PATRICK STILL LIVES (1980) Reviews and overview

 

Patrick Still Lives is a 1980 Italian paranormal horror film directed by Mario Landi (Giallo in Venice) from a screenplay written by Piero Regnoli (Nightmare City; Malabimba; The Playgirls and the Vampire). The Stefano Film production stars Sacha Pitoëff, Gianni Dei, Mariangela Giordano and Carmen Russo

The film – original title: Patrick vive ancora – is an unauthorised sequel of the Australian horror film Patrick (1978).

Review:

Of all the rip-off sequels the Italians have ever quickly rushed into production, this follow-up to Richard Franklin’s Patrick remains the oddest. Sleazier and far more compulsively enjoyable than its somewhat more sombre Australian model, the late Landi’s final work for the big screen is a far cry from the many episodes of Inspector Maigret he directed for TV.

While not as pathologically violent as his previous Giallo a Venezia, there is no shortage of grisly moments, each prefaced by a hilarious pair of staring eyes tackily superimposed onto the print. Villa’s photography is cleanly functional, mixing the occasional high-angled shot with some atmospheric day-for-night exteriors, all filmed at the Villa Parisi in Frascati, the same mansion used in Blood for Dracula and The Nights of Terror.

As with other Gabriele Crisanti-produced horrors, Patrick vive ancora manages to create an eerie feeling of claustrophobia, effectively enhanced by Berto Pisano’s soundtrack music which mixes a sub-‘Tubular Bells’ melody with doom-laden bass guitar notes, discordant electric piano and the Eno-like synth beeps from the soundtrack of The Nights of Terror.

This cut-price carnage pic also scores heavily in the thespian department: Gianni Dei, who had been the boyfriend of Femi Benussi and the husband of Magda Konopka, and was rumoured to be very well endowed, was a regular face in Z-grade features; Franco Silva has acted in every popular genre the industry had to offer; John Benedy had graduated from tawdry Sixties photo-novels; Paolo Giusti was the handsome hunk in sleaze dramas such as Red Light Girls, and Sacha Pitoëff was outrageously slumming it after his work with Resnais and Argento (Inferno).

To ice the casting cake, the movie serves up plenty of gratuitous unclothed scenes featuring Carmen Russo and Anna Veneziano, and the ever-dependable Mariangela Giordano – then producer Gabriele Crisati’s girlfriend. Of her infamously over-the-top death-by-long-poker scene she has said, “It took two days to film that scene, and because the poker had to keep thrusting between my legs before it came out of the top of my head, it got more and more painful as we kept going. And it was cold and freezing. I don’t know why Gabriele insisted on making these movies during winter.” One sequence Giordano remembers with affection, however, is a drunken catfight with busty glamour puss Carmen Russo: “That was fun, all my pent up rage towards Gabriele is in that brawl.” As usual, she wore all of her own outfits too…

Patrick vive ancora may be little more than bottom-of-the-barrel schlock but compared to much of the conveyor belt fodder that gets passed off as A-grade cinema these days, it’s one cheesy little treasure that deserves to be cherished. Viva Patrick!

Mark Thompson-Ashworth, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

“Even with a half dozen gruesome deaths, Patrick Still Lives moves almost as slowly as Patrick did. Except the mesmerizing quality of its bizarreness becomes so consuming that the film’s plentiful shortcomings melt into being part of its odd appeal.” Culture Crypt

“Motives are moot around these parts, especially when Landi reaches for his inner Bava and pulls out bizarre, out of place lighting, and from Argento when he turns them to motion. No one will ever believe that a woman’s throat would be sliced by an electric window, yet this is part of what makes Italian horror like Patrick Still Lives sing: The artifice is real.” Daily Dead

” …like Burial Ground it’s hard to look away from the craziness. Everything is so inept, so totally unstylish it works in it’s own confined space of silly filmmaking. It might be crap but it’s not boring at all, even if it never comes up in the same entertainment value as Burial Ground.” Schmollywood Babylon

Cast and characters:

Sacha Pitoëff … Doctor Herschel – Inferno
Gianni Dei … Patrick Herschel – Giallo in Venice
Mariangela Giordano [as Maria Angela Giordan] … Stella Randolph – Giallo in VeniceThe Nights of Terror
Carmen Russo … Cheryl Kraft – Ring of Darkness
Paolo Giusti … David Davis
Franco Silva … Lyndon Kraft
John Benedy … Peter Suniak
Anna Veneziano … Meg
Andrea Belfiore … Lydia Grant

Trailer: