For a feature debut, Tyler MacIntyre’s Patchwork is a remarkably assured piece of work. Displaying an effortlessly tight grip on both its humour and its gorier inclinations, this bizarre reimagining of Frankenstein is one of the funniest horror-comedies to come along in a long time, and manages to maintain both an endearing 80s throwback spirit and a fresh, contemporary ingenuinity.
Divided into multiple segments and initially all set on the same night, Patchwork begins by telling the story of three strangers, and how they all spent their evening. Jennifer (Tory Stolper) establishes herself as a protagonist of sorts, abandoned during her birthday celebrations in an upmarket nightclub. Ellie (Tracey Fairaway) and Madeleine (Maria Blasucci) also make their own ways to the club, and while it’s fair to say that none of the three were having the best night of their lives, the hangover is worse: they wake up to find that various parts of each of them have been stitched together into one body, leaving them (or what’s left of them) having to work together to find out how they got there, and take their revenge.
One of Patchwork‘s strongest elements is its writing. Routinely hilarious, its deeply quotable script is packed with lines designed for big laughs, and is constructed with a far sharper wit at its core than many films attempting to walk the horror-comedy tightrope. When the gore needs upped by a notch or two, it always delivers, but what elevates it above many others is the extent to which it delivers on the dialogue in between. A strong supporting cast and a knowingly caricaturish villain keep things ticking along until its blood-drenched finale, which offers both supremely satisfying resolution and, without spoiling proceedings, one of the single funniest moments you’re ever likely to see in a film – beware Archimedes.
There’s no release information for Patchwork in the UK as yet, and we can but hope that this is something which rectifies itself sooner rather than later. A midnight-movie classic in waiting, this is a sharp, hilarious, bloody good time at the cinema that’s destined to find a devoted cult following. Invite your friends over, crack open a beer and strap yourself in: Patchwork is a gem, and one to be watched in as big a crowd as possible.