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Australia 1978
Directed by
Richard Franklin
108 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Patrick (1978)

Richard Franklin’s first feature is a camp supernatural horror movie with the intriguing premise of the eponymous central character comatose throughout proceedings.

Like Brian De Palma’s heroine in Carrie, Patrick possesses telekinetic powers although he is a far less sympathetically portrayed character, the perpetrator of wrongdoings rather than their victim. Susan Penhaligon plays Kathy, the nurse given the main duties of caring for wicked little Patrick whilst Robert Helpmann, in extra ham mode, is the co-dependent doctor given to performing unusual experiments on this decidedly weird patient.

As a horror movie Patrick is not going to scare your Aunt Sally but it is an ingenious, diverting enough genre film well scripted by Everett De Roche, scored by Brian May and filmed in both Melbourne and Sydney (the supposed location of the hospital but which did not have trams in 1978).




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