The Brood (1979)

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Released 11-Oct-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1979
Running Time 87:49
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By David Cronenberg
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Oliver Reed
Samantha Eggar
Art Hindle
Henry Beckman
Nuala Fitzgerald
Cindy Hinds
Susan Hogan
Gary McKeehan
Michael Magee
Robert A. Silverman
Joseph Shaw
Larry Solway
Reiner Schwartz
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Howard Shore


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Psychiatrists seem to make good thriller fodder, rudely probing their subjects and hiding suspicious secrets. Doctor Hal Raglan (Oliver Reed) is no different - he's using a radical new therapy technique he has dubbed Psychoplasmics that allows himself to assume any character when interviewing a patient, understandably causing them great distress, evidenced by boil-like wounds and lacerations over their body. One such subject is Nola Carveth (Samantha Eggar), a confused and often lonely patient whose only solace is the weekend visits from her young daughter Candice. Upon her return from a weekend visit, Candice's father Frank discovers cruel injuries on her back and instantly blames the mother - citing her violent past. A string of bloody murders follow and the finger is firmly pointed at Nola, who is securely locked up. Who is perpetrating these murders, and who are The Brood? More importantly, why don't they have belly buttons? Young Candice is next on the list, and it's up to her Daddy Frank to save her.

    Director David Cronenberg is known for his atmosphere, and he delivers it here in spades. The entire film has a dark, sinister feel and succeeded in drawing me in from the first few frames. Although the plot is a bit wobbly, and some of the costumes and effects don't quite stand up, there is a lot to appreciate in this interesting thriller. One thing's for sure - you won't look at kids in hooded tracksuits the same way again!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This video transfer is surprisingly good considering its age and relatively low budget.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect of 1.78:1. This is relatively close to the film's theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The transfer is slightly windowboxed on all sides of the frame, however it is likely this will only be noticeable to projector users.

    The video presentation has a good degree of clarity evident and very little damage or imperfection. Shadow detail is an important part of the atmosphere of this film, and it stands up well. A good example of this can be seen during a very dark scene at 43:20 - the amount of detail in the room despite its low lighting is very good indeed. Some slight film grain is visible at 80:43, but only lasts for a few brief moments. There was no low level noise evident in the transfer.

    MPEG artefacting is thankfully absent, and only a few minor film blemishes can be seen. A substantial water mark makes itself known at 76:36 and aside from a few tiny specks of dust here and there the print is problem free. Aliasing does creep in on a few occasions, such as on the roof shingles at 59:50, but these are only fairly mild and not too distracting.

    Most colours appear bold and consistent, with no signs of bleeding or oversaturation at all.

    No English subtitle streams are included on this single layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is only one soundtrack accompanying this film on DVD, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack.

    The English dialogue is clear and easy to discern most of the time. It is only let down on occasion by the slightly tinny nature of this dated mix.. The ADR is perfect and realistic. Audio sync is spot-on.

    There are no loud pops or dropouts to report, however the pitch of the soundtrack does waver briefly at 41:30.

    The score by Howard Shore is perfect orchestral horror fare, with many high pitched tense moments that mirror the action on screen beautifully.

    There was certainly no subwoofer response or surround activity to be found here.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    None.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 release includes a bonus trailer and nothing more, although it is the fully uncut version.

    The Region 2 Dutch disc has English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and more trailers, and it is also the cut version.

    The French Region 2 (released under the title Chromosome 3) would have been the best of the lot if it was uncut, because it has the following:

    Given that our Region 4 disc is the same cut as the European censored versions, I can only recommend the uncut Region 1 NTSC release by MGM.

Summary

    The Brood is an enjoyable horror-thriller from writer and director David Cronenberg. What it lacks in special effects it more than makes up for with atmosphere and solid performances, particularly Oliver Reed. Although we have recieved a cut version, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    The video transfer is very clean and sharp, considering the film's age.

    The audio transfer is an unremarkable reproduction of the original mono soundtrack.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Friday, October 22, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-525, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Won't be buying or renting this, that's for sure! - cztery REPLY POSTED