Monday, March 17, 2014

Love Shock: "Patrick" delivers electrodes of hokey horror fun


Patrick (2014)
95 min., not rated (equivalent to R).

An Australian remake of the little-seen 1978 Australian "Ozploitation" horror film of the same name, "Patrick" isn't get-under-your-skin scary, but it sure is hokey, overheated fun. Documentary short director Mark Hartley, working from a screenplay by first-timer Justin King, has not only crafted a knowingly pulpy, lushly atmospheric homage to the original film that few probably know, but tips his hat to the overall tone of the gothic Hammer films of yore. Plainly, this is just gravy for a classic horror fan. 

After a pretty, nubile nurse mysteriously flies the coop, young nurse Kathy Jacquard (Sharni Vinson) arrives at the seaside psychiatric ward Roget Clinic for a job. Run by the intimidating Dr. Sebastian Roget (Charles Dance) and his icy daughter, Matron Cassidy (Rachel Griffiths), the compound houses multiple patients who are all brain-dead vegetables. Kathy "meets" Dr. Roget's "special project" named Patrick (Jackson Gallagher), who survived a family accident and remains perfectly preserved by drugs and electrical treatments. He lies in a vegetative state and spits, which is brushed off as an "involuntary muscle reaction," but upon Kathy's arrival, Patrick takes a liking to her. To read the rest of the review, go to Diabolique Magazine.

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