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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Swamp Thing [Blu-ray]

 

(Wes Craven, 1982)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Embassy Pictures

Video: Shout! Factory

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:31:12.508

Disc Size: 38,356,482,932 bytes

Feature Size: 25,507,031,040 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.95 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 6th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1665 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1665 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1665 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1665 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1619 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1619 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

Commentary by Sean Clark and Wes Craven
Commentary with makeup-effects artist William Munns

Tales From the Swamp with Adrienne Barbeau (16:56)

• Hey Jude with actor Reggie Batts (14:30)

• That Swamp Thing - a look back with Swamp Thing creator Len Wein (13:19)

• Theatrical Trailer (1:31)

Photo Galleries (Poster/Lobby - Photos from the Film - Behind the Scenes)

2nd disc DVD of the Feature

 

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Deep in the Florida everglades, a brilliant scientist, Dr. Alec Holland (Ray Wise), and a sexy government agent, Alice Cable (Adrienne Barbeau, The Fog), have developed a secret formula that could end world hunger. Little do they know, however, that their arch nemesis, Arcane (Louis Jourdan, Octopussy), is plotting to steal the serum for his own selfish schemes. Looting the lab and kidnapping Cable, Arcane douses Holland with the chemicals and leaves him for dead. Mutated by his own formula, Holland becomes Swamp Thing - a half-human/half-plant superhero who will stop at nothing to rescue Cable and defeat Arcane...even if it costs him his life!

 

 

The Film:

"Swamp Thing" had already won my heart before its moment of greatness, but when that moment came, I knew I'd discovered another one of those movies that fall somewhere between buried treasures and guilty pleasures. The moment comes after Dr. Alec Holland, brilliant scientist, is attacked by thugs, is splashed with his own secret formula, catches on fire, leaps into the swamp, and turns into Swamp Thing when the formula interacts with his body and the vegetation in the swamp. Crawling back onto dry land, Swamp Thing is not recognized by his former girlfriend, the beautiful Alice Cable (Adrienne Barbeau).

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

A research scientist (Wise), contaminated while working on a government project in Louisiana bayou country, mutates into the peaceable and amorous 'swamp thing' (played by Durock). Craven tries to do this 'veggie-man' horror in a suitable DC Comics style; and with Louis Jourdan as arch-villain 'Arcane', not to mention Adrienne Barbeau (Mrs. John Carpenter) as the Thing's object of desire, he's definitely on the right track. At other times, the picture is right off its trolley. The budget limitations are pretty obvious, though the money did stretch to oodles of gunk and goo.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Swamp Thing looks heavy and saturated on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory.  I don't doubt this is a true replication of the theatrical appearance but it looks fairly extreme. Skin tones are quite warm and many colors - especially the outdoor foliage - look notably vibrant. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate. The image is thick and not particularly sharp. It is consistent - the video is clean and produces, what appears to be, an authentic visual presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Active composer Harry Manfredini - who has found some of his niche in the slasher variety of films (Jason, Friday the 13ths etc.) composed the score for Swamp Thing. It is transferred in a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1665 kbps - and sounds quite competent. There are plenty of effects including the 'growling' of the Thing which exercises some of the bass capabilities of the lossless transfer. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.

 

Extras :

There are two commentaries - the first has Wes Craven discussing the production details and the second has makeup-effects artist William Munns. Shout! Factory are usually great with adding Red Shirt supplements and this is no exception. We get the 17-minute Tales From the Swamp interview with Adrienne Barbeau discussing the production, her career, the nude scene, her husband at the time (John Carpenter) and his enthusiasm for Wes Craven. She is still as open and gregarious, no ego, and enjoyable as ever. There is also a 15-minute piece with actor Reggie Batts who played 'Jude' in the film (hence the segment is unimaginatively called 'Hey Jude'). There is also 14-minutes with Swamp Thing creator Len Wein reflecting back on the creation and success of the idea. There is a theatrical trailer and Photo Galleries (Poster/Lobby - Photos from the Film - Behind the Scenes.) The package contains a 2nd disc DVD of the Feature.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
As much as I love Barbeau the concept of Swamp Thing - the film, with massive funding removed - doesn't really do anything for me. I tend to look at all the areas that could have been improved... with a little more polish. It was still entertaining despite the under-achievement.  The Shout! Factory Blu-ray produces a fine presentation and worthy extras for fans to indulge in their Home Theater. 

Gary Tooze

July 30th, 2013

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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