Story: As he attempts to assist his father with some roadside car trouble, Patrick (Gianni Dei) is struck by a mysterious object as a car speeds by and he is rendered comatose. Patrick is taken to a lush villa where Dr. Herschel has created a private medical facility, where not only Patrick will be looked after, but several other coma patients as well. While this sounds like a noble effort from the good doctor, he also happens to running some questionable experiments involving the comatose patients and if that wasn’t enough, he also runs a blackmail operation on the side. Soon after Patrick’s arrival, a series of unusual events begins to unfold and mysterious deaths even occur, with no rational explanation. Is Patrick somehow connected to these events and what further chaos awaits at Dr. Herschel’s villa?
Entertainment Value: I’ve seen countless movies that have infamous reputations, only to fall far short of the promises made, but Patrick Still Lives isn’t one of those films. This movie not only lives up to the hype, but surpasses it and then some. The final half is just one insane moment after another, including some scenes that have to be seen to be believed, a true cult cinema buffet of craziness. The narrative is thin, but that is of no consequence here, as Patrick Still Lives is more of an experience than a traditional story driven picture. There is of course rampant nudity and gore (more on those later), but there’s also bizarre characters, odd dialogue, and just a general atmosphere of weirdness here. So you aren’t just waiting on the next set piece to unfold, because the movie is wildly entertaining from start to finish. I am sure some viewers will be offended or horrified at times, but that is the nature of this kind of movie, as it aims to throw shock after shock after the audience. I think Patrick Still Lives is one of the wildest, mostly insanely entertaining movies out there, so of course it earns a high recommendation.
This movie is never shy about naked flesh, so while the sex scenes aren’t graphic or frequent, there’s a whole lot of naked people in this one. The cast spends a lot of time without clothes and while the men only show their asses, the women are far more generous. Patrick Still Lives has a nearly constant parade of topless women on showcase, as well as numerous scenes of full frontal. I don’t mean quick peeks either, but long lingering shots that can be quite vivid. A masturbation scene at one point really ups the ante on the sleaze, but there’s a steady flow of it throughout. The gore isn’t seen as often, but it packs a punch when it is present. One scene has an unflinching sequence of sexual violence that simply has to be seen, easily the most notorious segment of the picture. But there’s also a guillotine style car window decapitation, a nasty neck wound, a trip to Electric Avenue, some chemical burns, and a dog attack scene in which Chopper sics bush, not balls, as well as some other bits of the red stuff at times. So not a constant series of blood soaked scenes, but there are some doozies here and it earns a high score to be sure.
The dialogue isn’t consistently as wild as I’d like, but thanks to some weird characters, it has plenty of bright spots. No one seems overly concerned about what is going on, so there’s a kind of droll, deadpan texture to most of the performances. This could be bad for some movies, but here it adds a little more wackiness, since all this insanity is unfolding around them and these people rarely react whatsoever. Even during physical altercations, they seem nonplussed. An epic dinner party scene has some of the most hilarious lines and exchanges, but there are oddball dialogue highlights in most of the scenes here. As for insanity…buckle up. This is a masterpiece of the bizarre and even mundane moments come off as somehow off kilter. A few of the peaks include erotic dancing for coma victims, a denim clad burglar, a vegan nightmare, a man named Mr. Cough, rampant slut shaming, aggressive trees, a malicious typewriter, a wild domestic violence brawl, a woman licking and humping a bed frame, and of course, the dinner party I mentioned before. The dinner party scene is pure cinema magic, absolute madness.
The Disc: The folks at Severin Films deserve our immortal appreciation for bringing us this uncut, uncensored version of Patrick Still Lives, presented in a new 2k scan of the original negative. A disclaimer plays before the film starts warning of some source issues, but I was blown back by how clean and sharp the movie looks here. The image is a vast improvement over any releases I’ve seen before and whatever minor issues crop up, are a small price to pay for this otherwise fantastic release. I have to think both fans and newcomers will be beyond thrilled here. As for extras, we have an insightful, eleven minute interview with star Gianni Dei, as well as the film’s trailer.
Overall Insanity: 10/10
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