Monday, January 11, 2010

Patrick Still a different continent, body, language, and movie

Pop Quiz: What’s the best way to make a sequel?
  1. Retain as much of the talent from the film’s original source and continue to develop the story in a linear and sensical fashion
  2. Multiply the budget and retell your story TO THE EXTREME!!!
  3. Don’t do it.
  4. Sell the rights to another country and let new hands do what they want, including transforming the tale into a trashtastic good time and increasing the amount of nudity and slapping by 189% 
If you selected D, the Patrick Still Lives!* is the movie for you. 

Oh boy. Is it ever.

Quick Plot: A young man and his father are standing on the side of a quiet country road when a passing vehicle hurls a bottle(? Three rewinds and I still couldn’t confidently identify the object) out the window. While the assailant is never fully identified, I’ll assume it’s someone along the lines of Roger Clemens or Johann Santana, as this one toss sends the son (a revamped, straight-haired Patrick) into a coma.

Fast forward some unidentified amount of time later, when Patrick Hershell is under the care of his slightly mad scientist dad in a secluded private hospital with a luxury resort connected to its backyard. Papa Hershell has invited a few mystery guests to spend a few days bathing, dining, lounging in the nude, being blackmailed, and eventually, murdered.

There’s a stiff Parliamentarian and his horny wife, a single young rich fellow wonderfully named David Davis, a hairy-chested playboy and his not girlfriend played by Burial Ground ’s boob-bitten mother Mariangela Giordano (and, it should be noted, her bare breasts). Also on the grounds is a pretty young secretary, two German Shepherds, and a maid/world’s worst dog trainer and bad omen warner. Everything’s all fun and Italian until Lyndon, the asexual politician, takes a morning swim and ends up a steamed and skinned corpse.

This somehow inspires Giordano's character to drink like Margot Kidder at a wedding and crash dinner naked. If that weren’t enough, she proceeds to pick a catfight with the grieving widow, then attempt to seduce David Davis (I have no plans to stop writing out his entire name). Shocking enough, not all men dig plastered middle aged women who spend 71% of their day in the nude. Instead of sweaty Euro sex, David Davis and Giordano's breasts engage in a three minute slap fight. It’s even more incredible than I can possibly explain.

Oh wait! But where did Patrick go? Not very far, since he’s comatose and only able to communicate via typewriter (the budget has clearly increased; note that this time, the keys move themselves) and once again, harnessing a crush on the attractive clinic employee. It’s a tad hard to even remember the title character amongst the sleazy joy of our soon-to-be victims, but in case you hadn’t figured it out, this is a sequel in name only. The concept remains while the tone and essentially, the genre get a turn of the decade makeover. Patrick keeps his telekinetic homicidal tendencies to kill his way through the (possibly responsible for his condition) party guests but that almost seems secondary to watching amusingly unlikable rich Italians embarrass themselves. It’s certainly more fun than Patrick, albeit a whole lot less classy. 

Depending on your mood, that can be a wonderful thing.

High Points
One death-by-car-window is pretty damn memorable and makes Rose McGowan’s garage door demise in Scream look a little less impressive

I’m not normally one to recommend a film based on its abundance of female nudity and women being slapped silly, but the ridiculousness of how both are featured in every other scene is rather amusing in itself

Low Points
At around 100 minutes, the running time isn’t unreasonable, but with such poorly paced and drawn out “chase” scenes, Patrick Still Lives (!) drags like a paraplegic learning how to walk

The death by dogs is possibly the tamest animal attack put on film since pipe cleaner spiders and drugged up toads were placed atop people pretending to be actors in Frogs

Lessons Learned
Italian women really don’t like to wear clothes or undergarments. Similarly, everybody in Europe sleeps buck naked

If a very menacing sharp object is aimed your way, it’s probably wise to close your legs

Denying your wife sex for months at at time may cause her to develop a serious case of nymphomania 

Syphilis can be transmitted through catfighting

Googly eyes floating over a green tinted set may resemble some of the baddies in Super Mario World, but they are also quite difficult to survive

Winning Line
“His death was due to a fatality.”
Is it me, or is this like saying a puppy is due to a baby dog?

If you loved the slow buildup and haunting atmosphere of Patrick, you may very well despise this film. HOWEVER, if exploitation is your cheese, melt this movie over nachos and feast like you’re the dude from Stephen King’s Thinner. This is the kind of film where the lead female, after discovering a second dead body, flees the scene shrieking, stops at a fountain to splash some water over her conveniently thin white dress, and resumes her escape. It’s a blast, but only if your definition of party involves ‘70s style Eurotrash. The DVD includes interviews with a producer and title star Gianni Dei, which are informative in a casual we-knew-what-we-were-making kind of way. I don't really see myself rewatching Patrick Still Lives(!) anytime soon, but it sure did brighten my evening.

