Monday, February 05, 2018

Patient Seven – review

Director: Joel Morgan (segment)

Release date: 2016

Contains spoilers

The portmanteau film is more difficult than a simple anthology film because the surround somehow has to weave the tales together. Sometimes this weave is very loose. In this case it was made all the more difficult as the portmanteau stitched together previously made shorts – so the whole thing had not been a concept.

The portmanteau in this case is set in a mental institution and visiting celebratory psychiatrist Dr Marcus (Michael Ironside, Tales from the Crypt: Come the Dawn, Masters of Horror: The V Word & Vampire Wars: Battle for the Universe) wants to interview six problem patients and he will use his treatment of them to form the basis of his new book.

Michael Ironside as Dr Marcus
The trouble is the patients are clearly not the persons in the shorts. So they might play the adult version of a child, or in the case of the superb section, the Body, the short depicts the dream that the patient (Daniel Lench) has of being in England and being a murder victim wrapped in plastic – hence his phobia of plastic wrap. The patient we are concerned with is patient number 6 (William Mark McCullough) who believes in vampires and paid a man to kill a number of vampires he had discovered.

the glare
This, of course, leads to the question of why the patient hadn’t killed them himself – especially as he appears keen to kill the last remaining vampire himself. Of course this is because the actor wasn’t in the short and there had to be an artificial hitch between portmanteau and short – this one failed to work in any form of satisfying way. However I will say that William Mark McCullough had a wonderfully intense glare that did work really well.

interviewing John
So, the short runs in the form of a man, John (Robin Berry, Suckablood) in a police cell being interviewed by D.I. Collins (Ayden Callaghan) regarding a series of murders – a girl staked in the heart, a man with his head cut off and a couple doused in acid. However, as John recalls the murders they were all vampires – one staked, one beheaded and the couple doused in holy water. The twist in the tail is a bit obvious, to be honest, but it is a nicely put together short if content low and just a bit of vampire eye candy, when all’s said and done.

So, the segment itself is nice enough to look at, with an obvious twist and little in the way of story. Its place in the portmanteau feels the most forced and it doesn’t have the black humour of the Body or the depth of some of the other shorts. Altogether this film worked – I am a sucker for portmanteau films, even reconstructed ones like this – I score this type of film on the vampire segment only and, in that, this struggled to raise itself above average. 5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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