M.L. Miller here! As I go into my tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Seven of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2016 and going through September 30, 2017. I have posted Best of lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t! Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on June 6, 2017! Available On Demand, digital download, & DVD here from The Orchard! Also streaming on Tubi and Shudder!
Directed by Tyler MacIntyre
Written by Chris Lee Hill, Tyler MacIntyre
Starring Tory Stolper, Tracey Fairaway, Maria Blasucci, James Phelps, Eric Edelstein, Mark Hapka, Jon Rudnitsky, Craig Anstett, Seth Cassell, Amanda Markowitz, Corey Sorenson, Aaron Webman, Danny Jolles
Find out more about this film on Facebook here
As I’ve said before, the story of Frankenstein often bores me, not because it’s a snoozer of a story but because it’s been made and remade over and again. What doesn’t bore me to tears are new iterations of the tale, and PATCHWORK is one of the best uses of Frankensteinian themes I’ve seen since Stuart Gordon’s heyday.
Told in eight chapters, PATCHWORK follows three girls–the business-minded Jennifer (Tory Stolper), the bubbly Elle (Tracey Fairaway), and the wallflower Madeline (Maria Blasucci)–who all happen to be at the same bar one night and end up abducted and schmelded together into one patchwork woman by an underground medical facility. The lone survivor of the patchwork process, Jennifer/Madeline/Elle, escapes the facility and attempts to come to grips with having three minds and sharing the same body. Things get weird and bloody as these three women who have nothing in common must work together to try to figure out what to do next and cope with the aggressive urges to kill as well as newfound super strength to do so much more capably than a normal human.
Splicing ALL OF ME with a pinch of 9 TO 5 and bathing it in a thick coat of horror, PATCHWORK is a film like no other. Much like Stuart Gordon’s RE-ANIMATOR and Hennenlotter’s FRANKENHOOKER, this film has a wicked sense of humor while it tosses body parts into your face. The film pulls no punches with the ultra-gore, which is a part of all the fun. Those who long for the 80s blood-drenched horror films have a new film to fawn over as this film sloshes around in the red stuff with unabandoned glee.
But this is no simple gorefest. The story really has a soul, as it follows three very lonely women who deal with their loneliness in very different ways. Jennifer is unabashedly self-centered and turns away all her friends because of it, Elle turns the brain off and just gets drunk and parties with whomever will buy her a drink, and Madeline’s insecurity stops her from even taking the plunge to meet new people. When all three are tossed into the same body, the relational pieces here are fascinating and actually pretty sweet to see unfold. This is something unique in that it’s a blood-drenched chick flick about women coming to terms with who they are, which is something I’ve never really seen in horror before.
All it takes is a pinch from one film and a dash from another to make a damn original take, and that’s exactly what PATCHWORK does splendidly. Sure we’ve seen Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin try to learn how to walk, and we’ve seen Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, and Lily Tomlin team up to track down the person who wronged them in comedies before, but this film does so with originality and a wicked slant. Playing like a long lost sibling of RE-ANIMATOR and FRANKENHOOKER, PATCHWORK is something fans of gore, mad science, and complex characters will absolutely love. Highly recommended.
THE 2016-2017 COUNTDOWN!
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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