*Since these filmmakers took liberties with the story of Patrick, I give myself the permission to adjust the title. There is no exclamation point, but doesn’t it sound better with one?


  1. Viva PATRICK STILL LIVES! It's like the original, but turned up to eleven! ;)

    I was expecting so little from this movie, but then it delivered so much. Mad Science (I'm still not sure, but I think the Mad Dad was using the other comatose subjects in that wacky lab to amplify Patrick's powers somehow), Bad People behaving badly, psychokinesis, creative kills, and more nudity than you can shake a stick to speak. :P If you have a taste for cheezy/sleezy Italian goodness, I have trouble thinking of a better example.

    Also, I always give an Italian 70s movie bonus points when the J&B Whiskey shows up, and this one seemed to be absolutely sponsored by the stuff. I don't know why, but that red and yellow label onscreen just always makes me happy. :)

    And I totally agree that the title needs an exclamation point. In fact, it probably needs more than one!

  2. This movie has been on my to-watch list for over a year, but I suspect that reading write-ups of the movie, like the hella-giggle-worthy one you've posted here, is probably 86% more fun than actually *watching* the movie (in keeping with the mathematical theme of this post). But then... “His death was due to a fatality.” ... that's some primo trash cinema scripting right there. Sounds like a doozy!

  3. I almost forgot about the mad science aspect! Yes, I did love how three fellow comatose patients were being kept as juice, especially since once conveniently enough was a well-endowed topless female. It was almost as amusing as the senator's wife who pranced around in a bra tucked, for no real reason, underneath her nipples. Just 'cause.

    And hell yeah whiskey! They drank that like water on a hot day. I like to think it dulled the pain of some of their kills. Not that any of the characters were likable, but they gave me such a good time that I hope their experience was equally joyous.

  4. You commented in the In-Between T-Kate! You've made a tough call: on one hand, this is one of those films that's probably more fun to write/read about than actually watch (and read subtitles), but the Vicar has a good point in that when it comes to Italian exploitation, this is a treasure. I lost track of how much slapping went on, but one could easily make a joyous drinking game out of that and the amount of boobage on display. Preferably using J&B whiskey. Then again, its last 20 minutes will test your patience (particularly if you're sufficiently dulled from all the shots you've had to take during the film's slap-war spectacular)so it probably all depends on just what mathematical percentage of mozzarella you're craving.

  5. How can so much bad taste end up tasting so good?

    I'm going to have to fetch my old videotape of this out of the spare room tonight, because I had forgotten the delights of that dog attack and now crave it like a stereotyped middle-aged italian lady craves booze and men.

    Oh, and for more booze sponsored fun, check out In The Eye Of The Hurricane (La Volpe dalla coda di velluto). Why they didn't just get the brand tattoed on the foreheads of the cast, I will never know. Anyway, enjoy -

    I swear they missed a few shots out of most of those films...

  6. WRT the bra tuck, maybe that was just how it was designed, like the upper-body version of crotchless panties? A bra that gives you some measure of support, but without that pesky "not letting people see your nipples through your shirt" thing. Just a guess. ;)

    @Nowtas--I anticipate spending a completely unjustifiable amount of time on that site. Thanks!

  7. I guess the bra tuck is more incredible for the sole fact that a woman in an Italian horror movie is actually wearing a bra. I thought that was just a legal impossibility.

    And Nowtas, thanks for recommendation. I look forward to checking it out when I'm not stuck at a work computer and feeling slightly less bare bad actress breast ready.

  8. A piece of trash I've never seen? Need to see this, ASAP. Stellar review!

  9. Can't wait to hear your thoughts Mr. of Terror!

  10. I've had Patrick on my "to watch pile" for a while now. I'm definitely adding this one too! Cheers for the review :)

  11. It will make one very interesting double feature!

  12. I have this on VHS! Unfortunately I don't have a VCR anymore so I can't watch this sleaze masterpiece.

    Kudos for the mention of the pole up the...hoohaa. It's the only thing I remember from this flick, that and Patrick's EYES.

  13. Hoohaa! That is so what I'm calling my, well, hoohaa from this day forward.

    Hold onto that VHS! Those things last forever and will probably be either our sole entertainment or source of nutrition/newfound religion when the apocalypse hits.

  14. Wow! I didn't really like Patrick. I blame it on the spitting. I may have to check out this sequel though.

  15. It's a totally different movie, and one I think you'll love.

  16. This review is so full of win I can't even pick a best line. And, I'm so excited to know the sequel is a Eurotrash flick! I'm gonna go watch it like, now!

  17. Thanks for the kind words Wednesday! And I hope you enjoy Patrick Still Lives(!) As long as your hobbies include boozy nude Italian women, I think you'll have a good time.