August 7, 2013
Some people probably have no idea who I am talking about while others are wondering why I would give her a second thought, still others are probably saying "She made more than one movie?". As a matter of fact, she made two movies, and I genuinely wish she made more.
Now, Patty Mullen is not a great actress. By most normal scales for judging acting, she is not very good. Still, there is something about her presence on the screen that is captivating. There is no denying the 1987 Penthouse Pet of the Year is easy on the eyes, but there is something else. Besides being attractive, she is funny, and based on her roles, has comedic sensibilities and is not afraid of looking silly. She lacks polish, has a distinctive New Jersey accent, and just looks like she is having fun.
Why do I wish she made more movies? I think it is because she is pretty and not afraid of being goofy. Just watch her and that is plain to see. On top of that, she does show improved skills and confidence in her second film (which I had seen first). She, they are low budget B-movies, but you have to start somewhere, right? Even if stayed in the B realm for her entire career, I would have been more than happy. I guess I should be happy for the two movies she did do.
Her first movie was 1987's Doom Asylum. This was a super campy slasher send up that saw her make her first appearance alongside Kristen Davis (Sex and the City). In this movie, she plays a dual role of mother and daughter. Of course, the mother character dos within the first ten minutes. For the bulk of the film she plays Kiki Larue, going to spend time at an abandoned hospital not far from where her mother died, and th place where her lawyer lover still lives, roaming the grounds with an anger and a thirst for blood. She essentially plays the pretty girl in the bikini as she runs around trying to avoid being killed. She does become the target of the killer based on her resemblance to her dead mother.
It is far from a good film. It is the kind of movie that within 5 or 10 minutes, you will be on board and loving it or want to punch whoever recommended it to you I'm the face. It is a silly movie that really entertained me. Patty is fun to watch and really seems to be having a good time.
Three years later, she returned to movie theaters in B-movie legend Frank Henenlotter's Frankenhooker in 1990. This is the movie and the role with which she will always be remembered, and she is only in about a third of the movie. She plays Elizabeth Shelly, seen early on wearing a fat suit when she is tragically killed in a remote controlled lawnmower accident. Her character's boyfriend, and amateur doctor/scientist, saves her head with intentions to rebuild her. He does his with parts unwittingly donated by Times Square hookers after they smoke some of his super crack.
No more setup is really needed, the star of his show is purely Patty. As soon as her titular Frankenhooker look is revealed and she asks "Wanna date? Got any money?" the movie is hers. Her stiff movements, hooker speak, and goofy facial expressions are fantastic. She is absolutely hilarious in this role, she really just let's loose and has fun with the sleazy, silly character. It is a shame this was her last film.
These are two movies I can watch and never get bored with. They are low budget, cheesy horror films with heavy doses of comedy. Patty Mullen is certainly a star attraction in both films. Are there any stars you like that you wish you saw more of?
Posted by Christopher Beaumont at 8/07/2013 10:31:00 PM
Chris has been an avid movie watcher for decades, getting into the writing game in 2004. Since that time he has contributed to a number online publications as well as running CriticalOutcast.com. In addition to movies, Chris is a big fan of music, particularly metal, and will never give up hope on his beloved Mets.