Razorback (1984)

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Released 21-Sep-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Making Of-Jaws On Trotters
Audio-Only Track-Interview With Gregory Harrison
Deleted Scenes
Gallery-Stills And Poster
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Roadgames, The Chain Reaction, Long Weekend
Trailer-Night Of Fear/Inn Of The Damned
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1984
Running Time 95
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Russell Mulcahy
Studio
Distributor
Wonder Classics
Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Gregory Harrison
Arkie Whiteley
Bill Kerr
Chris Haywood
David Argue
Judy Morris
John Howard
John Ewart
Don Smith
Mervyn Drake
Redmond Phillips
Alan Becher
Peter Schwarz
Case PUSH-1 (Opaque)
RPI $29.95 Music Iva Davies


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    I have always felt that the early 1980s was a golden time for Australian Cinema. As a young teenager I can remember going to the cinema and watching a number of home grown classics. The ones that immediately come to mind are Mad Max 2, Gallipoli, Breaker Morant and strangely enough, a riveting story about a rampaging oversized killer pig. At the time of its release Razorback impressed the heck out of me. What immediately struck me was how visually stunning the film was. The use of lighting, dissolves, rapid editing and matte work was an optical feast. Looking back at the film 20 years later I'm happy to report that Razorback is still an eye opener.

    In between the visual flourishes Director Russell Mulcahy weaves an interesting story, full of bizarre characters and unsettling situations. Using Jaws as a template the viewer never gets a clear look at the marauding beast until the third act, and then only briefly. The creature attacks are fast, vicious and well paced. It's very easy to cross the line with horror and become victim to the mundane. Mulcahy knows not to treat his audience with contempt, avoiding the obvious clichés inherent in the genre. More importantly he should be acknowledged for presenting a potentially ridiculous concept with conviction and panache.

    Russell Mulcahy is a gifted visualist. He followed Razorback with the instant cult classic Highlander, a film that capitalized on Mulcahy's visual strength. Unfortunately he wasn't able to replicate his early success, and has spent the last decade making low budget television and genre films.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Razorback is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2:35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced for widescreen viewing.

    For a twenty year old film the transfer found here looks great. The image is fairly sharp with only a hint of edge enhancement. Shadow details are thankfully strong enough to present Dean Semler's awesome cinematography in all its glory. There are momentary patches of grain during the darker sequences, mostly towards the end of the film, but they are only minor. There was no low level noise.

    The colour palette is vibrant with no image bleeding.

    There are occasional film artefacts present on the print but they are not overly intrusive.

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

Audio

    Razorback has been remastered from its original 2 channel surround track to a well rendered Dolby Digital 5.1 remix.

    Dialogue is clear and well defined, however there are occasional audio sync issues that appear to be attributable to ADR post production requirements.

    The film's score by Ice House lead singer Iva Davies is excellent. Full of rhythmic mood and strange orchestral riffs, Davies creates a score full of atmosphere and depth. In fact, the score provides an atmosphere so tangible that it becomes a character in and of itself.

    The remixed 5.1 track is well balanced with multiple sound elements that totally immerse the viewer. Directional effects, although not in abundance, do present well in the rear channels as does the wonderful score and ambient noise.

    The subwoofer adds a potent lower end reverberation to every sound effect.

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

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

Menu Animation & Audio

Featurette-Jaws On Trotters (70 min)

    An excellent documentary featuring recollections by Director Russell Mulchay, Producer Hal McElroy, Creature Effects Supervisor Bob McCarron, Iva Davies, Judy Morris and Chris Haywood. There's nothing better than a candid documentary that relishes the opportunity to discuss a troubled production warts and all. The contributors, who obviously have fond memories of the film, discuss every aspect from initial concept to theatrical release.

Featurette Audio-Only Track (Interview With Gregory Harrison)

    A reasonably in-depth interview with the star of the film (if you don't include the oversized swine). Harrison is gracious and fairly candid about his experience - a nice extra.

Deleted Scenes

    Four extended Razorback attack scenes. The scenes are presented uncut as they were upon initial release. It is also obvious that they are from the VHS release of the film in 1984 - see the censorship notes for further information.

Scene 1: Station Wagon death scene. Judy Morris is ripped apart inside her vehicle.

Scene 2: Waterhole Death Scene. Bill Kerr has his entire face bitten off while still screaming.

Scene 3: David Argue death Scene. The scene shows Argue being eaten while he vomits blood from his mouth.

Scene 4: Pet Pack attack scene. Gregory Harrison pierces the Monstrous Hog's jugular and is drowned in arterial spray.

Gallery

Theatrical Trailer

Trailer - Roadgames

Trailer -The Chain Reaction

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.

    This title is currently only available in R4 or R2. The transfers are identical - both are cut for violence and gore.

    The Region 4 version contains the 70 minute Jaws on Trotters featurette, the audio interview with Gregory Harrison and different trailers.

    The Region 2 edition contains a 5.1 DTS track, Biographies, Still Gallery and a featurette that contains interviews with several production crew (but no director, producer or cast members) that runs about 25 minutes.

    The clear choice is the R4 edition.

Summary

   Razorback is an all but forgotten locally produced horror gem. The transfer is excellent, and the extra features produced for this release are outstanding. A great Region 4 product.

There is an Official Distributor Comment available for this review.
read

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Friday, November 25, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using Component output
DisplayLG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony HT-K215
Speakers fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
R2 deleted scenes - Anonymous
Missing deleted scene? - Lee N
4 Stars ??? - The Royal Tenenbaum
Cut version. - Greg
What’s the film time exactly? - Concern Citizen
Theatrical version - Miklos (my stinkin' bio)
Any comments, Greg regarding the questions? - Concern Citizen REPLY POSTED
Four stars ???? - REPLY - Anonymous
RAZORBACK UNCUT SCENES - Umbrella Ent REPLY POSTED
Deleted Scene... - Anonymous
Deleted scene... REPLY - Anonymous
regarding Umbrella's clarification - Bran (my bio, or something very like it)
the 5.1 remix - Anonymous
R rated version of the DVD? - Anonymous