Thursday, April 24, 2014

GOD TOLD ME TO


Larry Cohen, 1976
Starring: Tony Lo Bianco, Deborah Raffin, Sandy Dennis, Sylvia Sidney

Lieutenant Peter Nicholas attempts to talk down a man high up on a building shooting people in New York City. He kills more than two dozen people before telling Nicholas that God told him to do it, and then flings himself from the tower. As more killers are found around the city with seemingly no motive other than “Gold told me to,” Nicholas finds himself sucked deeper and deeper into the investigation. His own life is beginning to unravel thanks to his intense and closeted Catholic beliefs and the fact that he lives with his girlfriend, but is unable to divorce his wife. The more he uncovers about the investigation, all signs point to a mysterious religious figure and to Nicholas’s own murky background.

I love many of writer, director, and producer Larry Cohen’s films, including the It’s Alive series, The Stuff, Q: The Winged Serpent, etc. God Told Me To actually has a fair amount in common with Q. Both begin as police procedurals set in New York City and a surround a central cop figure, sort of an anti-hero or black sheep, who is the protagonist trying to solve a series of bizarre murders. To varying degrees, both films are deeply critical of organized religion and spiritual mania. While the murderers in God Told Me To claim that the Christian God told them to go out and kill people, the perpetrator in Q is a high priest obsessed with sacrificing people to bring back his God, the Aztec winged serpent, Quetzalcoatl.

Unlike Q, God Told Me To is deadly serious. There are some bad effects, very dated moments, and unintentionally funny scenes, but the film’s utter seriousness and sincerity – carried across by both Cohen and the cast – is part of what makes it so unique and so effective. Questions of identity, aimless murder, virgin birth, and alien gestation, haunt the protagonist, Detective Lieutenant Nicholas. He is a closeted Catholic; obsessed with his faith, he also feels intensely guilty about it and conceals it from his girlfriend. It also prevents him from getting a divorce and from totally abandoning his wife. This religious aspect also makes him take the killers, their crimes, and their alleged motive so seriously. Tony Lo Bianco (The Honeymoon Killers) is competent and suitably dark as one of Cohen’s signature cop protagonists. It’s easy to see how The X-Files’ Fox Mulder was modeled on Nicholas, as both men are antiheroic, guilt-ridden, and obsessed.

The other performances in the film are mixed, but mostly solid. Next to Lo Bianco, Richard Lynch (The Sword and the Sorcerer, The Barbarians) is the most memorable and is excellent as Nicholas’s adversary, a supposed messiah and cult leader. The pretty Deborah Raffin (The Sentinel) is likable as his girlfriend, but doesn’t have a whole lot to do. Sandy Dennis (976-EVIL) is somewhat menacing as his ex-wife and her role in his life isn’t clear for much of the film. Comedian Andy Kaufman appears in a very early role as a police officer who shoots a number of people during the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in one of the film’s most effective scenes.

It’s fair to say that there’s no one quite like Larry Cohen and there is certainly no other film quite like God Told Me To. With elements of the police procedural, apocalyptic cult movie, horror flick, and sci-fi film, this has tidbits of everything from The Night Stalker, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Cohen’s own Q: The Winged Serpent, The Sentinel, and so much more. Cohen includes a diverse range of plot elements including religious mania, government and police corruption, aliens and spaceships, mass murder, and a serious amount of masculine and Catholic guilt. He even offers up an explanation for virgin birth, which, to this atheist, is equally as plausible as any other.

The plot is long, winding, and complex. If you miss more than five minutes of the film, chances are you will be utterly lost; either way a second viewing is probably necessary for a lot of people.  The film’s unpredictability may frustrate or confuse a lot of viewers, but I think that’s one of its finest points. Cohen’s treatment of religion seems silly at the first pass, but is really a brilliant moment of social satire. There are also some very effective body horror scenes – which I will not ruin here by describing – that are suitably disturbing and very reminiscent of Cronenberg.

God Told Me To is certainly a neglected film. It expects a lot out of its audience and lacks much of the humor that make Cohen’s other films so endearing. Distributor Roger Corman also did the film a disservice by trying to piggy-back on the ‘70s run of satanic horror during its initial release. The film was retitled Demon for certain audiences and had a correspondingly misleading poster. This has far more in common with The X-Files than it does with The Exorcist, however.

