Hmmm … where to begin? This film had been everything I have read about and more. In fact, I dare say it’s Henenlotter’s best film *(I am sure there are many, many who will disagree — go start your own page and whine about how great BASKET CASE is – which it is, don’t get me wrong — but for the millionth time?). BAD BIOLOGY is disturbing to the core, grotesque, brilliant, poetic, gross, beautiful, touching, sarcastic, romantic, morose even at times – – – but, above all else, it is absolutely friggin’ hysterical, tackling supremely odd body-horror subject matter in a way only Henenlotter can.
It’s been roundabouts 16 years since Frank Henenelotter last graced us with his unique visions of body-horror mayhem, and emotionally shattered, drug addled sex mutants *(and the scarier, real-life horrors that created / induced them), when he’d made this and I’d first viewed it. His films almost always, at their core, seem to touch on something deep, something dark, within all of us. Those things most forbidden, most taboo and so sacred / blasphemous as to only be whispered in hushed tones behind blackened porn store windows, and only written about in the notes of the mad and the liberated – – – the poor rotten bastard who was bless / cursed with the rotten fruit of malformed fetishistic lusts. In Henenlotter’s world, slimy, knotted lumps of sick-willed flesh lay hidden within the most innocuous of places, whether it be in the twisted weaves of a wicker basket or in the smooth folds of a willing vagina, multi-clitorised vagina.
Enter Jennifer *(Ha.) She is a sexy, strange girl of blond hair and blue eyes. Her opening lines of the film are “I was born with seven clitoris’ .” Wow, if that don’t grab you, well, buddy, time for a new hearing aid. Anyway, Jenifer works as a fashion photographer, very artsy-type stuff. In her free time she takes creepy altered black and white photos of the men that she brings home to fukk, and afterwards she accidentally kills them during her violent-storm orgasms. *(She is played by Charlee Danielson, who apparently is a model/singer/musician/actress. Huh, I’ve never heard of her, but I am fairly unhip), What I CAN tell you is that this was the perfect choice for the role of whacked out, batshit crazy nympho Jenifer, and she exudes this raw and honest sexuality that most porn girls can’t even pull off *(HA! Another one, I kill me.). Anyway, She kicks down the fourth wall every once in a while during her narration of certain parts of the film and tells us little tidbits about her life. Such as she spent her youth in basically one long orgasm. She got her first period at 5. Oh, yeah, and 2 hours after sex, Jen crouches down and pops out a strange, creepy-assed “useless mutant freak baby” in her gentle, nurturing maternal words. Then the rotten bitch pops the creepy little fukk into the nearest dumpster or whatever. No biggie. *(Hell, I’d probably do the same thing with something that looked and sounded like that). In fact, it sounded a lot like the lil mutant bastard from Buddy Giovanazzi’s COMBAT SHOCK (aka: AMERICAN NIGHTMARE). Oh, but I digress. Eventually, after being just plain used (which she hates, servicing without so much as even a thank you after from her sperm donor) for the playtime. Her sex madness pushes her full throttle over the edge psychologically, and she believes her purpose is to be fukked by god, that her vagina is truly the Holiest of Holies.
Now, let me introduce you to Batz (played with a convincing and tortured creepy-creepiness by Anthony Sneed), a weird, shy lil guy with a wee bit of a problem. Well, a bit more than a “wee” bit. Let me explain. He has a living, self-willed penis that makes John Holmes look like GG Allin. It is an awful, scarred and bumpy thing of ghastly, monstrous proportions. His penis also happens to be a drug addict, and although the exact drugs are never specified, Batz is given a bag of “similar things – – – but for animals!” from his drug dealer. That scene, incidentally, takes place in this little crack house, and there are some strange characters inside, including a fiending brunette and her mean old crackhead boyfriend. She can not find her pipe and is freaking out, ripping the house up. Well, this scene is so dead on as to how those types live their crazed and psychotic freebase-fueled lifestyles. *(I have seen places and people exactly like that in my strange travels over the years, unfortunately, and this clip should be used as a goddamned D.A.R.E. video or something, it is that realistic). Again with the digression. So this weird, shy Batz kid gets tortured telepathically by his monster member. It begs for sex and drugs and flops around violently in his pants, until he beats it into submission or gets it high. To get it high he injects it with a clear blue fluid that looks a hell of a lot like the synthetic drug that Aylmer made in Mr. Henenlotter’s equally as brilliant BRAIN DAMAGE (1988). As a matter of fact, there is a lot about this film that seems real similar to BRAIN DAMAGE. Anywho, this poor kid has to use some steampunk-ish looking and clunky masturbation machine. He uses it while watching porn on multiple screens *(I swear Glenn Danzig is on one of them). He slips into a hallucination, and his “dreamgirl” states what his heart and psyche are longing for right back to him: that the physical abnormality does not matter, and that he will not be judged or harmed inside due to his dysfunction. Consequently, Jenifer has very similar fantasies, and just really wants the same thing. Oh, and his machine breaks, before he can finish *(I HATE that).
Jenifer, now mad beyond redemption, is putting together and photographing for a fashion magazine cover of some kind, shooting in a renovated, old Victorian mansion. Socially phobic Batz agrees reluctantly, primarily for the drug money. When Jennifer briefly meets him, she senses something, and becomes intrigued. Later, after he returns home from the drug house, she sneaks in after the photo shoot, claiming she is looking for her phone. Once inside she takes his keys, and hears yelling, so she follows the sound. And that is when she (and we) get our first glimpse of his penis-beast. He sees her, freaks out, and slams the door shut. She leaves, obsessed, believing that she just saw god.
