable surgeons in the school. Mary is drugged and finds herself the victim of one of her professors.
Thanks to her connections at the gentleman’s club, she is able to exact revenge on her professor in a most gruesome manner. She continues to practice her trade, becoming ever more skilled–and ever more feared. She earns the nickname “Bloody Mary” from her customers, and even the thugs at the club are scared of her.
There are many twists and turns in this horrific thriller, and some of them are not for the faint of heart. American Mary does not shy away from the blood and gore associated with these types of modification procedures. The ending leaves a little to be desired, falling slightly flat, but overall this film is an excellent late-night horror flick.