When viewing a film directed by Frank Henenlotter, one should not expect anything more than the unexpected. In Basket Case, we viewed the tale of a man who carries his separated, deformed Siamese twin in a basket. The quasi-normal of the twin falls in love, spurring the basketed twin to lash out with murderous, as well as comical, repercussions. In Frankenhooker, a med school drop-out plans to resurrect the love of his life by piecing her together with the body-parts of prostitutes that he lures to their deaths. So it should not be surprising that Henenlotter’s latest tale, Bad Biology, is also a mutated love story.
Jennifer, played by newcomer Charlee Danielson, has a deformity. She has a high metabolism and seven clitori, which leads to an exaggerated sexual appetite and pregnancies that last only a few hours, in which she gives birth to mutated babies, giving a new view to the term “dumpster baby.” After fearing her physical traits with the help of some disgusted boyfriends, she learns to cope with her problem by having sex with almost anyone willing, while still pining for true love.
Batz, played by Anthony Sneed, also has a deformity. Due to a botched delivery as a newborn, his penis was cut off instead of his umbilical cord. In order to gain an erection, he pumps his penis full of steroids and other drugs until it, literally, has a life of its own, as well as an insatiable sexual appetite. Batz loses control of his penis (hint hint, male sexual appetite) and must now feed it depressants in order to tame it so that he may cry in his room about how lonely he is.
Through fate, these two mutants find each other, but not as they had hoped and certainly not as the audience expects.
Now, this synopsis may sound great, and would get a viewer ready for a few laughs. I laughed quite a few times at the screening. Scenes such as Jennifer beating a man’s head into the floor and then going into her super-speed labor, her photo-shoot for Jedi Mind Tricks, as well as her “first boyfriend” and his attitude toward her weird vagina, were funny. Danielson’s acting relied heavily on monologues that were well written and acted out, and gave the audience a sense of the isolation she feels with her affliction. It was a fantastic development of character, both by direction and acting. Unfortunately, the rest of the film does not follow suit.
Anthony Sneed’s depiction of Batz is not bad. He fulfills the character development of what he is given in the script. Unfortunately, it is sparse. In comparison to the development of Jennifer, Batz’ direction seems rushed and unimportant. There is a fantastic scene where a prostitute he sleeps with goes into a convulsing, hours-on-end orgasm because of his super-penis, but other than that, not much more is accomplished except seeing Batz punch his groin numerous times and get a peek at some sort of masturbation machine that seems to have razor-wire embedded in it (an item that begged for more explanation).
The ending, in comparison to Batz’ character development, drags on way too long. The climax of the film shows Batz’ penis detaching from him, and attacking women throughout his neighborhood block. This sets up some hilarious scenes of women being attacked by a giant meaty dildo with a life of its own. The problem is, it drags on. Instead of a good three times of seeing a mutant penis break through a wall, we see it for what seems like ten times, without much variety. It’s over-done, and annoying. When Jennifer and Batz are finally together, it is anti-climactic, for all the wrong reasons.
I did not expect some fantastic revelation to come from this movie. There’s only so much you can do with monstrous attacking peni and vaginas. Unfortunately, Henenlotter pretends to make the movie seem more worthwhile in the beginning, in order to disappoint the audience by the end. Maybe funds ran out. In any event, it feels like nothing more than a producer’s hope to see a lot of nudity on-set.
Rating: 2-1/2 out of 5 references to John Holmes. You’d be better off watching the Basket Case series, but for something new from Henenlotter, this is it. I will, however, keep a look-out for another try by Charlee Danielson and Anthony Sneed.