She goes home, grabs her video camera, and sneaks back over his place, sniffs his undies and takes video of everything. Then Batz comes home, with a hooker, and Jenifer must hide in the bedroom closet (of corpse). She watches them fukk for a mere minute, and he cums. Then the hooker cums, and cums, and cums, for what is implied as hours she cums, until finally he can not take it anymore and puts her limp body into an alley, as she’s post-traumatically cumming and screaming. Jen follows, takes closeup video of the girl cumming to death, takes it home and masturbates to it.
Back at the Batz-house, the poor deranged kid finally gets the dick, and himself, ultra-super-mega-high and he eventually nods off. That is when the dick decides to dislodge itself and go on a total raping rampage that is still one of the more surreal things I have witnessed in ‘extreme’ *(how I loathe that word) cinema over the years. *(This isn’t some cheap, under-budgeted Yroma flick with bad production values, this is high surrealism at it;s finest, almost NAKED LUNCH (the book, not the film)-like at points.The cock just bursts through walls and floorboards, coming at these naked, giant breasted girls like a track mark scarred and chronic masturbation machine abused, asthmatic snake, covered in the aforementioned scars, boils, herpes sores and syphilis blisters and god knows what the fukk else. He feels everything the dick does, too, so the rapes wake him up, and Batz looks frantically around everywhere for it, until pain completely takes over, and he gives up. This is just as Jen shows up, in a purple nightgown and ready to fukk her god.
Now, I thought this scene was brilliant, the way it was pulled-off *(Trifecta!) fascinating, and perhaps the darkest part of the film. As Batz drops the bomb of his missing, crazed, addicted and wayward member being m.i.a., SHE is the one to become thoroughly shattered, and it creates this feeling of the desperate and selfish, of addiction and lust and co-dependency She does not care who this dickless boy is – – – she wants the dick only, to feed her own nympho delusions. As he screams and yells about his missing cock, she stares off, completely shattered. She decides fukk this, I am finding this cock, and off they go. Eventually they find the poor, sickly and deflated member. It is withdrawing, and she wants to save it; he does not. They fight for the cock. She wrenches it with psycho sex-strength from his weak junkie hands with ease, shoots it up. It gets rock hard, it attacks her, and the scene fades out with her having her dream orgasm as she praises being fukked by god, ignoring poor Batz off to the side, seizing and foaming at the mouth.
Jenifer comes to, wanders a bit. The cock falls as a withered, sloppy husk, drenched in mucous and KY from her sudden-death, seven clit twat. Batz is dead. She then has these stomach cramps, collapses. Blood explodes from her vag, and she dies. A moment later, she gives birth, and I just can not tell you what it is – – – you would just have to see it to believe it. It was too funny, too unexpected – – – brilliant work stuff indeed. Funny, upon the first watch, I hated the ending, but after the second viewing, I realised there is really no other way it could have ended. I did find their death almost anti-climactic, but I liked that, it was an unexpected way to finish all the strange affairs that had preceded it. It was quiet and simplistic. In the end, she had gotten everything that she had wanted, including death *(if you actually bother to pay attention to the film’s well written, witty and bitch-bite dialogue). Batz’ final exit was just as miserable as the rest of his life. Everyday would always be the same – – – it was a sluicing ouroboros of agony. He was just crazed and fukked, fukked and crazed, not necessarily of his own volition.
Holding such warmth to the sewer that is my heart *(and taste, judgement, blah blah blah), this even looks like a classic, Henenlotter film, especially BRAIN DAMAGE and FRANKENHOOKER. It’s got the same color schemes, the same camera style – – – and it was shot on actual 35mm, as opposed to digital video, the preferred (and admittedly cheapest) method of indie horror *(well, true indie film altogether, really) camera currently. It was also funded by some rapper whom I had never heard of, R.A. the Rugged Man or something. Ol Frank has still got it, I am impressed. And it’s quality. It’s not poor, old, seemingly now tunnel-visioned Romero essentially remaking his Living Dead films, or Alzheimer Argento creating yet another unnecessary butchery of DRACULA or attempt at an unfollowable giallo, or hopeless Hooper making utter unwatchable garbage for coke money and dollar-store peanut butter, but are or have essentially doing to their films in, an horror sense, what Lucas has done to STAR WARS *(you, sir, will never be forgiven). This is original, over the top, down-home grade-A sicko-psycho material, and between Henenlotter’s being 60 (when this was made) and the 16 year span in between his films, one can see where this could have been a mess of Biblical Proportions, but alas, it is a slice of sheer exploitation heaven.
Get off yer ass, you hear me, you heartless bastard, and go buy Frank Henenlotter’s BAD BIOLOGY. Or move it to the top of your Netflix queue *(that’s what I did – – – I’m poor as dirt). Whatever your shitty little heart desires, just see this friggin’ movie. This is another rare rare gem of American horror, from a true master, with steel balls of sluicing sleaze aplenty, and something to entertain even the most jaded of fans; Gorehounds and mutant sex fiend thinkers alike.
Vincent Daemon, writer, editor, musician, photgrapher, film/music buff and historian, and rabblerouser, can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 as well as his spontaneously updated blog of writing news and nonsense THE WRITINGS OF A DEPRAVED MIND http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/Some of his music can be painfully experienced at http://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 His email is firstname.lastname@example.org