FINALLY! The complete Australian language version of Richard Franklin's gem from 1978!
An enigmatic young man kills his mother, and winds up in a coma in a private hospital. Enter the pretty nurse who discovers Patrick has capabilities no one seems to know (or admit) about.
For those that are thrill seekers, this film is not a fast-paced action-packed story. BUT, for those of us that appreciate characters over wild thrills, and enjoy careful buildups to a final reveal, this one is nicely done. There IS a reason it was an initial success and has gained a big cult following, people understood Franklin's intentions.
Sure, Patrick is not Citizen Kane, but it is a nice mystery with great performances, a keen sense of humour ("self-referential humour" as it has been described), and some rather strong adult content for what was supposed to be a PG-rated film, even back in 1978. I first saw it theatrically and was surprised by its content, but appreciated the homages to Hitchcock (which Franklin carefully points out in many scenes on the DVD's commentary), and Brian May's score has a nice Herrmann-esque feel. I was only disappointed that it was dubbed with American actors. Finally seeing this film in the original Australian language version on DVD made me like this film a lot more 25 years later.
Synapse's 2009 edition is anamorphic widescreen (Elite's out-of-print DVD is not) and has the basic extras: two theatrical trailers, a commentary by Franklin and writer Everett De Roche. There's an easy to find easter egg (on the Elite edition at least) that features cover art for different soundtrack releases as well. The filmographies are quite thorough, for fans of Australian cinema.
While this film is not extremely original, it still provides enough intrigue for those who look deeper into films that the general public would brush off. Patrick could be considered an acquired taste, so those who are familiar with it and liked it will find this DVD a very satisfying purchase and a nice surprise to see it in its original form. Others be warned, you might stick with more familiar "blockbuster hits."