Review: Patchwork

A bombastic throw-back horror-comedy that follows three young women who go out partying one night and find themselves Frankensteined together in one body. Now they must put aside their differences so they can find who did this and exact revenge!


Oh, hello? Faye’s Childhood? Yeah, Patchwork called and wants to know if you’re interested in visiting a horror-comedy throwback with oozes of fun? Why yes, Yes I am. It is fair to say that this little gem was the sleeper hit of Glasgow Fright Fest 2016. Showing in the late night 11pm slot, Patchwork jolted life into a slightly inebriated, dozy audience, making the walls echo with raucous laughter. It’s one of the most fun times I’ve ever had watching a film, and I’ve been shouting it’s praises ever since.
After a particularly dull night out, Jennifer finds herself feeling fragile and sore, and very much not in control of her own limbs. She quickly realizes that she now shares her mind and her body with 2 other girls, Ellie and Madeleine, who also have no recollection of how they became Frankensteined. Yes, that’s a word, I looked it up. Together, they work out a way to finger the culprit and bring them to justice….but plans never do run smoothly.
Fantastic performances from all 3 leading ladies – Tory Stolper, Tracey Fairaway and Maria Blasucci, make for hilarious viewing. Plenty of gags, visual comedy bring this crazy package together nicely. As a brucie bonus you have one Fred Weasly, Mr James Phelps, in a very sweary, outside of the box role, which I was not prepared for. Howling so I was. The make up guys also need to be applauded here, some great work was done piecing JEM together (I’m calling them this for ease), making each part of her look individual, adding subtle touches such as staples in her scalp. The story plays out in parts, and takes the girls outside of the body to avoid any confusion, which works so well, letting each of their personalities shine.
The film was made in only 12 days, which is an incredible feat and makes it all the more impressive. You could forgive director Tyler MacIntyre for being a tad lazy around the edges with that time frame, but there’s no need, because it comes across as a film that could have been filmed over many months. Heavy on the blood, guts and humour, this Frankenhooker come Witches of Eastwick piece drew a fantastic audience reaction, and every bit of that deserved, one of the best films I’ve seen at Fright Fest.

The first day at this years Glasgow took a while to get going ( at least for me) and as the end of day one loomed there was only one film I would honestly be able to recommend and that was the previous The Minds Eye. So, with trepidation I took my seat for the late film, Patchwork. Advance word from other festivals had been pretty positive, although to be honest this tale of three women who wake up to find out that they have been sewn together to create one Frankenstein type creation with all three personalities still alive and well made me think of schlock like THE THING WITH TWO HEADS with Ray Milland. Thankfully what we have here is more of a clever blend of REANIMATOR and FRANKENHOOKER. Laugh? I nearly coughed up a lung.

Three random young women awake to find bits of themselves sewn together Frankenstein style with all of their personalities intact. The three determine to steer their composite body and find and exact revenge on whoever has done this. The three actors who play the patchwork creatures play off each other really well, the combination of well defined characters and snappy dialogue is a real joy. Tory Stolper is friendless and career obsessed, Tracey Fairaway is the nice, bubbly but dim blonde and Maria Biasucci is the slightly desperate and mildly psychotic character who is a little too keen on hanging onto her men. Special mention should be made of ex Harry Potter actor, James Phelps who played one of the Weasley twins, I was never really convinced by the twins in those roles but here he lays to rest any possible concerns over his acting chops, his character, a medical student who knows one of the girls, is played as a eternally confused but kind hearted geek.

Director Tyler Macintyre successfully hits all the right notes in this black comedy horror that is sure to continue its march across the worlds genre festivals. From the stylish and assured animated opening credits to the final scene, it’s all a surprisingly upbeat jaunt that left me with an ear to ear grin on my face. The film even has a plot twist that no one I spoke to saw coming, and a final act callback to an apparently throwaway earlier scene that brought the house down. I’d love to quote the mad doctor’s line here but it would be a spoiler. Whether this will be as enjoyable without a horror savvy audience remains to be seen but if you do get a chance to see this lunatic laugh out loud horror fest just do it. The film of the fest.

Oh PATCHWORK how I love your pure dementedness of a story and how you make a movie that you can not possible fail to adore. A simple tale of abduction and an attempt to make the perfect woman come together in a crazy tale of surgery gone horribly wrong.

I thought this was a fantastic movie and it worked as the monster that was created still retained its ability to think using the three different bodies and brains it was created with. Cue absolute chaos and a non stop laughter filled showing. Juvenile and yet clever, childish but in the best possible way.

I sometimes find that when you try to make a horror comedy that as you are trying to do tge two aspects at once then something suffers as a result. Not so here and this movie enthralled and captured me throughout. A little twist in the tale also caught me unaware but it is believable and explains the rest of the story.

A festival highlight for me. Please do not miss this.

Patchwork is currently on the festival circuit. 




229 thoughts on “Review: Patchwork

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