The filmmakers behind Patchwork – writer/director Tyler MacIntyre and his co-writer Chris Lee Hill – have an obvious affection for classic horror cinema. It’s not merely the way their story remixes the familiar Frankenstein mythology into a three-brained she-zombie (Tori Stolper/Tracey Fairaway/Maria Blasucci), complete with an 8-bit cameo of Frankenstein’s monster. But from the Maniac homage of their poster to the Re-Animator homage of their opening scenes, they set their sights on recreating the vibe of a 1980s horror-comedy.
The premise is promising. Said three-brained zombie awakens in a darkened basement and soon shambles her way through a murderous rampage, beating and dismembering a conga line of smug yuppies, pretentious artists and sexist fratboys. Oh, and, eventually, the scientists responsible for her Frankensteinification.
But the tone is all wrong. While there’s the occasional laugh – “Release the owl-cat!” – for the most part MacIntyre relies on broad stereotypes to drive his parodic take on the genre. I think it’s supposed to be feminist, but the attempts at satire are so hamfisted (and so desperate for female input) that the whole thing ends up a misshapen, clumsily sutured-together mess. In trying to pay tribute to their favourite films, Patchwork’s creators have inadvertently birthed a monster.