The film is available on DVD and it comes highly recommended, though you will certainly need some patience and an open mind. It’s one of the unsung apocalyptic films of the ‘70s and stubbornly defies categorization. Though his more whimsical films are far more accessible, God Told Me To just might be Larry Cohen’s masterpiece.

IT'S ALIVE III: ISLAND OF THE ALIVE

Larry Cohen, 1987
Starring: Michael Moriarty, Karen Black, Laurene Landon, James Dixon

Several years after the events of It’s Alive and It Lives Again, mutant babies have become public knowledge, and are generally exterminated on site. One of the infants’ fathers, Stephen Jarvis, is acting as a witness in a trial where the infants' fate will be decided. A compassionate judge decides that because they are capable of love and compassion, they should be spared. He orders their removal to an isolated, tropical island. Stephen’s life, meanwhile, is not going very well. His ex-wife Ellen doesn’t want anything to do with him, women won’t touch him once they recognize him, and he can’t seem to get a job. Worst of all, a book full of false information is written about his experience and life.

After a few years, Stephen is dragged somewhat against his will to the island to check on the babies. Of course, they are still deformed, mass murdering psychopaths, and they promptly slaughter everyone in the expedition except for Stephen. They want him to take them away from the island, but they all wind up shipwrecked in Cuba, and Stephen is taken captive by Fidel Castro (I wish I was making this up). Stephen escapes and he and the babies find his ex-wife Ellen. For some reason, the mutant children are sick and dying, and they want to pass something precious onto Ellen: a baby of their own. 

The make-up and effects are certainly more uneven than in the first two films. The “babies” are now essentially adults wearing rubber suits and though they look a little silly, we don’t see a whole lot of them. The film doesn’t explain why they’ve grown up in only five years. There is a lot more gore, death, and violence in this entry, though so much happens that it feels more spaced out than in the earlier films. It’s Alive III has pretty much everything, including a mutant baby delivery in the back of a New York cab, a courtroom drama, a carnival scene with a prostitute, a punk rock nightclub, a lengthy trip by boat, a tropical island, Cuba, and so much more. It’s dizzying.

There’s a lot more comedy thanks to the great Michael Moriarty, a Larry Cohen regular who also appeared in The Stuff and Q, as well as everything from Law and Order to Pale Rider. Some of the humor is awkward or ill-timed, so if you don’t love Moriarty, this might feel like the weakest entry in the series. 

This was shot back-to-back with Return to Salem’s Lot, the sequel to Tobe Hooper’s made-for-TV Salem’s Lot, but does a lot despite its low budget. It’s overwhelmed with action, changes of scenery, and social satire. It runs the gamut from punk-themed nightclub to seaside carnival to Cuba, of all places. I don’t really understand why Cohen felt the need to put references to Cuba and Fidel Castro, but the more the merrier, I guess.

If you liked the first two films, there’s no reason you won’t also love this one. My only major complaint, aside from the fact that simply too much happens, is the presence of Karen Black as Stephen’s ex-wife Ellen. I know Black (Burnt Offerings, Trilogy of Terror) is considered a classic genre actress, but for about half her films, she really gets on my nerves. She has some funny scenes here, namely when she pretends to vomit in a would-be blackmailer’s car and then runs hysterically screaming into her apartment for seemingly no reason. It’s a good thing she has about five minutes of screen time total, though. 

It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive is available with the entire trilogy on a two-disc DVD. If you enjoyed the first two films and the work of the wonderful Larry Cohen, you’re definitely going to want to pick this up. It has more comedy and improvisation than either of the first two films, but Michael Moriarty is a delight and it’s nice to see that Cohen made an effort to take the film away from the suburban focus of the first two entries. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

IT'S ALIVE II: IT LIVES AGAIN


Larry Cohen, 1978
Starring: John P. Ryan, Frederic Forrest, Kathleen Lloyd, John Marley, Eddie Constantine, Andrew Dugan

Emboldened by the success of It’s Alive, director, writer, and producer Larry Cohen (The Stuff) decided to throw plot out on a limb, add a few more mutant killer babies, and hope fans would hang on for the ride. Again, color me surprised that I liked this film so much. When I saw the first one, I had my doubts — it seemed implausible that I would be able to enjoy a film about a killer mutant baby and its parents’ struggle to love and accept it — but I love the first movie. I was sure I'd hate or be completely bored by the sequel. Though it's certainly more ridiculous than the first, three times the killer babies means three times the gore and three times the fun. 

