This is a very rare soundtrack recording, featuring some of Brian May's best music in the thriller vein, in two films which take their hats off to Alfred Hitchcock.
These two scores show Brian May's orchestral skills off superbly. With small resources he not only was able to give a film the score it needed, but to also make musical use of the limited music budgets in a way that was uncommon at this time. Patrick has some lovely themes, and chilling parts, while Roadgames has a clever theme with an impetus, a Bolero-like rhythm, which unsuspectingly thrusts the viewer further and further into the films comedy and thriller aspects.
Directed by a former student of Alfred Hitchcock, these two early thrillers in the renaissance of Australian films in the 1970s and 1980s were the stepping stones to Richard Franklin's journey to Hollywood. He was one of the first Australian directors from this era of filmmaking to make the transition from low budget Australian films to bigger American films. Soon he was the one chosen above more experienced directors to direct the sequel to Psycho. Although he had used Brian May successfully several times in Australia, it is generally thought that he was asked to have an experienced American composer on that film, but not much later on when he directed his clever children's thriller Cloak and Dagger, also using variations on the Hitchockian theme of the hero on the run, both from goodies and baddies, he got to collaborate with Brian May again, that time with infinitely more resources at his disposal.
He may have become typecast with the thriller genre to a certain extant (half a dozen of the films with scripts by Everett de Roche), but it is no coincidence that so many of those directors Brian May worked with frequently in Australia, often selflessly with his own budget thrown in to help enlarge the orchestra, later successfully made the move into international moviemaking. Those films included Mad Max and The Road Warrior (aka. Mad Max 2), Gallipoli, Patrick and Roadgames, and Harlequin and The Day After Halloween (aka. Snapshot).
They were a group which also included George Miller (The Witches of Eastwick), Simon Wincer (Free Willy and Lonesome Dove) and although there is hardly any of his music left in the final cut of Gallipoli, Peter Weir (Witness, Dead Poet's Society and The Truman Show). Brian May made those early Australian films work better than one realised from just a one-off viewing. There was also a group of Producers who kept coming back to him, again and again, which resulted in being commissioned for so many thrillers and adventure films, including Antony I. Ginnane, Kennedy Miller, The McElroy Brothers and John Lamond.
- Philip Powers