Patrick was directed by Richard Franklin. While a student at USC, Franklin struck up a friendship with Alfred Hitchcock. After making several softcore films in Australia, Franklin made his first genre foray here and went onto make a number of other films of interest (see below). Franklin has certainly learnt his masters trade well. There is a marvellously stylishly directed teaser where we see Patrick killing his mother and her lover. There are several scenes that produce calculated jolts like the scene where Susan Penhaligons typings are taken over by Patrick, or the moment a previously malfunctioning elevator door sinisterly opens.
On the minus side, the twist ending with its muscle motor response gag is silly. Early on, the pace occasionally flags and the scenes set around Susan Penhaligons private life are not very interesting. Among the otherwise bland performers, it is Robert Helpmann who in one gloriously yecchh moment gets to eat his own laboratory frogs whose cuddly waspish playing rises to the notable. Susan Penhaligon gives a dutiful and neurotic performance, which is effective enough for what the story requires of her.
The poor Italian-made Patrick Still Lives (1980) was an unofficial sequel. Patrick (2013) was a remake starring Shari Vinson as the nurse and Charles Dance as the head doctor.
Richard Franklins other films of genre interest are the psycho-thriller Roadgames (1981), his Hollywood debut with the stylish Psycho II (1983), the childrens spy film Cloak and Dagger (1984), the killer chimpanzee film Link (1986), the pilot for tvs Beauty and the Beast (1987), FX2 (1991) and the psychological ghost story Visitors (2003).
Screenwriter Everett de Roche has written a number of other Australian genre films including the excellent Natures Revenge film Long Weekend (1978), the stalker psycho-thriller Snapshot/The Day After Halloween (1979), Harlequin (1980) about an enigmatic magician, Richard Franklins Roadgames (1981), Russell Mulcahys killer boar saga Razorback (1984), Franklins Link (1986), the Aboriginal childrens fantasy Frog Dreaming/The Quest (1986), the psycho-thriller Heart of Midnight (1988), Franklins Visitors (2003), the Backwoods Brutality film Storm Warning (2007), the remake of Long Weekend (2008) and Nine Miles Down (2009).