Again written, produced, and directed by Cohen, It’s Alive’s John Ryan returns as Frank Davis soon after the events of the first film, this time as an activist seeking out families who are likely to give birth to mutant babies. He wants to help them deliver their babies away from the prying eyes of police, scientists, and the pharmaceutical companies, in order to give them a chance to get to know their unfortunately deformed offspring. The couples in question are taken to a private, secured facility full of scientists trying to study and help the babies, but obviously putting a bunch of mutant killer babies with razor sharp claws together might be a poor choice. They react the least violently towards parents of the babies, but eventually they escape and cause a serious amount of mayhem.

It Lives Again really must be seen to be believed. I don’t want to give away too much with my review, but part of the fun is watching what unfolds without knowing what to expect. Larry Cohen may be something of an acquired taste, but his films are nearly always delightful — It Lives Again is no exception. I saw this in a theatre as part of a horror festival (Exhumed Films' annual 24-hour Halloween horror fest) and I recommend watching it with a group of like-minded horror and exploitation fanatics if you can. Like most of Cohen's films, it's great fun if you're in the right mindset and has a nice mix of horror, gore, humor, and relatively compelling, sympathetic characters.

Sure, this is a sequel to a movie about killer babies, which means the audience is probably limited. It does unfortunately rehash some of the same themes from the first film, but if you can suspend your disbelief and remember that you're watching a Larry Cohen film in the first place, everything should be fine. It Lives Again does also introduce some fresh new scares and moments of killer baby action, so don’t assume it is just a repeat of the first film. 

The acting is about on par with the first, which is to say that it's similar to any '70s horror-exploitation film. Frank Davis returns, looking more aged and haggard than in the first film. There are some great appearances from Cassavetes’ regular John Marley (Faces, Deathdream), Andrew Dugan (In Like Flint), and Eddie Constantine (Alphaville, The Long Good Friday). The new parents are played sympathetically by Kathleen Lloyd (The Car) and the awkward Frederic Forrest (Apocalypse Now). The effects are easily as good as the first film and It Lives Again was also scored by the great Bernard Hermann (Hitchcock's regular composer for a time). 

As far as I know this is only available on the two disc trilogy DVD, which comes with It’s Alive, It Lives Again, and It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive. And thanks to the power of the internet, you can also watch it right now on youtube. As with It’s Alive, the second film comes highly recommended. Both of these remind me a little of ‘80s horror, several years before similarly comic and grotesque creature features like C.H.U.D. or Basket Case

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

IT'S ALIVE


Larry Cohen, 1974
Starring: John P. Ryan, Sharon Farrell, James Dixon, William Wellman Jr, Shamus Locke

Frank and Lenore Davis are expecting their second child. Though they were ambivalent at the beginning of the pregnancy, they’re excited to welcome a new Davis baby into the world. Unfortunately, the child is born fanged, clawed, and hideous. When one of the doctors tries to smother the baby, he kills everyone in the operating room except his mother and flees. While the police are harassing the family and searching for the baby, he heads slowly towards home, leaving a trail of corpses in his wake. It seems Lenore was given some prescription drugs that could be responsible for her horrible, mutant offspring, but the rise of toxic pollutants in the environment is another possible factor. The disgusted Frank is actively a member of the search team determined to find the baby and put it out of its misery. But first, the wee Davis finds his way home and wins over his mother, who realizes he just wants love and acceptance. She hides the child in the basement and vows to protect it. Will the baby win Frank over, too? Or will he kill IT?

In all honesty, It’s Alive is a movie I wanted very much to dislike. As a person who hates babies and finds the thought of pregnancy physically revolting, the monster and its victims – the parents – are both totally unsympathetic. In theory, anyway. In reality, the great Larry Cohen has made a wonderful film. He is able to turn the most inane subject matter into fantastic cult cinema in films like Q: The Winged Serpent, The Stuff, Full Moon High, God Told Me To, etc. I can’t help but love It’s Alive. Written, directed, and produced by Cohen, this film has heaps of gore, charm, absurd violence, and a pinch of the magic that made the '70s one of the best cult and horror filmmaking decades.

