Australia has made its fair share of horror film releases; films like Wolf Creek, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and The Tunnel have found their way into the Australian mainstream.
But the1978 film 'Patrick' became one of Australia's most successful horror movie exports: being shown internationally in 30 countries, including in the U.S.
The story of Patrick will be retold to modern day audiences with a remake due to be released in Australian cinemas in October 2013. The film is rated MA 15 .
As a troubled young man, Patrick murdered his mother and her lover by electrocuting them in a bathtub. He winds up in a coma three years later at a Melbourne 'clinic' in Room 15, where he is in a vegetative state.
He is mainly attended to by Kathy Jacquard, a new nurse to the clinic, who has separated from her husband, Ed. The clinic is run by Dr Roget (the head doctor) and his daughter, Matron Cassidy.
Patrick falls in love with Kathy and communicates with her by using his mind to type messages to her using the 'keys' of a computer.
He soon discovers that Kathy is seeing two men: she is dating a man named Brian, they were set up by her work colleague, Nurse Williams, yet Kathy is also trying to work things out with her husband Ed.
Patrick uses his psycho-kinetic powers to control the men in her life and causes them immense pain, suffering and death. In essence, Patrick wants Kathy to join him in a comatose state, so that 'they can be together'.
In the film Dr Roget and Matron Cassidy are at odds over what to do with Patrick. Dr Roget wants to bring Patrick out of his comatose state and uses extreme measures to do so by using a defibrillator on Patrick. Matron Cassidy, on the other hand, plots to murder Patrick.
Using his psycho-kinetic powers, Patrick defends himself against the advances of the two. Dr Roget gets a taste of his own medicine and Cassidy endures a bad fate in the depths of the basement. But you'll have to watch the film to find out how.
What makes the film even more appealing is that the director, Mark Hartley, has done a nice job of implementing a small skew of sexual jokes through the film.
After all, it's quite humorously bizarre to see a roomful of patients sit up and start chanting sexual suggestions. But I won't repeat what is said, as it's a bit risqué!
Be aware that the movie depicts scenes of gore and grit. Prepare to see flying knives, 'burnt' flesh, and shards of flying glass that pierces human skin. There are also a few instances of nudity.
All in all, the renewal of the story of Patrick in 2013 is sure to be a hit. The acting talents of Rachel Griffiths (Matron Cassidy), Charles Dance (Dr Roget) and Sharni Vinson (Kathy) are really on show in this movie and the film successfully re-appropriates its twists in a dynamic way.