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Film / Patrick

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"He's in a coma... Yet he can kill!"

Patrick is a cult 1978 Australian horror film directed by Richard Franklin, of Road Games fame.

In a private hospital in Melbourne, a young man named Patrick lies in a vegetative state, having murdered his mother and her boyfriend three years earlier by electrocuting them in the bathtub. Unknown to the hospital staff, Patrick possesses powerful psychokinetic abilities which he can use to manipulate his surroundings in order to suit his needs. When he falls for nurse Kathy Jacquard (played by Susan Penhaligon), he uses his powers to wreak havoc on the men in her life and defend himself against the hospital's bitter matron, who plans to kill him.

Along with the original Mad Max, the film is often credited with popularizing Australian cinema overseas. An unauthorized In Name Only sequel titled Patrick Still Lives was released in 1980, while a remake was released in 2013.

This film provides examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: Patrick was left in such a state after murdering his mother and her lover. His only means of communication is via a typewriter, which he is able to control using his powers, or through occasional facial tics.
  • Attempted Rape: Kathy's ex, Ed, attempts to force himself on her at one point, which only serves to further provoke Patrick's fury.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Just as Patrick tries to force Kathy to take the poison syringe, her ex-husband Ed shows up and stops him.
  • Character Title
  • Condensation Clue: In one scene, Patrick causes the words "You are mine" to appear on Kathy's fogged bathroom mirror. When she reacts by yelling how repulsed she is by his psychic stalking, he makes the mirror de-fog and then shatter explosively, cutting her badly with its shards.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Patrick, towards Kathy. He uses his abilities to inflict harm on anyone who he perceives as potential romantic rivals, including Kathy's male co-workers.
  • Electrified Bathtub: The film opens with the title character murdering his mother and her lover as they're in the bathtub together, by tossing in a hot radiator lamp that they fumble from one to the other, while screaming in agony, until they're able to toss it onto the floor. Patrick just picks it up and throws it back into the water.
  • Elevator Failure: Patrick attempts to kill Kathy's ex-husband Ed by inducing one of these through the use of his powers. It doesn't work.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Despite apparently flatlining, Patrick leaps from his bed and crashes into a cabinet in what Dr. Roget assumes is a motor reflex. However, after Kathy closes Patrick's eyes and leaves the room, he awakens again.
  • Evil Cripple: Despite being comatose for the majority of the film, Patrick manages to create all kinds of mayhem thanks to his powers.
  • Eye Awaken: The title character is in a coma with his eyes eternally open. The only time they're closed is at the end when he's believed to be dead, just so he can open them again (and remain open during the end credits).
  • Foreign Re-Score: When shown in Europe, the film was given a new score courtesy of Italian prog-rockers Goblin.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: A very brief example occurs during the bathtub murder scene courtesy of the mother's boyfriend.
  • Novelization: By Keith Hetherington.
  • Psychic Powers: The title character is telekinetic, and uses it to get what he wants by any means necessary.