Banned in several countries, though I have no idea why, It’s Alive does sport some truly gruesome effects and gore, all designed by the wonderful Rick Baker. This is one of those weird films that works despite its flaws and comes highly recommended for any horror or cult fans. The combination of gore-fest and cheesy exploitation should please most horror fans. There are also some solid performances from John P. Ryan (Bound) and Sharon Farrell (Can’t Buy Me Love) as the unhappy parents, and some nice appearances from Cohen regular James Dixon (Q, The Stuff, A Return to Salem’s Lot) and Andrew Duggan (In Like Flint).

I usually prefer to include stills with my reviews, rather than images of the promotional art, but I love this poster. It includes the wonderful tagline (“There’s only one thing wrong with the Davis Baby… IT’S ALIVE”) and has an interesting back story. Apparently when the film was initially released it tanked in the box office. Warner Bros decided to redo the marketing campaign and gave it a scary new poster and then re-released it in theatres almost three years later to much greater acclaim. I wish I could say I'd like to see someone try that now, but instead, everything just gets remade.

Pick it up on a cheapo DVD from Warner or get the trilogy
. You can also find it on Youtube, should you feel the immediate urge. Don't forget to pay attention to the robust score by Bernard Hermann, a regular Hitchcock collaborator. Again, It’s Alive comes highly recommended and is followed by two surprisingly good sequels, It Lives Again (it doesn’t, it’s a different baby… ahem, babies), and It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive. There is apparently also a 2008 remake, though I absolutely refuse to watch it.

THE BABY

Ted Post, 1973
Starring: Anjanette Comer, Tod Andrews, Marianna Hill, Ruth Roman

Social worker Ann Gentry takes on a new case with the Wadsworth family, whose adult son, only known as Baby, has never progressed past infancy. Ann soon gets the idea that Baby’s controlling mother and creepy sisters, Germaine and Alba, are keeping him from developing on purpose and she becomes determined to rescue him. At first, Mrs. Wadsworth and her daughters become angry and threatening, refusing to allow Baby to go through with testing or any psychological evaluations, but then they suddenly change their minds and invite Ann to Baby’s elaborate birthday party. But the family has other plans for Ann and hope to get her out of the picture, so they can keep Baby all to themselves…

The ‘70s was a decade full of films about evil, possessed, and disturbed children, including The Exorcist, The Omen, Who Can Kill a Child?, Alice, Sweet, Alice, It’s Alive, and more, but there is nothing – and I mean nothing – like The Baby. This is a rare film that is horrifying without being gory, violent, or concerned with the supernatural. Of course, there is some pretty lurid subject matter, as the titular is an adult baby unable to walk, feed himself, or go to the bathroom without a diaper. There is plenty of additional insanity on display, including infantilism, sibling rape, torture with a cattle prod, a hint of lesbianism, and more. Though I would classify it as a horror film, The Baby has definite elements of exploitation. This feels like a darker Russ Meyer film without the nudity (and enormous tits), or like a John Waters film with more horror elements and a bigger budget. For example, Pink Flamingoes, a film about a different kind of demented family, came out the year before this.

The film certainly benefits from taking itself seriously and from a series of strong central performances. Anjanette Comer (The Night of a Thousand Cats) is likable as the well-meaning social worker with a tragic past and an air of undeniable sadness that perhaps makes her actions understandable, or at least somewhat easier to sympathize with. Marianna Hill (High Plains Drifter, Messiah of Evil) and Susanne Zenor are perfect as Baby’s two older sisters. Hill in particular gives off a vibe of absolute insanity and sexual frenzy buried very shallowly beneath the surface, though Zenor is also not to be outdone.

The real star here could have been Ruth Roman (Strangers on a Train), whose performance as Mrs. Wadsworth hints back to Joan Crawford in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Unfortunately Roman is never really permitted to go fully off the rails, which would likely have driven this film over the line of obscurity and into real cult classic status. The unforgettable Michael Pataki (Grave of the Vampire) has an appearance as a party goer interested in Ann who won’t take no for an answer. I wish he was given a bigger role in the film, but outside of David Manzy’s Baby, this is a largely female cast.

