Review: Patchwork

A silly, over the top monster movie with a modern twist. A love letter to 80s and early 90s horror.

Jennifer is a businesswoman with no friends and a crashing social life, but one night she is knocked out by a mysterious assailant only to wake up again as some Frankenstein’s Monster construct of body parts. But more than that, she’s sharing the body with two other women who suffered the same fate.

Patchwork is as indie horror as they come, but it has a remarkably silly charm to it. Reminding audiences of ridiculous 1980s horrors such as The Re-Animator, or more recent experiences like Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods or Tucker and Dale Vs Evil. Patchwork is an old monster given a contemporary and zany twist.
The film is broken into parts (much like its three protagonists) with the opening representing a crazed, blood drenched scientist maniacally trying to create life from death, much like the film’s originator Frankenstein, only to cut to our first leading lady, Jennifer, as she waits in a bar. Through this, the film does not take long to show us her fateful transformation, but staggers the audience’s introduction to other characters including “bar star” Ellie, the blonde floozy, and Madaliene, the wallflower.
The meat of the film comes from these three girls tussling over their singular, zombified body, simultaneously getting to know each other and bond. This is especially true of control-freak Jennifer. Their camaraderie grows as they exact revenge on men who have wronged them in the past and may have been involved in their current predicament. It’s like a rom-com… only with bloody murder and bludgeoning with heavy objects.

Credit where credit is due though to Tory Stolper, who played both Jennifer and the monster she’s turned into, giving a crazy, silly and slapstick physical performance as all three girls battle to control one body.
The filming too was quite clever at times, with Ellie’s backstory, she is often seen in a bathroom mirror with the divide in the glass splitting her face, a pretense of things to come. Plus when the girls are conversing together, as in their consciousnesses within the monster, they are seen as themselves, removed from the scene. Meanwhile the monster is simply twitching and acting weird.

It also stars British actor James Phelps, who entertainingly matter-of-fact throughout as the straight man (and I only just realised he played Fred Weasley in the Harry Potter films. There’s a scene that might scar some sensitive Potter fans!)

It is a fun little body-horror, comedy horror. Not the most intriguing or perfectly constructed, but certainly a lot of fun with a great unique premise: Frankenstein’s Monster inhabited by three clashing and contemporary girls.
If you’ve never heard of it but like horror comedies, I would definitely say you should check it out. It is as gory as it is ludicrous.


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