Young medical student Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle Ginger Snaps) has trouble paying attention in class and struggles to pay her bills. Looking for extra work leads her to an underground strip club and immediately she is immersed in the world of illegal surgeries and body modification.
When her mentor surgeon professor drugs and rapes her, things really start to turn vicious. Mary's club connections capture the sleazy prof and she proceeds to inflict various operations and amputations upon him. She's also enlisted by a pair of German identical twins (the writing & directing team of Jen and Sylvia Soska) to fulfill their designs of a more "complete" bond between them. The Cronenberg-like final result of this unholy merger is never revealed.
Mary's descent into a harsh lifestyle coincides with her increasingly numb emotional state of mind. The more she cuts into the flesh of others, the less connected she is with what's going on under her own skin. By the inevitable violent finale, Mary's ultimate fate is a surprise only to her.
The U.K. DVD from Zavvi.com has a couple of worthwhile bonus features. "Behind The Scenes" is a sixteen minute assortment of footage showing the Soska sisters at work behind the camera and "An American Mary In London" is a twelve minute document of the twins successfully debuting the film at the Film4 FrightFest UK Horror Convention.
The bonus features on the North American blu-ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment include "Making Of American Mary" (which is actually the same "Behind The Scenes" segment from the U.K. release) plus the original theatrical trailer and a commentary track by the Soska sisters and stars Katharine Isabelle and Tristan Risk.
American Mary may feel at times like just a pro body modification piece but there are some darker identity themes being played with.
You just have to dig a little deeper under the skin to find them.