Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Day 323: Patrick (1978) - Rank 4/5
Low budget and gimmicky, but still entertaining fare. The film opens up similarly to John Carpenter's "Halloween," with a brutal POV murder of a happy couple in a bathtub - the only back story we get for Patrick (note: while both film openings are remarkably similar to one another, "Patrick" neither filmmaker could have been aware of the other's film until much later due to delayed, overseas release dates). Years later, Patrick is in a comatose state in an insane asylum. Enter Kathy, a naive nurse whom Patrick takes a liking to. At first his gestures are as simple as reflexive spits or the occasional erection, but soon his telekinetic powers are writing prose on Kathy's typewriter and tearing her home asunder when Kathy's eye turns to another man.
Pure drive-in cinema with a "Twilight Zone" air, but the film does generate genuine suspense. There's also a fair deal of dark humor peppered throughout the storyline. Robert Helpmann also stars as the sadistic head of surgery at the hospital - a man who is reduced to eating frog's innards by the end of the film. While the film is, by no means, perfect, for its pacing is rather labored at times, it does function well as a "gateway film" for inducing the desire to watch more Aussie horror flicks.
Watch the Trailer