Manzy is excellent as Baby, though acts more like a toddler or a puppy than an actual baby. Still, he’s convincingly creepy. Allegedly David Manzy made his own baby sounds, but these were later dubbed over by a real baby’s cries. I think it would have been creepier to leave Manzy’s voice in or, better yet, Manzy on helium. After the recent video of a different take on the famous Blue Velvet scene where Frank uses an inhaler (now with helium), I can think of nothing more terrifying.

There is so much more happening here that I can’t really cram into a review of normal length: an unpredictable, twist ending that I’m not going to ruin, a ‘70s disco party that should feel out of place, but doesn’t, and a scene where the sexually frustrated, young babysitter allows Baby to suck on her nipple. Pleasantly – or disturbingly – unpredictable, the only other film that I can really compare The Baby to is Jack Hill’s even more insane Spider Baby.

Director Ted Post (known for television, particularly episodes of The Twilight Zone, Magnum Force, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, etc.) does a solid, if serviceable job here. As I said earlier, his deadpan, serious treatment of the material helps the film go a long way towards being uncomfortable, gruesome, and sometimes downright scary. Another major bonus is the wild and varied score from Gerald Fried (The Killing) with some absolutely bonkers, carnivalesque moments. As with the disco birthday party, it is another element of the film that should not work, but does anyway.

The Baby is available on DVD and is currently streaming on Netflix. It is not recommended for the faint of heart or sexually squeamish, but it is essential viewing for any fan of ‘70s horror or cult cinema. You’ve been warned.

Monday, April 21, 2014

GODMONSTER OF INDIAN FLATS

Fredric Hobbs, 1973
Stars: Christopher Brooks, Stuart Lancaster, E. Kerrigan Prescott

“WANTED! Have you seen this sheep?”

A young man named Eddie is taken in by scientist Dr. Clemens after being robbed and beaten by the local populace in a seemingly quaint desert village. Eddie develops a relationship with Clemens’ hippie assistant Mariposa, and the three discover an infant mutant sheep. Thinking he has stumbled across some sort of mutant messiah, Clemens rushes it back to his isolated laboratory deep in the desert to study it and help it grow. Meanwhile, back in town, a stranger named Barnstable arrives, hoping to buy up property for his wealthy employer. Though they pretend to be friendly to him, the town’s elite craft an elaborate set up, in which they make Barnstable think he killed a local’s beloved dog. They have him arrested, beaten, run out of town, and nearly lunched. He escapes to Dr. Clemens’ laboratory, where some of the cowboys find out about the mutant sheep, now fully formed, and are determined to kill it. The monster escapes and goes on a rampage through the desert, though it is headed right for the village.

This blend of Western and horror is a Z-grade effort that shockingly has not been given the Mystery Science Theater treatment, though it richly deserves it. Director Fredric Hobbs is also known for his career as an ecologically-minded artist, though he also directed Roseland (1970) and Alabama’s Ghost (1972), among others. Godmonster of Indian Flats remains his bizarre and somewhat unsung masterpiece.

Hobbs used the real town of Virginia City, Nevada as his shooting location and worked directly with the locals. Virginia City is something of a legend, as it was a gold-rush era town that has been preserved over the decades and transformed into a tourist destination. The town’s motto is actually “Step Back in Time,” and, somewhat amazingly, Hobbs co-wrote a book about the phenomenon, The Richest Place on Earth: The Story of Virginia City and the Heyday of the Comstock Lode. Without the town’s fascinating appearance and history, it’s unlikely Hobbs would have had the budget to make the film as visually impressive as it is.

If you really want to catch Virginia City in all its bizarre glory, check out the scene that captures the Bonanza Day Festival. Truly a dizzying affair, it is one of the film’s more interesting moments. It almost feels like a Western farce at this point, with drunken cowboys, children eating (and throwing) pies, brass bands, screaming prostitutes, and more. Weirdly, the mutant sheep doesn’t take up the majority of the film’s plot. That honor goes to Barnstable, an African American sent to town to try to buy up land for his rich boss and is denied at every turn by the two-faced locals. There’s also the story of Eddie, who has a really rough time in town before falling in with the cute, yet flaky Mariposa and her scientist boss. These different strands of plot eventually weave their way together by the psychotic conclusion, though I can’t say it makes a lot of sense.  

