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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A blast from the past; Franklin's fun homage to Hitchcock
FINALLY! The complete Australian language version of Richard Franklin's gem from 1978!
An enigmatic young man kills his mother, then somehow winds up in a coma in a private hospital. Enter the pretty young nurse who discovers Patrick has capabilities no one seems to know about, or want to admit they know about. For those that are thrill seekers, this film is not a fast-paced, action-packed story. BUT, for those of us that appreciate characters over wild thrills and enjoy careful buildups to a final reveal, this one is nicely done. There IS a reason it was an initial success and has gained a big cult following; people understood Franklin's intentions.
Sure, Patrick is not grand "cinema," but it's a nice mystery/love story with great performances, a keen sense of humour ("self-referential humour" as it has been described), and some rather strong adult content & nudity for what was supposed to be a PG-rated film, even in the altered version for American audiences back in 1978. I first saw it theatrically and was surprised by its content, but appreciated the homages to Hitchcock (which Franklin carefully points out in many scenes on the DVD's commentary track), and Brian May's score has a nice hermann-esque feel (I'm a proud owner of this score on vinyl). I was only disappointed that it was dubbed with American actors, which dummies down a film -- just take a peek at the dubbed version of Anatomy (aka Anatomie). Finally seeing this film in the original Australian language version on DVD made me like this film a lot more 25 years later.
While this film is not extremely original, it still provides enough intrigue for those who look deeper into films that the general public would brush off. Patrick could be considered an acquired taste, so those who are familiar with it and liked it will find the Elite DVD a very satisfying purchase and a nice surprise to see it in its original form. Others be warned, you might stick with more familiar "blockbuster hits." But realize, when films are pushed as "the hottest releases," you know something might be lacking and that it's processed for mass-friendly consumption. At least the Australian audiences did accept this film back then, and it won recognition. I'd like to think I was one of the Americans that understood why they found this film to be so great!
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