I shall firstly talk about the film itself, then of the features on the Blu-Ray.
I know there are people out there who love this film, and those who hate it too however.
We then find out it wasn't a play at all, but a therapy session with people invited to watch.
Doctor Hal Raglan (Oliver Reed) is the one holding these sessions and we find out he has our main characters wife in his care. Frank (Art Hindle) collects his daughter Candy (Cindy Hinds) from backstage after the stage therapy session finishes, he takes her home and bathes her. With noticing scratch marks and bruises, he storms back to Raglan's place and accuses his wife Nola (Samantha Eggar) of causing these marks on their daughter.
When Frank leaves his daughter at his mother-in-laws place however is when the film gets going, We learn that Candys mother as a child was in the Hospital a lot, suffering from random bumps over her body. As Candice's grandmother decides to refill their drinks a mutated child appears, seemingly from nowhere and kills her. Candy seems to forget everything about the attack and that she went to see her Grandmother at all.
And that's where I will stop with the plot as I don't want to ruin it for you.
Reed definitely takes lead here, even though he isn't meant to. He was a wonderful actor despite his alcoholism. He certainly steals the show.
All the other actors were quite subpar compared to Reed.
Hindle was quite boring but energetic, it's strange how to describe him.
Then there was Samantha Eggar, well, what do I say about her performance?
It was all over the place like there's no tomorrow, sometimes she was brilliant and creepy, other times she was like a wounded deer giving up on life.
It has a sense of unease about it for the first hour, from the moments of Frank bathing his daughter and seeing the bruises and cuts over her back, up to the revelation of what the mutated children actually are. Unfortunately after said revelation, the film goes back to standard Cronenberg and the serious tone disappears. Not that typical Cronenberg is bad, it just makes it feel like David forgot what he wanted the film to be really about and like he wanted to please his die hard fans, knowing they wouldn't have thought much up until that point. However I have just read a review on IMDB which states it was boring to begin with, with a huge pay off at the end.
So each to their own, like I said, it's a middle film.
Another thing I liked was that it obviously had homages to other horror films within it.
The big one being 1973's 'Don't Look Now' with Candy wearing a bright red coat, I don't know if it was intentional, but that's what I was reminded of.
Then there was toward the end, when an arm bursts through the door, reminiscent of Romero's 'Night Of The Living Dead'. (See image above).
RE-RELEASE Specs and Features:
Second Sight have done it again with their restoration, it looks just like their 'Scanners' releases, perfectly sharp and making the film look much newer than what it is. The sound is also of excellent quality.
At first I thought I might not be able to see the Special Features due to a glitch on the Blu-Ray from the main menu, when you click on the features tab, the features appear, but with a big red square which is unable to move. The only thing then you can do is turn the film off and on again, so hopefully they will sort this out for the final release.
However I did manage to get to them while the film was playing. (I do love Blu-Rays).
These are the features:
- PRODUCING THE BROOD - An 11 minute interview with producer Pierre David.
Pierre talks how he came to be a producer on the film and how producers of 'Shivers' and 'Rabid' didn't connect with the film, making it available for Pierre, how Roger Corman became involved and also about how Oliver Reed was arrested when drunk and other mishaps. He seems much more calm and collected when talking about this film than on the interview with him on 'Scanners', but as he says in this interview "We'll get to Scanners, that's a completely different story".
- THE LOOK OF RAGE - A 13 minute interview with cinematographer Mark Irwin.
Mark really is an interesting story teller, he tells how he wrote a thesis on David Cronenbergs works before 'The Brood'. How David acted when his ex wife took his child away, and what 'The Brood' is really about.
- MEET THE CARVETHS - A 19 minute interview with Cindy Hinds and Art Hindle by FANGORIA editor Chris Alexander.
They speak about a lot of different stuff. How Hindle got into hijinks with Reed, he elaborates on how strange yet gentleman like the man was in real life. How Cindy never met her on screen mother until the wrap party, and how Eggar was quite distanced from people. Hindle seems to be much more likable and interesting in reality than he was in 'The Brood'. I can't actually remember him in anything else, I might have to watch 'Invasion Of The Body Snatchers' again to see if he was so serious in that too.
- CHARACTER FOR CRONENBERG - A 10 minute interview with actor Robert A. Silverman.
Silverman talks a good bit about his personal life, how he became a ''vegetable'' (in his own words)
from brain damage by being hit by a car and how he became an actor.
- CRONENBERG: THE EARLY YEARS - A 13 minute interview with writer/director David Cronenberg.
This is easily the interview everyone will want to watch, Cronenberg is a mad man that doesn't seem mad. He speaks about how he broke into filmmaking, 'The Brood', 'Orgy Of The Blood Parasites' and more.
Obviously all interviews have more than what I've told you, but I don't want to tell you everything!
So in all, I have to give the film itself a 6/10
The re-release gets an extra 2 points for the interviews though.
So a big
You can pre-order Second Sight's release of 'The Brood' from Amazon for £14 here: