20 October 2014

3 Times Patrick: "PATRICK" (1978) / "PATRICK STILL LIVES" (1980) / "PATRICK" (2013)


German Titles:
Patrick's Höllentrip / Patrick's Höllentrip - Eine Reise in die Ewigkeit

Australia, 1978
Director: Richard Franklin


"Patrick" is one of the earliest films of acclaimed director Richard Franklin ("Psycho II", "Road Games") and his long-time writing partner Everett de Roche ("Long Weekend", "Storm Warning"), telling the story of a weird comatose hospital patient who is able to kill, move things around and communicate via psychokinetic powers. Sounds familiar? Yup, Roger Christian's awesome
"The Sender" (1982) seems to be highly influenced by it.

I'm quite a fan of Franklin and de Roche's work, as well as of things 70s / 80s Ozploitation per se, though I admit that this one is pretty weird and far from being one of my Aussie favorites, mainly because it's too long (almost two hours), and at times way too dull and boring - even though there are also a handful of scenes that are nervewracking and stunningly suspenseful, thanks to Franklin's great talent in building gripping tension. The scene with the matron going to the cellar or the typewriting sequences - genius!

Also, great performances by the super-lovely Susan Penhaligon ("The Land That Time Forgot"), the super-eerie Julia Blake ("Snapshot") or the slightly amusing Robert Helpmann ("Chitty Chitty Bang Bang") as quirky doctor. Contrary to other people, I wasn't intrigued by Robert Thompson as Patrick himself, mainly because I thought he looks unintentionally ridiculous.

The intense and highly Bernard-Herrmann-esque score by Brian May ("Mad Max 1+2") is terrific and Donald McAlpine's ("Predator") cinematography is a treat for the eyes. Love all the nods and references to Hitchcock's "Psycho" (hospital looks like Mrs. Bates house, eye-catching neon sign...), as well as the bizarre opening and various absurd "gimmicks" like the doctor's frog fetish, Patrick's erection or the old man who pisses himself.

Overall, an interesting but much too unspectacular film. Everything Mr. Franklin made in the 80s is better than this.

Wiki ~ Imdb

Fun Facts:
* Franklin and de Roche wrote a sequel called
"Patrick II: The Man Who Wasn't There" which sadly wasn't filmed.
* The German VHS Title "Patrick's Höllentrip" (="Patrick's Hell-Trip") was an attempt to cash in on the success of Ken Russell's "Altered States" which was called "Der Höllentrip" (="The Hell-Trip") in German-speaking countries.
Same for the sequel-remake which was called "Patrick lebt! - Der Höllentrip geht weiter" (="Patrick's alive! - The Hell-Trip goes on").


Original Title:
Patrick vive ancora

Alternate Title:
Patrick Is Still Alive

German Title:
Patrick lebt! - Der Höllentrip geht weiter

Italy, 1980
Director: Mario Landi


For whatever reason, "Patrick" was so popular in Italy that filmmaker Gabriele Crisanti ("Burial Ground", "Malabimba") decided to produce another Patrick-flick. The result: "Patrick Still Lives", NOT a sequel but more of a remake... no, a gory softcore re-interpretation, written by prolific Italian exploitation screenwriter-legend Piero Regnoli ("Nightmare City", "The Vampires", "The Hills Run Red") and directed by Mario Landi ("Giallo in Venice").

In some kinda way, the Italian "Patrick" reminded me a lot of other Italian low-budget horror flicks that were released the very same year, like "Alien 2: On Earth", "Contamination" or "Anthropophagus": they're all dumb, ridiculous and flawed like crazy, but due to a certain Fuck-You-attitude, the final result turns out to be so freaking over-the-top, you just have to love it. The original "Patrick" is the better-made movie, but "Patrick Still Lives" is much more entertaining.

The direction is weak, the screenplay is an insane hodgepodge of half-assed ideas and most of the actos are either lame or unintentionally hilarious, but... well, in this case, all these flaws don't matter, because everything else is so much fun.

We get to see 4 beautiful women, all completely naked, all hot as hell [Mariangela Giordano ("The Sect"), Carmen Russo ("The Porno Killers"), Andrea Belfiore ("The Adventures of Hercules II") & Anna Veneziano], one of the sexiest non-porn masturbation scenes I've ever seen in a horror film, a super-silly catfight sequence, a Patrick that is more of an unconscious horndog than a comatose patient, lots of amusing insults ("Screaming women make me nervous." / "I usually bang women, not Whiskey bottles." / "The drugs turned you into a faggot."
- "Die alone, whore!") and some outrageously tacky-looking special effects (the floating eyeballs... ROFL).

