The Incredible Hulk-Search for a Cure (1978)
|Year Of Production||1978|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Universal Pictures Home Video
Charles R. Casey
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
25 years before the big budget movie Hulk hit the screens, there was a smaller budgeted television series based on the famed Marvel comic. The Incredible Hulk was a highly successful series following David Banner, a scientist who experimented on himself using gamma-radiation, to further his research into uncovering human strength. When the experiment backfired, David was exposed to an overdose of the radiation. All seemed fine until he got angry, at which point he went through an uncontrollable metamorphosis into a huge, green, muscle-bound, mindless Hulk.
With all the rage built up inside, a normal Hulk excursion normally involved destroying any decorated living room, throwing scared bystanders into dams, slow-motion injuries inflicted on villains, and chasing scared women through shrubbery. It does not look so bad being a Hulk...
However, Banner is not satisfied with his lifestyle, and so is in constant search of a cure. A laboratory explosion leaves the world to believe that he is dead. This allows Banner to travel across the country incognito. Jack McGee, a reporter, is in hot pursuit of the Hulk, and is constantly closing in on Banner.
This is the second disc to be released by Universal of The Incredible Hulk television series. "Search for a Cure" contains 3 episodes. This follows the trend of Universal releasing several classic television shows on DVD in a best-of format, most notably The A-Team and Knight Rider, both of which are desperately in need of entire series releases. These shows are some of the most memorable from my childhood, and I would love to view them all in their entirety.
Rainbow's End 46:41
David follows up rumours of a racehorse trainer using a home made recipe to tame a bad tempered horse named Rainbow's End. By befriending the horse owner, David gets a job assisting the trainer. He decides to help David after an attempt is made to burn down the barn in which Rainbow's End resides. Fortunately, the Hulk saves the day. When David and the trainer realise that there is someone out to eliminate this racehorse, they must try to find the criminal before he tries again.
Another Path 46:36
David is continuing his journey across the country on foot when he comes across a martial arts teacher, Li Sung, who has learned to control his emotions by meditating. David takes Li Sung to San Francisco to find his old school of martial arts. He finds that Li Sung's former apprentice has taken over, teaching his pupils to be violent using his evil ways. Li Sung must confront his apprentice, but David believes that Li Sung has no chance. It is then up to the Hulk to save the day.
The Disciple 46:13
David returns to Li Sung's school. One of his apprentices, Mike, a police officer, is shot and seeks help at the school. When he recovers, Li Sung realises that Mike is gifted and should be his successor. Mike continues seeking the criminal who shot him for revenge.
The Incredible Hulk was one of the most successful shows of the late 70's and early 80's before it was cancelled in 1982. These here are some of the best episodes from the series.
Bill Bixby is the Hulk's alter ego. Lou Ferrigno, who was well known in the 70's as a body builder, plays the title character.
At the start of each episode, what might look like a "previously on" short is in fact a rundown for the episode about to be viewed. I am not a fan of spoilers, but luckily these did not reveal all about the forthcoming episodes.
I was curious about the fact that in the movie Hulk and in the comics that the character's name was Bruce. Apparently the name was considered too effete at the time, so David was used instead. Bruce is still his middle name.
The video is fullscreen 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced.
This is a generally good video transfer, and very good considering how old the source material is.
The image is very sharp, with no edge enhancement present. Film artefacts are aplenty here. The majority of the time they are not distracting, with just a few specks popping up across the screen. However, there are a few instances where film artefacts are excessive. Stock footage is used for location scenes, with a racing track in Rainbow's End being an example. These scenes have a different feeling about them, as they don't integrate seamlessly into the show's footage. Film artefacts also appear excessive at 40:45 for the horse race.
Subtitles are present in English, French and Dutch.
The disc is dual layered. The layer change occurs between episodes, so will not interrupt your viewing pleasure.
We have 2 audio tracks to choose from. One is an English 2.0 mono channel track encoded at 192kbps. The other is a French 2.0 mono track also at 192kbps. Overall this is a very good audio transfer for what it is, however it is nothing overly special.
All the dialogue is clear and in sync with the on screen dialogue. The ADR was done exceptionally well.
There are no dropouts or hisses.
There is no surround activity that could be heard, even with ProLogic II enabled.
The same goes for the subwoofer. No notable LFE activity can be heard.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are no extras included on this disc.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
In Region 1, a selection of 17 episodes entitled The Incredible Hulk: The Television Series Ultimate Collection has been released. While it does not appear to have any special features, and only comes with a single English 2.0 mono track, it still does win over the Region 4 release because of the large assortment of episodes included. Neither region has entire series releases, but Region 1 has the closest thing to it. The 3 episodes on the Region 4 release are included in the Region 1 boxset.
A great superhero from the past makes another impression on the digital generation with several DVD releases of the television series. This is the second disc in the collection released in Region 4, and gives just a taste of what the show had to offer. Reasonable video and audio accompany.
|DVD||Panasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX-76PW60. Calibrated with Sound & Home Theater Tune Up. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Sound & Home Theater Tune Up.|
|Speakers||Jensen SPX-9 Front, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 Rear, Jensen SPX-17 Sub|