The “Godmonster” or mutant sheep is actually quite a tragic, pathetic figure. It may be hideous, but it doesn’t do a whole lot of murdering or rampaging. Its struggles to walk around upright are frankly hilarious, but its defeat at the hands of some cowboys is actually pretty depressing and the creature just looks pitiful and helpless.  This is certainly another instance where I wish the monster of the film would prevail and devour the town and all its crooked inhabitants in some sort of ecstatic frenzy of feeding and destruction. Alas, it really only runs amok through the countryside, scared and hungry, then accidentally blows up a gas station and harmlessly frightens some children.

Aside from the scientific experiments and mutant sheep, there are a slew of other insane things: racism, fascism and military rule, political corruption, and some insane events such as a malicious pie eating contest, a near lynching, an elaborate, though fake dog funeral, an attempted bisexual seduction over brandy that turns into a double cross, and so much more. The ending features a surprise riot from the townsfolk that must be seen to be believed, as they fight with the cowboys and utter chaos reigns.  

Something Weird kindly put out a special edition release, which is a must-see for anyone who loves schlocky monster movies or Western-horror hybrids. This comes recommended to all fans of more ridiculous horror and is an inspired, creative work, despite its low budget and completely nonsensical script. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

PATRICK (1978)


Richard Franklin, 1978
Starring: Susan Penhaligon, Robert Helpmann, Rod Mullinar, Robert Thompson

Coma patient Patrick killed his mother and her love a few years ago, and has laid in the hospital since, unable to see, hear, speak, more, or feel. He takes a shine to his new nurse, Kathie, and begins communicating with her by spitting “yes” or “no,” and by psycho-kinetically typing to her on a typewriter. He also begins violently intruding in her love life; Kathie is stuck between her estranged husband, who is trying to get her back, and a doctor trying to date her. Patrick becomes more and more out of control as his desire for Kathie intensifies. Will she be able to keep him in check, or will he really hurt someone?

Director Richard Franklin (Road Games) is something of a descendant of Hitchcock’s expert use of suspense and black humor, and he eventually went on to direct the surprisingly great Psycho II. The success of Patrick is largely due to Franklin’s expertise, a great script from writer Everett de Roche, and solid performances from stars Robert Thompson and Susan Penhaligon. Everett de Roche is responsible for some of the finest Australian genre classics, including Long Weekend, Road Games, and one of my personal favorites, Razorback

Susan Penhaligon (The Land That The Forgot) is excellent as Kathie and this is essentially her film. She helps make the character instantly likable and sympathetic. Though there is an abundance of men in her life, she is largely independent, able to make her own decisions, and uses her intuition to come to a quick realization that Patrick is far more than just an inert, useless vegetable. Robert Thompson (Aussie vampire film Thirst) is memorable as Patrick. Though he killed his own mother and his juvenile aims include being violently possessive of Kathie, and even openly asking her for a handjob, he is still surprisingly likable. 

In terms of both the character and the film, Patrick is an excellent example that it’s possible to make a wonderful, effective film out of a totally bonkers premise. Franklin and company manage to make Patrick — a mute, immobile man in a coma — a compelling and sympathetic figure. He is monstrous, but also to be pitied and has some fine moments. For example, he writes Kathie an honest, raw letter on the typewriter, quoting Oscar Wilde’s famous epithet, “Each man kills the thing he loves,” from the heart-breaking “The Ballad of Reading Gaol.”

There’s some great dialogue and some nice side performances, including from Robert Helpmann (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). Though the film has a low budget, very limited locations, and almost no gore or effects, it’s an effective work of horror. It makes good use of the hospital set and actually develops the side characters, such as nurses, the eccentric and possibly unethical head doctor, and a crazy, but amusing patient. 

Patrick is overly long, though it is generally well-paced. There are a few repetitive scenes, such as moments when Patrick communicates with Kathie but he won't repeat it front of others. The film does becomes more stylish, frenzied, and violent as Patrick’s telekinesis becomes more pronounced, resulting in quite a memorable ending.

As with several other Australian cult classics from this period, it wasn’t a huge hit in its home country, but was a success in Europe and the U.S. In Italy, it was re-scored by Goblin and in the U.S. it was somewhat re-cut and overdubbed with American accents. There was an unauthorized, unconnected sequel made in Italy in 1980, Patrick Still Lives, and a dreadful remake in the '00s. Patrick is available on Blu-ray and DVD with some nice special features. It comes highly recommended and really must be seen to be believed.