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Patrick (1978) – Blu-ray Review – Indicator

Australian cinema went through a period in the 1970’s and 80’s where many cult and exploitation films were made and many distributed worldwide, one such film was this horror/thriller directed by Richard Franklin called Patrick.

After murdering his mother and her lover, Patrick (Robert Thompson) is kept in a comatose state between life and death, under the watchful eye of the eccentric Dr Roget (Robert Helpman). When he is assigned a caring new nurse, Kathy (Susan Penhaligon), he becomes possessive of her and uses telekinetic powers to torment anyone who comes between them.

An unsettling and tense thriller, you can see the influence of Alfred Hitchcock on director Franklin (His Psycho II is in my opinion very underrated) and the slow-burning build-up is expertly done.

It is slightly overlong but became a cult hit in both the UK and USA (Although the distributor there demanded an awful re-dubbing of the cast with an American accent). It is an unsettling film, the lead character does not speak a word, only spits occasionally and his eyes are constantly open.

The film it does remind you of is Carrie, as Patrick more and more shows his ability to move things around with just his mind and also type out messages on the typewriter the nurse is using.

Kathy, played well by Susan Penhaligon is good as the nurse who is treated badly by her ex-husband and her matron at her new job who just seems to want to punish her and give her the job of looking after Patrick.

The doctor played by veteran actor Robert Helpman chews the scenery and tends to go over the top at times but never derails the development of the story.

The gore is minimal but effective, and the music score adds a great deal to the tension. On this release, you also get the shorter Italian cut of the film with a different score by the group Goblin.

A decent cult horror film which is well worth a revisit from this new 4K remastered release from Indicator. (Available in the UK and USA),

Extras are –

Three presentations of the film: the original Australian theatrical version; the shortened US theatrical version with American dubbing; and the Italian theatrical version, featuring an alternative score by Italian prog legends Goblin and presented with English subtitles for the first time

Original mono audio

Audio commentary with director Richard Franklin and screenwriter Everett De Roche (2002)

On-Set Interview with Richard Franklin (1978): behind-the-scenes interview with the Patrick director conducted by Australian film critic Ivan Hutchinson

Interview with Richard Franklin (2001): previously unseen interview in which the director discusses Patrick

A Coffee Break with Antony I. Ginnane (2009): the renowned genre-film producer revisits Patrick

‘Not Quite Hollywood’ Interview Excerpts (2008): an extensive selection of outtakes from Mark Hartley’s acclaimed documentary on Australian cinema, featuring Franklin, De Roche, Ginnane, and stars Susan Penhaligon and Rod Mullinar

Stephen Morgan on ‘Patrick’ (2023): appreciation by the academic and Australian cinema specialist

Original Australian theatrical trailer

Original US theatrical trailer

TV spots

Image gallery: promotional and publicity material, and behind the scenes

New and improved English translation subtitles

Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack

Limited edition exclusive 80-page book with a new essay by Alan Miller, exclusive extracts from director Richard Franklin and producer Antony I Ginnane’s unpublished memoirs; archival interviews with screenwriter Everett De Roche and special-effects supervisor Conrad Rothmann, and full film credits

Limited edition of 10,000 individually numbered units (6,000 4K UHDs and 4,000 Blu-rays) for the UK and US




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