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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Swamp Thing [Blu-ray]
(Wes Craven, 1982)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Embassy Pictures
Video: Shout! Factory / 88 Films (UK)
Region: 'A'/ 'B' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:31:12.508 / 1:32:51.232
Disc Size: 38,356,482,932 bytes / 36,948,419,005 bytes
Feature Size: 25,507,031,040 bytes / 27,398,719,488 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.95 Mbps / 34.99 Mbps
Chapters: 13 / 12
Case: Standard Blu-ray case/ transparent Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase
Release date: August 6th, 2013 / March 25th, 2019
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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 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 1979 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1979
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Undetermined 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps
•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
Audio Commentary by Director
Wes Craven, Moderated by Sean Clark
Limited Edition O-Card
slipcase [First Print Run Only]
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!
"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.
88 Films have brought the international cut (Adrienne Barbeau topless swamp bathing ex. HERE) of Wes Craven's take on the DC creature, "Swamp Thing" to region 'B' Blu-ray. The film is presented on a dual-layered disc with a maxed-out bitrate. This bitrate is more robust than the Shout! Blu-ray, though it is barely noticeable in-motion. Aside from the bitrate, the 1.85:1 HD image is similar to the Shout! Factory Blu-ray in every way except two; color and contrast. Shadows are now certainly a tad darker. Reds also show more depth, though in a film such as "Swamp Thing", it's the greens that count. The greens look a little less natural, and more fluorescent though this could be within the chosen comic-book look of the film. Faces show more pink and less orange, though this is not a drastic shift. The same saturation that Gary mentioned in his review of the Shout! Factory Blu-ray is still ever-present on this 88 edition.
NOTE: It should be noted that this 88 Films release is the international cut with a few scenes of additional nudity, hence the 1-minute 40-second longer rrunning time. This is not the North American release version, which was PG.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
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.
This appears to be the same 24-bit DTS-HD Master audio track that appeared on the Shout! edition. There are also optional English subtitles on this Region 'B' Blu-ray from 88 Films.
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.
88 Films have included the Wes Craven commentary, moderated by Sean Clark. "Swamp Screen" is a 20-minute interview with production designer Robb Wilson King. "From Krug to Comics: How the Mainstream Shaped a Radical Genre Voice" is a 17-minute interview with the always affable Kim Newman. As always, Newman is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to genre film, and here he discusses Craven and others contributions to film. Also here is the film's trailer. For the first run printing, there is a slip-case, fold-out poster, and a limited edition 16 page collectable photobook with rare photos, lobby cards and production stills from the vaults of MGM.
Shout! Factory- Region 'A' - Blu-ray
88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
88 Films release of "Swamp Thing" brings back a lot of memories. Though perhaps unfairly maligned as a weak take on the legend, I find that much like Ang Lee's "Hulk", Wes Craven's film is in-line with the look of comic book panels (with some cool panel-like transitional swipes!) 88's image vs. Shout!'s really comes down to wanting the International release, as they are both so close in presentation. The featurette with Kim Newman is worth the indulgence, as is the interview with Robb Wilson King. Recommended to fans, especially those that wanted the extra nudity (Adrienne Barbeau topless swamp bathing ex. HERE) that was lacking in the US release.
July 30th, 2013
March 12th, 2018
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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