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Rabid "Collector's Edition" [Blu-ray]
(David Cronenberg, 1977)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Canadian Film Development Corporation (CFDC)
Video: Shout! Factory
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 46,116,115,337 bytes
Feature Size: 26,202,138,624 bytes
Video Bitrate: 28.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 22nd, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1806 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1806 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1712 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1712 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1647 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1647 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Interview with Nelson and Leicht
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1566 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1566 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• NEW audio interview with author Jill C. Nelson (Golden
Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema,
1968-1985) and Marilyn Chambers’ personal appearances
manager Ken Leicht (58:01)
Description: With Rabid, acclaimed director David
Naked Lunch) delivers a high-tension thriller filled
with "zombified sluts and shock moments... an irresistible
combination that Cronenberg handles well", (Almar Haflidason,
Between the dark sexual violence of
Shivers and the cult horror success of
The Brood, Rabid is the film that really launched the
career of David Cronenberg. Although the story it tells is nothing
remarkable, the director's startling visual imagination emerges here at
its finest, a low budget forcing inventive camerawork where he would
later come to rely more of special effects. The effects here are crude
but still work well, never pushing their limits too hard. The result is
a film that may seem slight but will grab your attention and linger in
your memory for a long time afterwards.
As a maker of sci-fi/horror movies, Cronenberg seems obsessed with the links between sex and violence as well as the Body Snatchers theme of a possessed community. His earlier combination of the two strains in Shivers was too mechanically lurid and derivative to be very effective, but Rabid is far more successful. This time Cronenberg has opened up his story so that it literally portrays the panic and slow devastation of a whole Canadian city: a new strain of rabies reduces its victims to foaming murderous animals, and Cronenberg examines the mysterious sexual agency behind the plague with bewitching ambiguity. Rabid is also far better staged than its predecessor, and the best scenes, including one classic episode in a chicken takeaway, are pitched ingeniously between shock and parody, never quite succumbing to farce. None of the other recent apocalypse movies has shown so much political or cinematic sophistication.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Rabid looks solid on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory. It is described as a "NEW 2K scan from the negative at the Director David Cronenberg’s preferred aspect ratio" - which appears to be 1.66:1. The 1080P visuals have a very '70's' and 'Canadian' feel to them but the detail, colors and contrast really feel spot-on. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate. I see depth, noticeable grain texture, and no damage or digitization. A few scenes may lean teal-blue but I did not find it impinging on my viewing. There are no overtly complain-able flaws and the transfer produces what appears to be a very authentic video presentation. Thumbs up!
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Shout! Factory use aDTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1806 kbps (24-bit) and it sounds authentic - I would suppose the modest mixing to be akin to the original production with some depth present - it's the best I have ever heard the film sound, although imperfect by modern standards. There is score, described on MUBI; "Brian Bennett's piece of music used in Cronenberg's film is hypnotic, unnerving, minimal, and with just a whisper of cold, sterile futurism." An apt tribute to the subtleties of the music that push the eerie-ness and suspense to higher levels. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.
In a word "stacked" with audio commentaries; writer-director David Cronenberg (found on previous digital editions), a second by William Beard, author of The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg, and he gives some intelligent comparisons to Cronenberg's other films. Not a complete commentary has Jill Nelson (Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema, 1968-1985) and Marilyn Chambers’ personal appearances manager Ken Leicht (producer at Cavetown Pictures) share an audio-only interview that plays for an hour of the film and they give a decent background with anecdotes for Chambers, although there could be much more. All good. There are news interviews with actress Susan Roman ('Mindy Kent' in the film) - for over 1/2 and hour - entitled Young and Rabid, a 20-minutes archival interview with David Cronenberg plus interviews with executive producer Ivan Reitman and a separate one with co-producer Don Carmody - both around 1/4 of an hour. From Stereo to Video is a video essay, produced by Arrow, by Caelum Vatnsdal, author of They Came from Within: A History of Canadian Horror Cinema and it runs a highly interesting 26-minutes. Lastly are an original theatrical trailer, TV and Radio Spots for the film, plus a 6-minute slideshow stills gallery.
January 6th, 2017
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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