The Brood (Blu Ray) [Blu-ray]
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The Brood is one of director David Cronenberg's most chilling and disturbing works, as shocking today as it was when originally released.
Frank Carveth is becoming increasingly concerned about his ex-wife Nola's secretive treatment at the sinister 'Somafree Institute of Psychoplasmics'. Headed by cult figure Dr Raglan, his controversial and extreme methods seek to unleash his patients rage which take on physical manifestations.
As Nola's increasingly psychoticanger is vented during her sessions, brutal murders befall those at whom it's directed. When Frank's daughter is abducted he is led to Raglan's Insitute and a terrifying, repellant final confrontation, renowned as one of the most notorious scenes in horror cinema.
* First Time on Blu-Ray * Packed with new bonus featues:
Meet the Carveths - Stars Art Hindle & Cindy Hinds
The Look of Rage - Interview with cinematographer Mark Irwin
Producing The Brood - Interview with Producer Pierre
Character For Cronenberg - DavidInterview with Actor Robert A. Silverman
Cronenberg: The Early Years - Writer/Director David Cronenberg discusses how he broke into filmmaking
Genuinely Disturbing Horror **** Empire
A Truly Iconic, Horrific Climax **** Total Film
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All of these scenes are unsettling, none more so than the graphic clubbing to death of the teacher Ruth Mayer (Susan Hogan) in front of a classroom of horrified pupils.
The protagonists are a growing tribe of sexless, toothless infants with rarely glimpsed deformities and a fleshy sac between the shoulder blades which ‘feeds’ them. That these deformed and apparently very physical creatures can completely disappear after each killing is my only cause for question. They are dressed in hooded anoraks, which obscure their unfinished features.
This is my favourite David Cronenberg film. His fascination with body horror is rarely more effective and although low budget, this features a terrifically talented cast. Art Hindle is the hero, Frank, whose estranged wife Nola (Samantha Eggar) is a patient of Doctor Raglan (played to perfection by a restrained and therefore very powerful Oliver Reed). Raglan’s unconventional methods of therapy for his patients is extreme, and although he is hailed a genius by his students, could be seen as unscrupulous. As it turns out, despite their being links between his methods and the murders, every proclamation he makes is correct and of course, he pays the price. The scene towards the end, where he is making steady progress through a darkened room as Nola’s condition is revealed in all its glory is a masterpiece of tension and grotesquery. Apparently, it was Eggar’s suggestion that Nola should lick the blood off the latest new-born.
Cronenberg wrote this whilst his recent divorce was still in his mind. Nola, he said, shared characteristics with his ex-wife. Whatever heartache compelled his writing and directing of ‘The Brood’, the result is surely one of horror cinema’s greatest chillers. I love films recorded during the winter months, as is the case here. The bleakness, the flakes of floating snow and the skeleton trees really add another level of crisp gloominess to the proceedings.
Art Hindle who plays the father gives a weak performance, anyone could have played it, but the young girl who has very little to say does a good job in terrifying circumstances. The Brood has some genuine scares and dread together with that 70s horror atmosphere. But fatally there is too much to have to swallow for us to take this seriously, as Cronenberg and the masses would want us to do. Mutant kids born with no parents? Babies born from a sack attached to a persons stomach? It's a little hard to take when The Brood is supposed to be 'adult horror'.
Taken as just a horror movie where you have to really stretch the imagination, The Brood is a good creepy film, but only just that good.
"The Brood" is a very disturbing, and, at certain segments, a very
unpleasant viewing experience. This is because David Cronenberg-as usually-
deals not with horror external to human existence, but with what comes forth
from the dark recesses of the human psyche, as we meld with, and are changed
by modern Science and Technology.
Samantha Eggar gives a powerful, nightmarish performance of a deeply disturbed
The product includes two versions of the film:
The uncut UK version is presented in a very clean and sharp transfer,
and is subtitled with English SDH.
The censored US version is in VHS image quality, and it has no subtitles.
In the DVD extras there's a very informative retrospective of all films
of David Cronenberg, up to "Spider" (2002). Unfortunately, this has no
The Second Sight transfer however is simply stunning. It looks beautiful
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and released it with a new HD transfer in 1:78:1 ratio plus one fixed Audio mix, 2.Read more