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|“||There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable... I simply am not there.||„|
|~ Patrick Bateman's famous speech.|
Patrick Bateman is the eponymous, villainous protagonist of Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 controversial novel American Psycho and its film and stage adaptions. He lives in 1980's Manhattan and works on Wall Street. The very image of a yuppie, he is obsessed with his health, cleanliness, appearance, money and music collection. He has a darker side, however; he is a serial killer, rapist, cannibal and necrophile.
He was portrayed by Christian Bale in the film and by Matt Smith in the West End musical adaption.
Many of Bateman's murder victims are homeless people, one of whom he rants at for not having a job before hand. He lures Paul Allen, who works at another firm, to his apartment, where Bateman axes him to death because he got an account that Bateman wanted. He then disposes of the body, breaks into Paul Allen's apartment, packs his clothes into a suitcase, and rerecords the answering machine's greeting to say that Allen has left for London. Later, he picks up two prostitutes, giving them his name as Paul Allen, brings them to his apartment, and has sex with both of them, while videotaping it. Just as they are about to leave, he opens a drawer full of scary looking devices, takes out what used to be a coat-hanger and growls "We're not finished yet!". The prostitutes are bruised and bleeding by the time he lets them leave. Bateman takes his secretary home one night, and tries to kill her from behind with a nail gun, but fails because the phone rings at the wrong time and he momentarily regains his humanity. A few days later, he picks up one of the same two prostitutes, phones up a lady friend of his, and brings them to Paul Allen's apartment.
He drugs the wine, and gets them to make out. He then cuts up his friend with a chainsaw and sticks the body parts in the closet. He ends up chasing the prostitute out into the hallway and she makes it down the stairs ahead of him. Bateman drops the chainsaw over the edge, which hits and kills the prostitute just before she gets away.
Several nights later, Bateman is at the ATM when it flashes the message "Feed me a stray cat." He picks up a stray cat and pulls out his gun, but an old woman sees him and cries out. Bateman drops the cat and shoots down the old woman. Two police cars roll in with sirens blaring, and Bateman unloads his gun at them, causing the cars to explode. Bateman flees to his office, where he calls up his lawyer and leaves a message confessing everything.
Bateman awakes the next morning and is surprised the cops aren't looking for him. He goes to Paul Allen's apartment, only to find that it is completely empty and up for sale. He goes to work, and then goes for a drink with some coworkers. He meets his lawyer there, who compliments Bateman on his great "gag". When Bateman insists that he killed Paul Allen, his lawyer balks, saying that Allen called him from London the night before. Bateman has an epiphany right then and there: that the punishment and notoriety he craves will forever elude him, and he is trapped in a meaningless existence - "This is not an exit."