Friday, October 30, 2009

The Yucky Movies of October: Patrick Still Lives

31) Patrick Still Lives

I'd heard of Patrick vive ancora (in the original Italian) before, but I wasn't really motivated to watch it until I saw the bit done about it in the terrific documentary Not Quite Hollywood.

A rip-off sequel, in the grand Italian cinema tradition, to the not-really-that-successful "psychic coma patient with Marty Feldman eyes" Australian film Patrick, this is a not-really-that-good sequel done in perfect "just redo the same damn story and add some breasts" manner.

In this version, Patrick winds up comatose after a passing driver throws a bottle out the window and it hits him in the head. His surgeon father is involved in the surgery that saves his life, but he's still "locked in."

We then go to a clinic set in the same mansion used in the film Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror, and meet two couples and a single guest, along with a skeleton staff and some grouchy guard dogs. These guests seem to have been blackmailed into attendance and are quickly given (ahem) "spa treatments" that turn out to be very deadly. This sparse clinic seems to be rather stylish - a minimal budget means it's sparsely furnished, but heavy on the green and purple lighting to make up for that. They also decorate with lead actresses constantly exposing their breasts. (Well, it's better than the wallpaper.) One plays an entire scene in a nipples-exposing bra while teasing her blackmailed husband that she'll screw them out of the situation. Such a classy flick.

The new assistant is seeing green visions of floating pale-blue eyes (seems the "Patrick" in this one was cast for having big, light eyes like the actor in the original.) The doctor is pushing his medical services hardcore, and in general, something is up that makes everyone nervous.

Well, next thing you know the secretary has been compelled to visit Patrick in the night and the politician is boiled in the swimming pool (there was a similar pool scene in the original Patrick). What's brilliant is that his boiling is attributed to his body having an unusual reaction to his alcoholism.

This is the type of movie where the spooky effects are typewriter keys that move on their own, as do skirts. (Amazingly this is not Zapped Again!) The actors rage, disrobe, and smack one another in perfect Italian passion. They try hard to make this flick seem less boring than it actually is, but don't succeed that well. People die off, but frankly not nearly quickly enough to spice up this bland potboiler. There's no spice in the pasta sauce. About the only thrill to be had is if you've seen Burial Ground, and care to compare the scenes in each film that happen in various rooms of the house.

There's a few "yuck" moments to be had in this one. The parboiling make up isn't bad. A beheading by car window goes the extra mile as it essentially "saws" the head off. There's a "violation" scene that's fairly grotesque and a precursor of the one more disturbingly executed in Mother of Tears. The actress here is the one who famously gets her nipple bitten off by young zombie son in Burial Ground, himself played by a creepy adult dwarf. This film has very little going for it beyond a few gross outs and a quartet of very naked Italian actresses. Proceed with caution as this one is probably only for Italian horror junkies, schlock connoisseurs, and people really hard up to see some naked breasts.

And with that I wrap up the 31 Yucky Movies of October. I did it all on a whim really and if I repeat myself next year I think I'll be a little more discerning in the titles I pick. Planning ahead will help us avoid those awkward 13 Frightened Girls and She-Wolf of London moments.
Thanks for playing along, boys and girls. I appreciate you joining me. Now, we're going to watch some palate cleansers. I'm thinking Indie Gay romances, Bollywood Musicals, and harmless comedies of old Hollywood.

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