Though, that's nothing compared to the gory and inventive kills: one guy gets boiled alive in a swimming pool, another one gets stabbed and hung on a hook, one woman gets decapitated by an electric car window, another woman gets attacked and half-eaten by German shepherds (laying dead on the ground, naked, it looks like one of the dogs eats her pussy *grins*) and - undoubtedly the best of all - one woman gets impaled on a fire poker rammed into her vagina (very graphic with blood squirting) and out of her mouth. This scene is so shocking, I'd say it's on the same brutality level as Joe D'Amato's fetus-eating or Ruggero Deodato's impaled cannibal girl. Wowsers!

Fan of subtle horror should avoid this one, but for fans of all things
Italo-exploitation, "Patrick Still Lives" is undoubtedly a must-see!

Fun Fact:
This was shot in the same mansion where zombie-classic "Burial Ground" took place. Throughout the entire film, I had the feeling I've seen the settings before. Thanks Wikipedia! ;)


Alternate Title:
Patrick: Evil Awakens

Australia, 2013
Director: Mark Hartley


The good news: the "Patrick" remake is a much better attempt in recreating oldschool Ozploitation than Jamie Blanks' underwhelming
"Long Weekend" remake.
The bad news: it's far from being as awesome as it could have been, and also doesn't live up to the over-the-topness of the Italian semi-sequel.

The 2013 version of "Patrick" is the feature debut of filmmaker Mark Hartley, an expert when it comes to shoot documentaries about the Australian AND the Philippine film industry ("Not Quite Hollywood", "Machete Maidens Unleashed"), but an amateur when it comes to reboot Australian exploitation. It's not a bad movie, but to me, it felt as meh as the original.

Screenwriter rookie Justin King created a few fantastic update on the story, added depth and complexity, made a few of the characters more interesting (doctor + daughter), focused on important stuff and eliminated everything that was unnecessary in the original. The clinic here looks a lot more creepier, legendary horror composer Pino Donaggio ("Carrie", "Don't Look Now", "Trauma") created a gripping and really stunning score, photography and editing are both top notch, and hey, you can't go wrong with a cast like that: creepily gorgeous Rachel Griffiths ("Blow"), veteran actor Charles Dance ("Alien 3"), sweetie Sharni Vinson ("You're Next") and hottie Peta Sergeant ("Crawlspace").

Unfortunately, the whole thing is packed to the brim with silly and often pretty laughable looking CGI effects that ruin a lot of the film's greatest moments (cliff, electrocution, finale etc.). There's also way too many jump scares (effective in the first half, predictable and tiring in the second half), lots of unintentionally goofy computer & smartphone shit, and the guy who 'plays' Patrick is shockingly lame. All in all, an interesting but way too unspectacular re-do of an already unspectacular film.

Fun Fact:
After the credits, two words apear on the screen: "PATRICK VIVE", probably a tribute to the Italian semi-sequel, orignally titled: "Patrick vive ancora".


  1. Replies
    1. ...which is totally understandable. Everyone likes a good handjob, even comatose weirdos ;)))

  2. I've only ever seen the trailer of the remake, and what struck me was how blue everything was, and how normal the actor playing Patrick looked, as opposed to the googly-eyes from the original.

    1. New Patrick was at least better thn the googly-eyed one, but... if I have to choose, I'd go for the horny Italo-Patrick :D

  3. Each to their own of course, but IMO the original Patrick is superior. It has a lot of strange stuff in it, a unique, eerie vibe and by far the best Patrick. My friends and I saw it decades ago and it's always stayed with us. Even now we will do the "Pfft... Pfft..." spit thing and everyone knows instantly what it means.

    1. I wanted to like it, believe me, but... alas, it didn't do much for me. I love Franklin's work and I'm a massive Oz fan, but for some reason Patrick just didn't work for me.

  4. I haven't seen any of these - and would like to see all three! I will also point out the great Grant Page - doing uncredited stunts in the original movie and serving as stunt coordinator on the remake. All right - three more on the Must See list!

  5. Thumbs up for Mr. Page!
    Thumbs down for Mr. Edwards because he hasn't seen any of the Patrick flicks ;) but I promise, I'll give you thumbs up as soon as you're gonna check out any of those flicks :)


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