With American Mary, the Soskas present a unique canvas of surgical oddities and “freaks” not often seen on the screen, calling to mind some of the characters who would breeze through Nip/Tuck. However, the Soskas give them more purpose and heart than Ryan Murphy’s series did, creating a strong, eclectic gallery of personalities like Beatress (Tristan Risk) – a woman who transformed her visage to resemble Betty Boop and comes pretty damn close to stealing every scene she’s in.
Brian (Drive Angry) Pearson’s photography is gorgeous, shifting from one color palette to the next as we’re carried from Mary’s makeshift surgery room to the grungy environs of the strip club scene. American Mary is an indie effort, but Pearson’s cinematography makes the film look incredibly polished.
The film could use a bit of trimming, however, and there are some scenes that can easily hit the cutting room floor to tighten up the pace. It tends to meander about halfway through, but by then we're more than invested in the characters they've presented. American Mary still tends to stumble as it tries to wrap things up and make sense of the relationship that buds between Mary and Billy (Antonio Cupo), the man in her life who had set the events of her “new life” in motion.
The movie is very good, a mature step up from Dead Hooker in a Trunk. American Mary is shocking, sad, darkly comical and incredibly impressive. The Soskas are now officially a force to be reckoned with.