Thursday, April 3, 2014

Patrick Still Lives (Mario Landi, 1980)

Out of these four Italian actresses, Mariangela Giordano, Carmen Russo, Andrea Belfiore and Anna Veneziano, which one shows her bush in Patrick Still Lives? I'll give you a minute to think about it. Okay, if you said Mariangela Giordano, you would be correct. However, if you chose Carmen Russo, you would be correct as well. Actually, if you answered Andrea Belfiore, ding ding ding, you're a winner, too. In fact, if you selected Anna Veneziano as your choice, congratulations, you clearly know your stuff, or, I should, you clearly know your bush. (Hey, what gives, man?) Gives?!? Why, nothing gives. Every Italian actress who appears in this film, one that is loosely based on the Australian chiller, Patrick, is stark naked at one point or another. And therein lies the innate appeal of this psychological barn-burner from Mario Landi. In most movies, you'll be lucky if you can get one actress to allow you to film her being killed by dogs while wearing an open robe. But the producers of this film somehow managed to snag four actresses willing to perform the various uncouth activities that are peppered throughout this sleazy enterprise. (Now that I think about it, you should have framed your opening question this way: Out of these four Italian actresses, which one exposes her jet black Italian bush onscreen for the longest?) Damn, that's a tough one. Is it okay if I watch the film again? (Sure, go ahead.)

While my alter ego is getting out their bush-based stopwatch, let's discuss the hair located in a different region all-together, shall we? (Don't tell me, someone finally decided to tweeze Patrick's eyebrows?) Very funny. No, if you remember correctly, I was quite shaken by the fact that none of the nurses in the original Patrick bothered to trim/pluck coma boy's eyebrows. And it's clear from the get-go that the Patrick in Patrick Still Lives, played by Gianni Dei, isn't going to have the same problem, as his eyebrows are trim and neat. But get this, Patrick's father, a one Dr. Herschel (Sacha Pitoëff), is sporting the ultimate unruly unibrow.

What the hell happened? Did the eyebrow hair jump from Patrick's face and land on his fathers? After all, he does have psychokinesis. Think about it, if he can transport objects with his mind, why not eyebrow hair? And the last time I checked, eyebrow hair is still classified as an object.

Of course, I'm bringing my own personal eyebrow baggage to the eyebrow discussion. If, say, a less superficial person was reviewing these films, they might not even make a passing reference to eyebrows. But since that person isn't here right now, the topic shall remain eyebrows. However, since the Italian Patrick doesn't have a unibrow and Dr. Herschel usually shields his unibrow with his doctor glasses, this reviews eyebrow content will be scant at best.

Which is a shame, really, as I would much rather talk about eyebrow hair than pubic hair.

Just kidding. While I like both for different reasons, I find pubic hair to be way more appealing than eyebrow hair. I don't know, there's just something about the shape that speaks to me. Yet, it's more than just a triangle-shaped patch of curly hair, you get a sense that everything is going to be all right when you gaze upon a moderately landscaped field of crisp nether fleece.

The only problem being, its soothing nature causes the viewer to become somewhat distracted. In other words, you're supposed to be watching a gripping scene where life and limb are at stake, but instead, you can't help looking at their unclothed crotches kicking up an Italian fuss.

Unlike me, this film wastes little time, as it opens with Patrick being struck in the face by a bottle tossed from a moving vehicle. Rushed to his father's clinic, there's nothing much he can do to bring back his son to the land of the not comatose.

Not sure who threw the bottle, Dr. Herschel decides to invite a strange mish-mash of people to his palatial house/clinic with the hope that Patrick might be able to finger the culprit by using his psychic abilities.

In charge of making sure the doctor's guests are taken care of is his secretary, Lydia Grant (Andrea Beliore); a blondish woman who moves her arms when she walks outside. (Huh?) Oh, it's just something I noticed. If you pay close attention to Mrs. Grant when she walks, you'll notice she doesn't swing her arms as much when she walks indoors. But once you get this gal outside, she's a regular orangutan (This just in: Blonde Italian girl-monkey escapes from local zoo).

The five people invited are as follows: Stella Randolph (Mariangela Giordano), a fierce brunette with dangerous curves, Cheryl Kraft (Carmen Russo), a fierce brunette with dangererous... You know what? Let's change things up a bit and call Mrs. Kraft a dangerous brunette with fierce curves. And the guys include the hunky David Davis (Paolo Giusti), Peter Suniak (John Benedy), he's with Stella, and Lyndon Kraft (Franco Silva), Cheryl's politician husband.

