Patrick Still Lives (1980)
By: Drexl on February 17, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Shriek Show (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). Italian 1.0. English Subtitles. 96 minutes
The Movie
Director: Mario Landi
Starring: Sacha Pitoeff, Mariangela Giordano, Gianni Dei
Screenplay: Piero Regnoli
Music: Berto Pisano
Country: Italy
AKA: Patrick vive ancora
If you hired the Director of Giallo A Venezia and the writer of Nights Of Terror (Burial Ground) and tasked them with making a horror flick, you might reasonably expect the results to be a touch on the sleazy side, (large understatement.) Add to these two an actress who has been on the receiving end of some of the exploitation genre's most infamous death scenes and the hopes of the sleazehound are raised even higher..

The plot is unimportant, but in a nutshell, for the curious: a young chap is bedridden and comatose due to an unprovoked attack. While confined to his bed he uses his telekinetic powers to cause all sorts of mischief - usually resulting in gory death. There you have it - that's the plot, all in.

Since Landi had already carved his name in the exploitation hall of fame with the previous year's Giallo A Venezia, he would really have to go some to out-do that sleaze classic but with Patrick Still Lives he gives it a fair shot and, quite possibly, succeeds in topping the immensely entertaining and disgustingly sleazy Giallo

While it's already pretty obvious that Patrick Still Lives fails dismally in terms of providing an engaging plot or any kind of suspense, it delivers grubby thrills by the bucket load. The gore is extreme and the nudity is almost constant. Nude scene, gore scene, nude scene, etc., etc. - repeat until runtime is reached. Every actress in the movie drops her togs at least once and Giordano adds yet another infamous on-screen death to her C.V. After being tied, naked, to a table and having her leg hacked off by a carving-knife wielding maniac in Giallo… and having her breast chewed off by man/boy/freak Peter Bark in Nights Of Terror, she finds herself suffering death by poker in Patrick Still Lives (Naked, poker rammed between legs, exiting her mouth - all in graphic, close-up detail.) The lady sure knows how to check out of a movie in style.

The performances are as you would expect - i.e. not especially good. In all fairness the cast aren't really required to do much other than get naked and die, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. (The bug-eyed, bedridden nutcase is probably the film's star performer, which just about says it all I guess.) Behind the camera, Landi keeps things ticking along nicely with the minimum of time being wasted moving between one gore/nude scene and the next and so succeeds in producing another entertaining slice of sleazy nonsense. In all honesty, this movie does lack the sheer nastiness of Giallo A Venezia and sits more comfortably alongside the utter silliness of Nights Of Terror, although the aforementioned death scene is pretty grim - even when the FX are a little on the corny side.
Enhanced for 16/9 televisions, Shriek Show have given this grubby little film a better transfer than it possibly deserves. There is some minimal print damage and a sprinkling of grain but it's nothing to cry about. Colour and detail levels are of a satisfactory standard. It certainly looks much better than I expected it to.
A nice clean audio track is provided, aside from a few pops and crackles it's of a good standard. The cheesy music score is free of any distortion and the Italian dialogue is also well reproduced. The English subtitles are easy to read and accurate.
Extra Features
A small selection of bonus goodies are on offer as an accompaniment to the main attraction. First up are interviews with a couple of the people guilty - err, sorry - responsible for the creation of this flick. The interviews run for 5 and 10 minutes respectively and are in Italian with English subs.

Rounding the supplements off we have a bunch of trailers, one for the main feature and a trailer each for Elsa Fraulein SS, Eaten Alive and Lizard In A Woman's Skin. Lastly we have a blink-and you'll-miss-it gallery of promo art that runs for a staggering fifteen seconds or so.
The Verdict
An immensely entertaining slab of cheesy exploitation that deserves a home in the collection of any self-respecting gorehound. Rammed full of nudity and bloody deaths, this tacky but fun flick is highly recommended by me.

(NB: this release is available in two versions - rated and unrated. Needless to say that it is the unrated version under review here and, since the whole point of the movie is the frequent nudity and the splatter, the cut version should be avoided at all costs.)
Movie Score
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