This week I am covering genre films from down under. Patrick is currently available on instant Netflix.
WATCH: Patrick (1978) – Rated PG
“After murdering his mother and her lover during a bathtub tryst, young Patrick (Robert Thompson) lies comatose in a small, private hospital, where the only motion he can muster is involuntary spitting. When a young nurse, recently separated from her husband, begins working at the hospital, she senses that Patrick is trying to communicate with her psychically. Soon after, the men (and women) in her life mysteriously begin to die.”
“I’ve got a weird feeling” – “Indigestion?” – Yep. You betcha – after watching this film.
While I enjoyed this film, it is very slow-moving (what did you expect when the title character is comatose?). This was made in the late 70s when everyone was rushing psychic phenomena movies to print in the wake of Carrie’s success. Because this trend was new at the time, they take a lot of time slowly building up Patrick’s ability. I do recommend this film if you have patience as it is an interesting story but Carrie, The Fury, and The Medusa Touch are better movies on the same subject.
This is a bizarre PG film. While enough was apparently cut for a PG rating, this film still contains brief nudity including male full frontal, sexual activity, profanity, attempted spousal rape, a handjob, and mentions of necrophilia, enemas, and nymphomania.
The original film was 140 minutes but was trimmed to 112 minutes for U.S. release. While the movie feels like it runs too long at 112 minutes, it also leaves a lot out so the editing is somewhat poor. One character’s fate is shown after the fact, another’s fate is never determined, and there are a few other inconsistencies. The director has stated that the extra footage is unfortunately lost.
It was mentioned in Not Quite Hollywood that Quentin Tarantino patterned some of the Bride’s scenes in Kill Bill after this movie and it is pretty obvious that this is true. Strangely this Australian film spawned an Italian sequel, Patrick vive ancora (1980 – Patrick is Still Alive) that was simply a reimagining of the original with none of the cast or crew.
People watch: Director Richard Franklin later directed the much better Road Games and then directed a number of Hollywood movies. He later directed genre pictures such as Psycho 2, F/X 2, and Link but never had a real breakout hit. His last film was Visitors (2003) and he passed away in 2007. Not Quite Hollywood is dedicated to him.