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IFI Horrorthon 2016 Review - PATCHWORK

Following a night out, three young women wake to find they've been stitched together into one freakish creation.






Review by Eric Hillis (@hilliseric)

Directed by: Tyler MacIntyre

Starring: Tory Stolper, Tracey Fairaway, Maria Blasucci, James Phelps



Patchwork is a distinctively L.A. story, a reminder of how lonely a big city can become if you don't fit in. Together, the film's three heroines are like a Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow, but their ultimate plan is to bash the Wizard's brains in.



The horror-comedy sub-genre has been in a poor state lately. Where once we were offered classics like American Werewolf in London, Night of the Creeps and Return of the Living Dead, now we have to settle for Zombies vs Cockneys/Strippers/Rednecks etc. Thankfully filmmaker Tyler MacIntyre has ignored the herd and crafted a minor splatstick gem that stands out from the crowd.


Imagine a mad scientist blending together Frankenhooker, The Human Centipede and Tangerine and you'll have some idea of Patchwork's madcap concoction. Following a night on the town, three young L.A. women wake to find they've been taken apart and reconstructed in one body. Following their initial panic and revulsion, the three vow to work together to find the person responsible, taking violent revenge on those who have wronged them along the way.

MacIntyre splits his story into chapters, spinning the backstories of each of the women. The uptight Jennifer (Tory Stolper) has a disastrous birthday party, shunned by her snooty workmates and her married lover. Ditzy but loveable Ellie (Tracey Fairaway) narrowly escapes becoming the victim of sexual assault at the hands of a bunch of toxic frat boys. Meanwhile, self-conscious Madeleine (Maria Blasucci) seems to be holding something back from the other two.


Through the three characters, MacIntyre fashions a distinctively L.A. story, a reminder of how lonely a big city can become if you don't fit in. Jennifer, Ellie and Madeleine have become isolated by a city that places value on superficiality. Together they're like a Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow, but their ultimate plan is to bash the Wizard's brains in.

Watching the three women embark on their feminist revenge rampage is a riot, with MacIntyre combining laughably over the top violence with three ace comic performances from his female leads. Stolper is given the task of playing the three in stitched-together form and displays a natural talent for physical comedy along the lines of Steve Martin in All of Me or Martin Short in Innerspace. MacIntyre makes the wise choice of visualising the interactions between the minds of the women by simply having the three actresses share the same physical space; their chemistry is electric.


Patchwork provoked easily the loudest audience reaction of all the films screened at this year's IFI Horrorthon, with the ladies in the crowd taking particular enjoyment from the movie's heroines' acts of vengeance against a variety of particularly male douchebags. But the biggest laugh was saved for a moment in the climax - "Release the owl-cat!" - that perfectly summed up the film's delirious comic excess. See this one with a drunken crowd.






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