Patrick: Ultimate Ozploitation Edition (1978) (NTSC)

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Released 2-Feb-2009

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Richard Franklin & Everett de Roche
Featurette-Making Of-A Coffee Break With Antony I. Ginnane
Interviews-Crew-Archival On-Set Interview With Richard Franklin
Alternative Version-Excerpt From The Dubbed US Version
DVD-ROM Extras-Movie Synopsis Of The Unproduced Sequel To Patrick (PDF)
Theatrical Trailer-Patrick - Australian Trailer
Theatrical Trailer-Patrick - US Trailer
Teaser Trailer-Antony I. Ginnane Trailer Reel
Gallery-Stills & Poster Gallery
Teaser Trailer-Umbrella Ozploitation Trailers
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1978
Running Time 112:22 (Case: 108)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Richard Franklin
Studio
Distributor

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Susan Penhaligon
Robert Helpmann
Robert Thompson
Bruce Barry
Rod Mullinar
Julia Blake
Helen Hemingway
María Mercedes
Walter Pym
Frank Wilson
Carole-Ann Aylett
Paul Young
Marilyn Rodgers
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music Brian May


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    One of the more interesting thrillers to emerge from the Ozploitation era of Australian cinema was Richard Franklin's eerie piece of macabre suspense, Patrick.

    Those who know the work of the late Richard Franklin will probably be aware that he was a devotee of Alfred Hitchcock. In fact, he and Hitchcock met while Richard was a student in the US and over the years they became friends. Patrick was the first of a few Hitchcock inspired films that Richard Franklin would make in his career. It was also one of the films that prompted Universal Studios to offer Franklin the direction role for Psycho II in 1983 - an honour that he certainly lived up to.

    Patrick was filmed in Melbourne on a small budget of $400,000 - very modest even by 1978 standards. On completion, the film had a huge running time of 140 minutes. Distributors subsequently requested some savage cuts and the film was edited down to the current running time of 112 minutes. According to Richard Franklin, none of this deleted footage still exists today.

    As the film opens, it becomes apparent that young adult, Patrick (Robert Thompson) may have some deep psychological problems. This suspicion is quickly confirmed when without displaying any emotion, he murders his mother and her lover in the bath tub.

    Three years later - with his eyes permanently open, Patrick lies comatose in room 15 of a small private hospital owned by the creepy and cantankerous, Dr Roget (Sir Robert Helpman). It appears Patrick's fragile mental state has been consumed by the murder of his mother and for the past three years he has essentially existed as nothing more than a living corpse. His body has totally shutdown and with no brain activity, he is completely unresponsive to the world around him. He even requires a machine to breath for him. Patrick has no living family, so he remains in Dr Roget's care, kept alive only by the sanctity of medical ethics and his convenience for research.

    Nurse, Kathy Jacquard (Susan Penhaligon) is interviewed for employment by the surly, Matron Cassidy (Julia Blake). The hospital is desperate for staff and Kathy is desperate for a job after splitting with her husband, Ed (Rod Mullinar). Kathy is assigned the patient in room 15 and she is promptly introduced to Patrick and his special needs by Sister Williams (Helen Hemingway). Kathy is intrigued by Patrick from the beginning and does her best to treat him with compassion and respect.

    Kathy soon realises that Patrick may not be totally brain dead, but each time she tries to communicate this to Dr Roget or Matron Cassidy there is a cunning no response from her patient. Strange and menacing coincidences begin happening when Kathy meets Dr. Brian Wright (Bruce Barry), an amorous neurosurgeon. These events continue with increasing malice when she attempts reconciliation with her estranged husband. Kathy soon becomes aware that Patrick is manipulating her life in every way and his level of malevolence is about to intensify.

    Ironically, many years later Quentin Tarantino added homage to Patrick in his 2003 film, Kill Bill: Volume One. The coma scene with Uma Thurman sees her spit in the same vain as Patrick. Tarantino's request that Thurman play the scene wide eyed was flatly rejected by the actress as being ridiculous.

    Partick had only moderate success in Australia, but it did much better business around the world. In Italy, the film was a massive commercial hit - so much so that it inspired an unofficial and erotic spin-off in 1980 titled, Patrick vive ancora.

    Everett de Roche, who wrote the original screenplay for Patrick, later wrote a 13 page movie synopsis for an official sequel titled, Patrick - The Man Who Wasn't There. Despite the best of intentions, the screenplay was never developed and the film was never made.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This new transfer of Patrick is a marked improvement on the previous local release by Magna Pacific, which featured a poor quality 1.33:1 transfer, poor audio and no extras.

   Patrick is presented here in the precisely measured aspect ratio of 1.80:1, which is 16x9 enhanced. The film's correct ratio is reported to be 1.85:1. It must also be noted that this is a NTSC transfer.

