Review: Bad Biology

Frank Hennenlotter, a name lost for over a decade returned in 2008, and I can tell you, he’d not lost a thing. Those of you familiar with his earlier works, ‘Basket Case’, ‘Frankenhooker’ and ‘Brain Damage’ will know, that he takes traditional cult horror ethos, and fucks it up further using his own twisted imagination.

Back now in high definition, I remember upon its initial release being concerned that Frank’s come back was going to be solely financially motivated, churning out something rather generic, based on reputation, to make a quick buck. Thankfully, nah, Bad Biology is as much cult as any of his other films are, and some 16 years later there’s been nothing since.

The plot, well how’s this for a synopsis?

“A hilariously horrific love story between a girl with seven clitorises and a man with a drug-addicted psychotic penis with a mind of its own”

And simply put, the film is just this. The movie can almost be divided into thirds, one following the woman whose extra genital organs means she constantly craves sex, and all the side effects which goes with it, unable to control her bodies perpetual search for the ultimate love making partner. The second part follows the poor fellow whose cock literally has a mind of its own! He must feed it the drugs it is addicted to, all the while pampering to its lustful whims. The last part is simply the finale, when both fates intertwine; after all surely it was meant to be for the two to meet.

It would be slightly lying for me to suggest the plot makes a whole lot of sense, after all this is merely a set of circumstances rather than an actual story, however, no matter how trippy the movie is it never looses pace or focus. For some the lack of a linear story will be a bit of a problem, however, for me, and I’m betting a lot of other cult fans, I was happy to just let my mind go, taking solace in the obscure.

Gabe Bartalos is given the task of bringing Hennenlotter’s imagination to life, and believe me, the puppets and visual effects he created will not be easily forgotten; no matter how hard you try to shift them from your mind. The internal shots of the vagina are quite unique to say the least, looking a little like a small colony of aliens peering out of an elliptical crevice! The vagina masks worn by models in a photo shoot are nothing short of grotesque whilst the wanking machine shown in one scene is nothing short of genius. However, all of this is surpassed by the sheer disgustingness of the penis, which looks like a giant cankerous salami which we get to see in full glory as it goes on its sexual adventures!

Also worthy of mention, and it’s almost a given with genitalia being the focal point of the plot, that this film has a heavy amount of nudity in it. I remember it pushing the limits of decency with its initial release back in 2008; not sure 2024 has the tolerance for it! It’s clear that the film makers were not afraid of offending people as some of the shots are quite gratuitous.

Overall this film is both absurd and funny. Just like his other movies, whilst being outrageous and amusing, ‘Bad Biology’ is not simply a piss take, its imagination and atmosphere stops it from being a one pun joke. I don’t think this movie will be winning over anybody who didn’t like Hennenlotter’s earlier work, but it will definitely satisfy those already fans; as well as picking up a few new ones I’m sure. Some directors seem to have lost their touch, some continue to try to make movies like they used to, however ‘Bad Biology’ is a testament to Hennenlotter’s cult status.

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