An often bitingly humorous expose of the male ego accomplished dramatically in one night, Patti Rocks is a quintessential American independent production, and a very good one.
Film opens with the phrase ‘Twelve years later…,’ a cute reference to David Burton Morris’ first feature, Loose Ends, which involved the same leading characters but is in no way mandatory viewing for appreciating the follow-up.
Patti Rocks picks up Billy (Chris Mulkey), a working stiff who seems to be refusing to grow up even though he’s into his thirties with a wife and two kids. During the cold Christmas season in Minnesota, Billy shanghais his old buddy Eddie (John Jenkins), a garage foreman, to drive with him to a distant town to help him tell a woman he’s ‘knocked up’ that he’s hitched and that she ought to have an abortion.
Eddie ends up sitting in the passenger seat for hours as Billy delivers a torrential monolog of ever-escalating sexual boasts and fantasies. The tone changes dramatically, however, once the boys reach the home of Patti Rocks. Too chicken-hearted to break the news to her himself, Billy sends Eddie into her bedroom to do the job, and that’s when the twists are added.
Made on a frugal $350,000 budget, film is totally dialog and performance oriented, and stands up well on both counts. Unknown thesps are not charismatic, but are vividly believable as regular folk who are both evasive and brutally frank about sex and life.