Director: Tyler MacIntyre
Starring: Tory Stolper, Tracey Fairaway, Maria Blasucci, James Phelps
Duration: 86 minutes
So horror comedies are a tricky thing to get right. How many laughs do you need to balance out the scares and jumps along with an ‘enjoyable’ amount of gore? There are the cheesy ones, the grindhouse style ones or the clever ones that take the premise of a horror comedy and flip it so the horror element is secondary to the enjoyment of the film. Patchwork does this in abundance.
On the face of it, it’s a Frankenstein style movie, with a mad scientist thinking he can create the perfect woman (think Weird Science without the scanned in images of women and no bra’s on heads). Three women separately go on a night out, at the same bar and wake up the following morning, murdered, cut up to pieces and then put back together to make one whole woman again.
Grisly enough, but the comedy kicks when the new ‘woman’ wakes up. All three individually control their respective body parts but share a brain and each others thoughts and some clever internal debates about how to control the body, agree on a ‘look’ to hide the fact they are stitched together.
The three women are sort of clichéd in terms of 3 contrasting personalities; one is a cold hard stuck up bitch, another is a ditzy into her looks pretty girl and the 3rd is an insecure self-conscious girl who just wanted to be noticed by the cute guys. However all these personalities work well together when you have them thrown at you all at once.
The film is divided up into chapters explaining what happened to who and how and you get a sense of teamwork as they learn about each other and their own issues they need to deal with, as well as a potential boyfriend issue, which despite being somewhat predictable (nerdy love interest, continually shunned) does ‘go there’ with the sex scene!
What the movie does brilliantly then is that it gets you interested in the mash up of 3 women. You’re on the journey with them as they try to piece together (pun intended) what happened to them and why. They don’t hold back and you are reminded that despite the laughs you are watching a gory horror flick.
Some of the kill scenes are unrelenting and they just raise the bar high enough for you to question if it is ok to enjoy them based on the comedic value of the movie
The end is brilliant, the realization of who is behind this and why dawns on them and then the vengeance that follows is a brutal crescendo of blood and gore and features the immortal line “Release the Owl-Cat”
Patchwork is comic book like in its look; lots of colours, some amazing make up work, exaggerated scenes of violence, even a neon green liquid in a syringe from the mad scientist! For me it’s a throwback to the 80‘s genre films updated for a modern audience. There will be obvious comparison to Re-Animator, Bride of Frankenstein and others, but for me this isn’t a homage to them, more inspired by them and could quite easily go on to be a cult classic in its own right. Patchwork is a clever, smart and funny movie and Tyler MacIntyre has a gem on his hands here
Rating: 4 out 5
Reviewed by Mal Jutley (@maljutley)
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