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Angela Punch McGregor
After the shocking bathtub death of his mother and her lover, the sinister Patrick lays comatose in a small private hospital, his only action being his involuntary spitting. When a pretty young nurse, just separated from her husband, begins work at the hospital, she senses that Patrick is communicating with her, and he seems to be using his psychic powers to manipulate events in her life. Written by
[to Kathy Jacquard who is applying for a job as a nurse]
Why did you choose the Roget Clinic, Mrs. Jacquard? We tend to attract certain types - lesbians, nymphomaniacs, enema specialists..."
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The end credits play over Patrick lying in his hospital bed with his eyes open. See more »
Slow but creepy and satisfying Australian psychokinesis tale
I recently became quite a big fan of horror pictures from down under and the work of genre scribe Everret DeRoche in particular. He was responsible for writing Storm Warning, Razorback, great TV thriller Fortress, and the mighty ecological thriller Long Weekend. I had wavered over buying this one for a while but happily a couple of weeks back my indecision was solved by it getting played late one night on the television. The plot follows a young nurse who is put in charge of caring for the comatose Patrick, who has been in a barely alive state for a goodly long while. What she doesn't know going in though, is that he has more going on than meets the eye...The chief criticism levelled at this film is that it is too slow and gets boring. I would be inclined to sort of agree that it is too slow, but for me it simply edges on boring without actually losing interesting. It stretches out the point somewhat too long, it could certainly be tighter, but when all is said and done I found it pretty danged effective stuff. The writing has a lot to do with this, for whilst the plotting may be quite simple the characters are all well drawn and the dialogue is constantly interesting. The characters feel realistic, their interactions work and draw us into the film and yet they still manage to convey the quirks and strange ideas that are expected from such a genre piece. Combined with the tense and eerie direction form Richard Franklin and it makes for a not quite nail biting, but certainly very intriguing experience. The acting is also of course an important factor here, with compelling performances across the board. Susan Penhaligon makes for a sympathetic lead, whilst Robert Helpmann is ace as the doctor in charge. Robert Thompson gives Patrick an impressively menacing presence without actually having much at all to do, whilst Julia Blake perhaps impresses most as an imperious head nurse. This is the sort of thing that will put off the impatient, or the conventional thrill seeking but I never found it boring as others have. It could be shorter and more fireworks would have been nice but ultimately I still found it a rewarding experience. Worthwhile for the patient.
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