Since David Davis is the only guest who's not accompanied by a fierce and/or dangerous curvy brunette, he seeks out Meg (Anna Veneziano), the maid, who's definitely brunette. (But is she fierce?) Um, she tells him to go to hell when they first meet. Is that fierce enough for you? (I guess.) Anyway, I liked how David says "she seems nice" after being told to go to hell.

Meanwhile, down in the doctor's super-secret laboratory, naked test subjects (who are hooked up to machines covered in blinking lights) are twitching on gurneys in a room that is being bathed in this weird green light. As this is going on, Patrick lies in a catatonic state in an adjacent room (by the way, his room is being bathed in purple light as supposed to green light). To give the lab scenes an even more sci-fi vibe, the soundtrack erupts with the kind of spacey music you might in a 1950s alien invasion movie every time the action moves to the lab.

Unaware of what's going on in the lab, the guests chill out by the pool. I'm no expert when it comes to humans, but I don't think Stella and Cheryl like one another.

Quick question: How is Lydia Grant supposed to stay hydrated if Patrick keeps breaking the glasses she's about to drink from? If I was her, I would be severely annoyed.

After a rather uneventful dinner, Cheryl slips out of her slit-heavy black dress (no stockings!) and heads to the bathroom to admire her hardy bush in the mirror. Indicating to her husband that she is ready to be mounted in a manner that can best be described as "sexual," Cheryl gestures sheepishly toward her aching vagina. Clearly uninterested, Lyndon tells her, "maybe tomorrow." What a tool.

It serves right when Patrick cooks his ass in the swimming pool the following morning; a topless Stella is the one who finds his burnt corpse. Even though he wouldn't mount her last night, Cheryl is still distraught by Lyndon's death.

One by one, the doctor's guests are met with circumstances of a supernatural nature. But not before Stella and Cheryl engage in a nasty fight during dinner. Both wearing red, a drunken Stella stumbles into the dinning hall, her open robe revealing a pair of red panties that are doing a piss poor job at keeping her hairy bush under wraps, shouting brunette nonsense at her fellow brunette. An unamused Cheryl jumps to her feet an begins to hurling haphazardly aimed blows in Stella's general direction. Since both brunettes are a tad tipsy, the fight quickly devolves into a horizontal kicking match.

With no clear winner, Stella heads to her room to admire her hairy bush in the bathroom mirror. (Wait, isn't that what Cheryl did earlier in the film?) Yep. So, you see, Stella and Cheryl have more in common than you think. Of course, that doesn't mean they should be best friends. I mean, if everyone who liked to admire their furry junk in the bathroom mirror got along with one another, the world would be a much nicer place.

In my favourite scene, Lydia Grant goes to visit Patrick down in the lab after receiving a message from him on her typewriter that said, "I'm waiting for you." While sitting beside Patrick's bed, Lydia notices that she is starting to feel a tad chilly. Looking down at her pleated skirt, Lydia realizes the reason she's feeling chilly is because Patrick is slowly hiking it up using his mind. Hike that skirt up, you glassy-eyed pervert! Hike it up! Hike it up with your mind! Swooooosh!

I wonder if I should attempt to describe the gruesome scene that involves an unwilling vagina being stabbed by a large, floating metal rod? No, I think I'll pass. I will say this, though, the scene in question is surprisingly graphic. In fact, I would recommend that all vagina owners tread lightly when watching this particular scene, as it could cause unwanted psychological irregularities to occur the next time you want to use your vagina for reproductive or recreational purposes.

Speaking of vaginas, since Cheryl and Stella have already put their hairy holes on display, it's time for Lydia and Meg to get their boxes out. The former does so in the lab; she masturbates on a couch for Patrick. And the latter does so while lurking the halls in an improperly cinched robe. One of these instances ends with what I consider to be one of the most realistic dog attacks I have ever seen captured on film. What's most impressive is that's there were no, as far as I could tell, puppet dog heads used in this scene. Looking over the credits, I shouldn't have been surprised by the quality of the makeup effects, as Rosario Prestopino (Burial Ground, Delirium, Amazonia, and countless others) is the one responsible for them in this movie.

(Aren't you forgetting something?) This movie rules? (No, who's bush is onscreen the longest?) Oh, that. It's hard to say, really. But if I had to take a guess, I would say it was either Andrea Belfiore's Lydia or Mariangela Giordano's Stella. I'm sorry I couldn't be more specific. Anyway, if you like suspenseful thrillers that are well-acted and made with a Hitchcockian flair, you should go with the original Patrick. However, if you're like me (and why wouldn't you be?), and you dig watching attractive Italian chicks act insane in the vicinity of their impotent male companions, go with Patrick Still Lives.


  1. Even comatose serial killers enjoy an unobstructed view of finely manicured Mediterranean shrubbery.

    1. Mmmm, finely manicured Mediterranean shrubbery.