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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Fiend" )

 

directed by Ron Switzer
Canada 1991

 

When the board of the Shelley Institute - represented solely by producer Peter Wilson (STONE COLD DEAD) - tells Dr. Wilbur Frank (director Ron Switzer) that they will no longer fund his experiments and want him out, he injects willing a subject (his wife Donna Switzer) with his growth serum with the goal of her birthing a healthy baby boy in twenty-four hours. The subject does not survive the birth which produces a deformed infant who manages to grow to full hulking height overnight. With his monstrous face wrapped in gauze, "The Fiend" (slowly) stalks the halls of the institute, killing any female in his path. When Dr. Frank's assistants Terry (Cameron Klein) and Joan (Robin Hartsell) discover their mentor's body, they contact the police and wind up with would-be DIRTY HARRY Inspector McCoy (Michael Summers) since no one else is on duty during the weekend, and the three of them may be all that stands between "The Fiend" and anyone too stupid to run away.

SCIENCE CRAZED is cinematic masochism of the highest order, making SLEDGEHAMMER and fellow Canuck SOV flick THINGS look accomplished by comparison. The acting appears to have been stilted ever before the heavy post-dubbing which does not even try to match the mouth movements and the pacing is listless (as if the director either wanted to use every foot of film he shot or if he was inexperienced with video editing). The set-up to the first killings is a mindnumbing ten minutes of aerobics and exercise intercut with endless shambling down corridors (the latter shot and edited like a loop of security camera footage) before the bloodless offscreen killings. Director Switzer holds back on the gore and nudity, seeming to call back to much older monster-on-the-loose films (other killings take place in noir-ish silhouette). The Shelley Institute looks more like an apartment building than a school; and it is, with much of the film shot in the director's apartment which is decorated with horror movie posters (the monster's attack on a pool party is just as drawn out as any of the other killings but the backdrop provides some variety). SOV fans will definitely need to experience SCIENCE CRAZED but most horror lovers will not feel deprived giving it a pass.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 1991 (Canada)

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DVD Review: Videonomicon - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Videonomicon

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:23:00
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.17 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Videonomicon

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� Audio Commentary by Canuxploitation.com's Paul Corupe and Rewind This!'s Josh Johnson
� 'I Survived Science Crazed: Terry Jones Speaks' interview with actor Cameron Klein (16:9; 12:
� 'Cameron Klein's Science Crazed Q&A' audio interview with still gallery (16:9; 28:40)
� 'Cameron's Grim Stitch Factory' interview with Cameron Scholes (16:9; 2:49)
� 'Science Crazed Changes Everything' interview with Pontypool author Tony Burgess (16:9
� Home Video Trailer (4:3; 1:22)
� Trailer for 'Ryan's Babe'
� DVD-ROM content
� Liner Notes booklet by Ben Ruffett and Josh Johnson

DVD Release Date:
Amaray

Chapters 15

 

 

 

Comments

Limited to 1,000 copies and available directly from Videonomicon's website, this dual-layer DVD takes its feature from a composite of two VHS copies since the 16mm reels and original tape master are presumed lost. What video damage there is appears to be inherent in the tape master as a disclaimer declares that it was present in both copies of the tape. The Dolby Digital 2.0 track does what it can with unevenly recorded and post-dubbed dialogue which is subject to the recording conditions.

Canuxploitation.com's Paul Corupe and REWIND THIS!'s documentary director Josh Johnson appear on an audio commentary and do their best to contextualize the work without input from the director, although their interview with the cinematographer suggests that it was an earnest attempt at horror rather than a tax break or cash-in. They discuss the ways in which it differs from other direct-to-video and shot-on-video horror films of the period (as well as drawing parallels to THINGS, the director's attempts to vary the location without redressing the apartment used for much of the film, and the compelling qualities it possesses for viewers in the right frame of mind. Actor Klein reveals that he was initially horrified upon seeing the final product but now appreciates its cult following. In the short interview, he provides a vivid portrait of the film's impoverished shoot and the director's ingenuity (and penny-pinching). He expands upon this in the Q&A audio interview from a 2014 screening in which he also proves knowledgeable about the film's SOV contemporaries. PONTYPOOL author Tony Burgess provides an appreciation of the film's qualities in which he describes it as "what a film would be if it were thinking of being a film one day." The disc also features the original home video trailer and DVD-ROM extras including PDFs and an mp3 music cue.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution

Videonomicon

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 



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