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July 2, 2014

Movie Review: Patrick (1978)

It’s not often that I’m pleasantly surprised by a movie. I’m not saying that I’ll watch this one over and over (or possibly ever again) but I never got bored, the story felt unique and interesting, and there were a couple of characters that were just so much fun to hate. I did a lot of talking at the TV and I usually only do that during Korean dramas.

Patrick (the original, not the remake) is about, you guessed it, Patrick, a disturbed young man. The opening scene is Patrick listening to his mother have sex with someone who is not his dad. He doesn’t approve or is jealous, who really knows? The more important factor here is that while his mum and gentleman caller are sharing a bath, Patrick throws in a working space heater.

Fast forward three years to a small medical clinic where Patrick has been in a coma since ‘the incident’. And it’s not one of those peaceful repose comas. His eyes are wide fucking open and he looks batshit crazy. The new nurse, Kathy Jacquard, is now in charge of his care and somehow, Patrick falls in love with her. But since he can’t move his physical body he uses some form of telekinesis to communicate. 

And not just communicate. He’ll 'take care' of anyone he feels is getting too aggressive with Kathy: Kathy’s ex-husband, Ed and her new love interest and playboy doctor, Brian. Even people at the clinic who are only interested in experimenting on Patrick, or are just assholes, aren’t safe from his abilities.

Eventually Kathy realizes it’s time to let Patrick go (or if you’re feeling a little less romantic, stop him from trying to kill people). But will he be able to stop her before it’s too late or will he take her with him?

I do love to watch an old school horror/thriller. I didn’t know anything about this film so when the dated look of the movie first popped up, I found myself sitting up straighter, leaning toward the TV. Though the pacing slacked from time to time, as they tried to build tension, it wasn’t so bad to leave me wanting or bored. 

Some of the characters were fun. The Matron was just some cold fish bitch who, despite her insistence on the high caliber of this small clinic, claims all kinds of freaks are drawn to it (necrophiliacs, pedophiles, people who like to rub feces all over themselves). Mayhap you’re doing something wrong, Matron. Geez. She’s also scared to death of Patrick so she obviously knows there’s something different about him but makes everyone else take care of him. The head doctor is only keeping Patrick alive as a guinea pig. He also ravages a frog for demonstrative purposes. What a bastard.

Kathy is rather wishy washy and though she does find some inner strength by the end of flick, it’s not really enough to make her compelling or make me care about her at all, especially after she gives Patrick a hand job. WTF? Her ex-husband and new love interest are only there to piss Patrick off. Speaking of Patrick, the man never talks or moves, as you would expect, though he does spit from time to time. When he uses his telekinetic power, however,  he doesn’t even blink. He is super creepy.

Do I make you horny, baby?

The story that a man in a coma, who has basically lost all his senses, would be able to develop a 6th sense as the other five wither away intrigued me. I don’t know if I’ve ever run across that idea before. And as Patrick is a rather disturbed young man, it makes sense that this ability would be used to hurt anyone he feels is a threat. His powers seemed to reach far beyond his hospital room which was probably one of the scariest elements to his character. He could even affect people’s minds.

*shudder*

Though the acting was mediocre, I only cringed a little from time to time. I think the director did a good job of delivering an unsettling atmosphere. And despite some lame jump scare writing (really? when someone dies, the body has a natural reaction of LEAPING ACROSS THE ROOM FROM A PRONE POSITION?) and gratuitous boobs (yeah, I always swim topless at my coworkers pool party), I enjoyed Patrick. Not in the sexual molestation kind of way, though. Ew.

2.5 Hatchets (out of 5)


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