Patrick (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - America - Powerhouse Films
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (30th May 2024).
The Film

From director Richard Franklin (Roadgames) comes Patrick, a terrifying fusion of science fiction and Hitchcockian thriller, starring Susan Penhaligon (House of Mortal Sin), Robert Helpmann (The Red Shoes), and Robert Thompson (Thirst).

Murderer Patrick (Thompson) is kept in a comatose state between life and death, under the watchful eye of the eccentric Dr Roget (Helpmann). When he is assigned a caring new nurse, Kathy (Penhaligon), he becomes possessive, and uses telekinetic powers to torment anyone who comes between them.

Produced by Antony I Ginnane (Snapshot), written by Everett De Roche (Harlequin) and scored by Brian May (Mad Max), Patrick’s unprecedented international success made it a landmark of the Australian New Wave.


Richard Franklyn's (Psycho II, 1983) breakthrough film that took him to Hollywood is this Aussie variation on Carrie (1976) showcasing influences from Hitchcock and De Palma. A highly melodramatic and thoroughly entertaining slab of Oxploitation horror-melodrama with a whiff of sci-fi and one of the most successful films in the oeuvre. No one behaves in a way that is entirely believable, it's very much EC Tales from Crypt type entertainment. Powerhouse Films have created arguably the definitive home video edition with all three variants all based on a new restoration and it's available in both UHD BD and (as reviewed here) BD editions. From the booklet:

Patrick was scanned in 4K from the original 35mm negative, preserved at the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) of Australia, by Fixafilm. The film’s audio was captured from the original sound negative by the NFSA. Picture restoration and colour correction work were carried out by Renasci Films in the UK. Thousands of instances of dirt were removed, scratches, stains and other imperfections eliminated, and damaged frames repaired. No grain management, edge enhancement or sharpening tools were employed to artificially alter the image in any way.

Shot flat in 1.85:1 by Donald McAlpine - Predator (1987), Moulin Rouge (2001) - Patrick looks better on this release than I've ever seen it before. My initial experience was in the butchered US edit on HBO circa 1979-80 but I can't recall how that looked then but it's a vividly shot film with ruddy flesh tones, perhaps a tad too red, and vibrant primaries. The 4K scan ensures we have a healthy grain field from beginning to end which jas been hand.ed well by the encode with no digital tinkering or noise reduction.

Contrast is strong with non signs of the mild and occasional blown out highlights baked into Snapshot (1978) during production; Snapshot being the concurrent Oxploitation title released with Patrick (1978) and made by producer Anthony Ginnane. The difference is that Snapshot was shot in anamorphic Panavision (2.39:1) and that may account for the differences; in other ways visually these two films are similar. Black levels are exceptional with only some mild intentional crush but decent shadow detail. The only issues I noticed was some mild pulsing (seen in the scene at approximately 44 minutes when Julia Blake is framed against white curtains.

All three versions of the film are taken from the same restoration so my comments apply to all, an excellent presentation of a popular title ('A'). Speaking personally, the edited and altered Italian and US versions are mere curiosities with the real deal being the full, uncut, untampered with Australian original.

1080p24 / AVC MPEG-4 / BD50 / 1.85:1 / Australian version = 112:30, Italian version = 101:54, US version = 96:32


Australian Version: English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (48kHz, 16-bit)
US Version: English (dubbed with American accents) LPCM 1.0 (48kHz, 16-bit)
Italian Version: Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (48kHz, 16-bit)
Australian and US versions: English HoH
Italian Version: English (optional)

The Australian track: As with Snapshot, sound is solid on the main track on the Aussie version which is really the only version of the film anyone need view; the others are curiosities for the hardcore. Dialogue is always clear, the cheesy score never gets in the way. There's some mild distortion and hiss if the sound is cranked up to eleven but with a mono track like this that's to be expected. Hard of hearing subs are excellent. About as good a rendering of this track whilst being faithful to it as can expected ('B').

The Italian track is hollower with a lower volume and signs of age like crackle and hiss. Of course the big attraction here is the Goblin score which is typically fine, but the opening credits still credit Brian May ('C'). The US track which has had everyone dubbed with American accents, presumably in an attempt to convince punters that the film was American but just makes the film seem more like a Eurohorror. Sound is not as good as the original but is a notch or two better than the Italian ('C+').


