Thursday, August 18, 2011

Patrick Lives

The long-gestating remake of 1978 Australian classic Patrick is finally about to become a reality. According to Inside Film, the film - labelled a "reimagining" - will begin shooting by April next year under the directorial eye of Mark Hartley. As the director of Not Quite Hollywood, Hartley certainly brought about a cultural and critical re-assessment of Aussie genre titles, affectionately labelled "Ozploitation", although I saw Patrick before that rip-snorter of a documentary and loved it. It's one of my favourite Australian films and remains one of the rare instances of a pure genre title being nominated for Best Film at the Australian Film Institute Awards.

Patrick is a slick lil horror thriller that borrows from Brian De Palma's Carrie from two years earlier. A man comatose after the murder of his mother begins to be the prime figure in an escalating murder spree. The trailer I have included below doesn't quite do the film any justice as I suspect most people viewing it without having seen the film will only notice the dated tech skills and the like. To dismiss Patrick would be a shame though since it comes from Richard Franklin and, like Roadgames from 1981 and Psycho II in 1983, he knows how to craft a solid, effective chiller.

I actually think Patrick is a perfectly fine film to bring back to a modern day audience. The film was a flop in its home country - it did, however, spawn a disconnected spin-off sequel(?) in Italy(?) called Patrick Still Lives [Patrick viva ancora] - and has been all but forgotten by those who aren't fond of this period of Aussie filmmaker (see also Roadgames, Razorback, Dead End Drive-In, Turkey Shoot, etc). It's story can be easily updated and the film's quality isn't derived in large part to the era it was made in (like, say, Dead End Drive-In, which has an oozing '80s vibe that is impossible to recreate). And, hey, that final shot still has the power to surprise so why not introduce it to a new generation? I just hope that this remake doesn't befall the same fate as Jamie Blanks' (admittedly quite terrible) Long Weekend remake or any other number of genre titles of various quality.

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