    Despite the improvement on the previous local release, Patrick still looks soft, with film grain evident throughout most of the film. According to Richard Franklin, in order to save money Agfa film stock was used instead of Eastman. It's therefore highly likely that the majority of this grain is inherent in the source material, rather than it being a transfer issue. It's been many years since I've seen Patrick in a cinema, so I can't really comment in regards to the grain content of the film. The occasional outdoor scene looked great with strong and sharp detail, but on the whole sharpness levels were only moderate. Blacks were generally clean, but shadow detail was often undefined.

    The colour palette used in Patrick is rather drab, especially most of the interiors. In contrast, many exterior scenes looked excellent with strong and vibrant colour. All the colours appeared well balanced, with no over-saturation issues.

    MPEG artefacts weren't an issue. Film-to-video artefacts were negligible and film artefacts were almost non-existent.

    Unfortunately, there are no subtitles available on this DVD.

    This is a DVD 9, dual layer disc. The layer change was easily noticed at 85:16.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two audio tracks available on the DVD, English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192 Kb/s) and English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kb/s).

    Dialogue quality was excellent throughout and there were no obvious problems with audio sync.

    The original music score for Patrick was written by the late Brian May. Brian has scored many Australian films over the years. I must confess, I've never been much of a fan of his film scores - I've found most of them to be too loud and over-dramatic. In my opinion though, his music for Patrick is one of his better scores. Brian also had a bit of fun with this score, paying homage to Bernard Herrmann and John Williams. It's worth mentioning that for the Italian release of Patrick, Brian May's score was replaced by a score written by the Dario Argento favourite, Goblin.

     The use of Pro-Logic II only really spread the sound and music to the rear channels. There was nothing of any substance from the rear speakers at all - everything was based front and centre.

     The subwoofer came to life on a few occasions, mostly during moments of increased tension.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    

Menu

    The main menu is animated, 16x9 enhanced and features a sample of Brian May's score.

 

Director's Audio Commentary - Richard Franklin

    This is a fascinating commentary is full of interesting anecdotes and relevant information. It appears this was recorded about 18 months before Richard's untimely death from Prostate Cancer. During the commentary, he has a great recollection of the film and openly discusses all aspects of the production. He is very keen to point out all of the Hitchcock references in the film - far more than most people would ever notice. At 45:25, writer Everett de Roche takes over the commentary for about six minutes before returning to Richard, who then continues through to the end of the film.

Featurette - A Coffee Break With Antony I. Ginnane (17:55)

    Antony loves a chat and here he talks enthusiastically about Patrick. This informative piece was produced this year by Umbrella Entertainment, exclusively for this DVD presentation. Antony discusses his experience  working with Richard Franklin and talks about the production of the film in general. Clips from the film and still photographs are also incorporated into the discussion.

Archival On Set Interview (7:26)

    This is a short interview between  Richard Franklin and the late film critic, Ivan Hutchinson in 1978. This friendly discussion takes place a short time before the film was completed and released.

Excerpt From The Dubbed US Version Of Patrick (3:29)

    Despite Richard Franklin's objection, for the American cinema release of Patrick, the Australian accents were overdubbed with the voices of American actors. As the title suggests, this is a short clip from that terrible dubbed version.

(DVD-Rom)  Patrick - The Man Who Wasn't There (PDF)

    Writer, Everett de Roche continues his story of Patrick with this 13 page movie synopsis that was never actually realised.

Original Theatrical Trailer - Patrick (2:57)

US Theatrical Trailer - Patrick (1:38)

Stills & Poster Gallery

    Image Gallery Part One - 56 images

    Image Gallery Part Two - 57 images

Ginnane Trailer Reel

  • Snapshot (2:09)
  • Thirst (1:37)
  • Harlequin (2:42
  • Survivor (2:48)
  • Dead Kids (3:16)
  • Turkey Shoot (2:39)
  • Time Guardian (1:28)

    Umbrella Ozploitation Trailers

  • Roadgames (2:12)
  • Long Weekend (1:59)
  • Razorback (2:21)
  • The Chain Reaction (3:22)

    R4 vs R1

    NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

        I will compare this region free Umbrella edition with the region free US Special Edition released by Synapse Films in October 2008.

        The Umbrella edition misses out on 

        The Synapse Films, Special Edition misses out on     

        Unless the French and Spanish audio tracks are important to you, there seems to be no logical reason to look past the local Umbrella release.

    Summary

        Patrick is a moody piece of gothic horror made by a director who unfortunately never quite revealed his full talents to the world. Patrick still has plenty of shocks and surprises for a new audience. Sure it's a bit cheesy at times, but there's a lot to like about this creepy little homage to Hitchcock.

        The video quality is not perfect, but I believe this is probably the best Patrick has ever looked for the home entertainment market.

        The audio transfer is basic, but perfectly adequate.

        The extras are very good, especially Richard Franklin's commentary.

     


     

  • Ratings (out of 5)

    Video
    Audio
    Extras
    Plot
    Overall

    © Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
    Friday, March 27, 2009
    Review Equipment
    DVDJVC XV-N412, using Component output
    DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
    Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
    AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
    SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

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