Patrick (1978)
By: J.R. McNamara on May 6, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Magna Pacific (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 4:3. English DD 1.0. 106 minutes
The Movie
Director: Richard Franklin
Starring: Susan Penhaligon, Robert Helpmann, Rod Mullinar, Bruce Barry
Screenplay: Everett De Roche
Music: Brian May
Tagline: He's in a coma... Yet, he can kill...
Country: Australia
During the late seventies/early eighties, Anthony I. Ginnane was responsible for a group of films that could only be described as Australian horror classics. Like a Down Under Roger Corman, he produced such films as Turkey Shoot, Thirst, Dead Kids, the adaptation of James Herbert's The Survivor, and, of course, Patrick, which he produced with William Faymen and director Richard Franklin. From a script by Everett De Roche, who also wrote Razorback, Patrick is probably the best known of Ginnane's films of this era, and was a true video classic of the eighties!

Patrick tells the story, unsurprisingly, of Patrick (Robert Thompson), a young man who was admitted, comatose, to a small private hospital after murdering his mother and her boyfriend. Attractive divorcee, Kathy (Susan Penhaligon) starts work at the hospital in a nursing position but soon finds her life is being manipulated by something…is that 'something Patrick? Does he have telekinetic powers and is he using them to influence her life?

Franklin's direction is spot on, and his unusual angles keep the viewer on edge in this quirky story of obsession and murder. I remember seeing Patrick late at night on TV when I was a teenager, and being quite transfixed by it. Not much has changed.

Tragically this disc is treated like a red-headed stepchild with a bedwetting problem, and has nothing extra to offer the viewer. Surely this, Ginnane's best known pic, should have gotten a few extras. Ginnane loves his own work and would have provided a commentary or a doco feature or something. Other films of his released on DVD generally have a small piece about him! This film was nominated for three AFI awards, including best screenplay and best film, and there must have been some footage of ANYTHING lying around to support its DVD release!!

Patrick also deserves special note for featuring professional dancer Sir Robert Helpmann as Doctor Roget, certainly an icon of Australian entertainment, when you consider the Australian Entertainment Industry Association's awards are named The Helpmann Awards in his honour.
This is a quite terrible VHS quality full-screen presentation of the film.
This feature is presented is mono, and the best thing I can say about it is that is you aren't deaf, you can hear it.
Extra Features
Not a sausage.
The Verdict
A classic bit of Australian cheese, but presented with no crackers or champagne, and so is just tasty, without any accompaniments. Shame.
Movie Score
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