Australian director Mark Hartley made a treat for genre fans with the Ozsploitation documentary Not Quite Hollywood (review), so it’s exciting to hear him about to embark on a genre film of his own.

One of the featured films in that doc was Patrick, a chilling story about a man in a coma who has telekinetic powers. As silly as the concept sounds, the 1978 flick entertained audiences all over the world, achieving cult status with its Hitchcockian style and a soundtrack by none other than Goblin. Tarantino even stole the idea of a person in a coma for Kill Bill, as he points out in Not Quite Hollywood! Patrick is still an effective film but definitely not without its flaws, so it’s exciting to hear that Hartley is working on a remake.

He sat down for a talk with Fango to describe what he’s going to change about the film.

“We’re sort
of giving it a creepier, Gothic flavor, very much in a similar style to
THE
ORPHANAGE,” reveals Hartley, who will direct. “There’s much more of a
backstory
for Dr. Roget, and Patrick has dream sequences and flashbacks where he’s
out of
the bed. We don’t want to turn Patrick into Freddy Kreuger; we like to
think of
it as a love story with a body count. The great thing about the original
was
the fact that here’s a guy with unlimited powers, but all he wants to do
is use
them to manipulate the events in that nurse’s life to make her fall in
love
with him. So we’ve kept that central premise and really upped the ante.”


Hartley is obviously a big fan of the film but wants to change it up a bit and distinguish it from the original, which was mostly set inside a hospital room. He’s hoping to start shooting before the end of the year with a budget of around $4 million.

In the meantime, Hartley is busy interviewing people for his next project, Machete Maidens Unleashed. Similar to Not Quite Hollywood, it’s a film about genre movies in the Philippines.

“It looks not so much at Filipino exploitation movies, but the Americans who went over there to shoot films,” Hartley (pictured below) tells Fango, “so it’s kind of a fish-out-of-water story. It covers Roger Corman’s productions, Cirio Santiago’s movies, the BLOOD ISLAND series and Eddie Romero’s other pictures and Bobby Suarez, who literally just died two days ago. Bobby made CLEOPATRA WONG, THE ONE ARMED EXECUTIONER, BIONIC BOY II and things like that. They were films that tried to take on Hollywood and be mainstream, but were kind of beyond mainstream in trying to do it.”

If it’s anything like Not Quite Hollywood, it’s bound to be incredible. Head to Fango’s temp site for the full interview with the man.

Till then, if you have Netflix you can watch both Patrick and Not Quite Hollywood on Instant right now. Do so!