Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 14th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Australia, 1978
Director: Richard Franklin
Writer: Everett De Roche
Cast: Susan Penhaligon, Robert Helpmann, Rod Mullinar, Bruce Barry, Julia Blake, Helen Hemingway, María Mercedes, Robert Thompson
DVD released: October 28th, 2008
Approximate running time: 113 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Spanish, Dolby Digital Mono French
DVD Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: Patrick has been in a coma since he murdered his mother and her lover. He becomes infatuated with a Kathy nurse who has recently been assigned to take care of him. Kathy has her own problems a marriage that is on shaky ground. Patrick quickly becomes jealous of any man who shows Kathy attention. How far will Patrick go to prove his live for Kathy?
Patrick was directed by Richard Franklin whose other notable films include Fantasm, Psycho II, Cloak & Dagger and F/X2. Patrick’s score was written by Brian May whose other notable scores include Dark Forces, Mad Max and Thirst. The Italian release of Patrick has an alternate score that was composed by Goblin. Another key collaborator on Patrick was screenwriter Everett De Roche who’s other notable screenplays include Long Weekend, The Day After Halloween and Razorback.
The premise for Patrick while interesting, it is stretched to its limits. The film’s near two hour time length takes some patience. The final act is the strongest section of the film. The film’s pacing drags at times with some scenes retreading ground previously covered in the film. Visually director Richard Franklin does a good job building tension and creating interesting visuals. The acting is well balanced with the most surprising performance coming from Robert Thompson who portrays the comatose Patrick.
The plot also bears some similarities to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Brian De Palma’s Carrie. Patrick like Norman Bates has a mother complex and he also has telekinetic powers like Carrie. The violence in the film is more in line with a thriller than a horror film. The killings and maiming of characters is not that gory. The film would unintentionally inspire a sequel of sorts the Italian made production titled ‘Patrick Still Lives’. Overall Patrick is an adequate thriller that never lives up to its intriguing premise.
Synapse Films presents Patrick in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. For this release Synapse Film’s have given Patrick a new anamorphic transfer (the previous DVD release from Elite Entertainment was non anamorphic). The image looks detailed and remains stable throughout. Colors are nicely saturated and flesh tones look natural. Print damage is minimal and there is noticeable grain present throughout.
This release comes with three audio options English, Spanish, and French. All three audio options are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. All three audio mixes are in good shape and more than serviceable as there are no major audio defects.
Extras for this release include three T.V. spots, a U.S. and Australian trailer for Patrick. Rounding out the extras is an audio commentary with director Richard Franklin. About half way through the audio commentary there is a brief audio interview with screenwriter Everett De Roche that has been included as part of the audio commentary. Then it shifts back Richard Franklin for the remainder of the audio commentary. The placement of Everett De Roche audio interview feels out of place and would have been better served as maybe a standalone extra. The sections with Richard Franklin are very informative and detailed. Overall Patrick gets a brand transfer that from Synapse Films who have also carried over all the extras that were included on the now OOP Elite DVD release has been carried over for this release.