Audio commentary on the Australian version with director-co-producer Richard Franklin and writer Everett De Roche (2002)

Vintage commentary from an early DVD release (Elite, USA) by the key creative team. Every aspect of the film most fans could want to know about the film is covered; predominantly from Franklin's point of view with some comments from American writer De Roche popping up. Presented in lossy English DTS 2.0 mono (48kHz, 255Kbps). No subtitles.

1978 interview with Richard Franklin conducted on set by Ivan Hutchinson (9:23)

Interesting interview conducted during production of the film which also shows some behind the scenes B-roll footage. The interviewer quizzes Franklin about the film, focussing on how new Patrick was for Aussie cinema. Upscaled 1080p24 1.33:1 with lossy English Dolby Digital 1.0 (48kHz, 112Kbps). No subtitles.

Interview with Richard Franklin conducted by Mark Hartley at Cinemedia, Treasury Theatre, Melbourne, 1 April 2001 (8:21)
"A Coffee Break with Anthony I. Ginnane" 2009 interview (17:56)
"Shock Tactics: Steven Morgan on Patrick and the Birth of Ozploitation" 2024 interview (26:06)

A selection of interviews spanning 23 years with film historian Morgan, who also does similar duties on the Snapshot disc, giving a nice account of this film and it's place in Aussie film history. All are 1080p24 with the 2001 Franklin piece upscaled and in 1.33:1, the Ginnane segment is upscaled and 1.78:1. The final Morgan interview is native HD and 1.78:1. All three have lossy English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (48kHz, 112Kbps). No subtitles.

Not Quite Hollywood Interviews (Play All - 62:02):
- "Susan Penhaligan: Kathy Jacquard" (11:09)
- "Rod Mullinar: Ed Jacquard" (7:50)
- "Richard Franklin: Director" (15:05)
- "Everett De Roche: Screenwriter" (6:52)
- "Anthony I. Ginnane: Producer" (21:03)

Another substantial collection of outtakes from Mark Hartley's excellent Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild Untold Story of Oxploitation Cinema (2008), all recorded circa 2006-08. Presented in 1080p24 1.78:1 with lossy English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (48kHz, 192Kbps). No subtitles.

French Title Sequence Comparison (2:21)

What it says on the tin presented in upscaled 1080p24 split-screen (1.33:1 sub VHS source for the French titles side-by-side with a clip from the new restoration in 1.85:1) with English LPCM 2.0 mono (48kHz, 16-bit) sound. No subtitles.

Trailers and TV Spots (Play All - 5:59):
- Australian Theatrical Trailer (3:19)
- US theatrical Trailer (1:47)
- TV Spot #1 (0:31)
- TV Spot #2 (0:11)
- TV Spot #3 (0:11)

A nice collection of vintage promo pieces presented in 1080p24 1.85:1 (trailers) and 1.33:1 (TV spots). Sound is English LPCM 2.0 mono (48kHz, 192Kbps). No subtitles.

Image Galleries:
- Patrick Image Gallery: Original Promotional Material (133 images)
- Patrick Image Gallery: Behind the Scenes (186 images)

Two chunky as hell still galleries in glorious HD.

80-page liner notes book with a new essay by Alan Miller, exclusive extracts from director Richard Franklin and producer Anthony I Ginnane’s unpublished memoirs; archival interviews with screenwriter Everett De Roche and special-effects supervisor Conrad Rothmann and full film credits

As with snapshot, a superb hardcopy companion to the film with a fine new essay giving some history and perspective and plenty of contributions from those who made the film.


Not sent for review.


One of the all-time cult classic Australian genre films gets the deluxe treatment from Powerhouse Films with a stonking new restoration in 4K (it's also getting an UHD BD release simultaneously with this BD). All three versions of the film in high quality, excellent image and sound and a comprehensive extras package make this an essential purchase for genre fans ('A').

The Film: B- Video: A Audio: B Extras: A+ Overall: A


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