Monday, October 14, 2013

Masters Of Horror! (David Cronenberg)

Unwitting creator of the sub-genre of "body horror", and the cited inspiration for Tom Six.

You utter the name "Cronenberg", in a horror conversation, you know it's usually a synonym for pulsating growths, and slime.

Stereo (1969)

Telepaths, and swinging, and a guy puts a drill through his head.
Seeds of "Scanners", and "Videodrome".

Black and white, silent, and narrated, like "The Girl Who Returned".

Crimes Of The Future (1970)

It's an alternate 1997, all the adult women are dead, and the men do all kinds of wacky things to adapt.

Black and white, silent, and narrated, like "Stereo", and even more pretentious.

Shivers (1975)

A scientist engineers parasites as a substitute for organ transplants, and the parasites turn the recipients into swingers who pass along more parasites with their fuckery.

His first true body horror.

It sent his fellow Canucks into a moralistic tizzy.

Rabid (1977)

Starring Marilyn Chambers.

A woman (Chambers) is the victim of a motorcycle accident, and a doctor makes some of her tissue "morphogenetically neutral", so it'll grow to replace her damaged flesh and organs.
We'd call this stem cell grafting today.

So, she heals, but grows a vagina under her arm that shoots out a penis stinger, that turns its victims into zombies that infect by bite in the traditional style.

So, Marilyn Chambers was the original Borg Queen.

Fast Company (1979)

Non-horror, Cronenberg didn't write it, just a little b-movie, but, Cronenebrg likes cars, and races sometimes, so he has a fondness for it, and he met a bunch of friends who collaborated on his future films.

The Brood (1979)

A woman gives birth to a gaggle of monster babies that are physicalized manifestations of her hatred.

Phew, back to the body horror, you're forgiven, Cronenberg.

Scanners (1981)

See here.

A company makes a drug, ephemerol, meant to treat stress in pregnant women, that as a side effect, mutates their fetuses to have telepathy, and telekinesis, and now those babies are adults, and causing mayhem.

Famous for the scene where Michael Ironside makes a guy's head explode.
It's an internet meme.

Videodrome (1983)

Creepy conspirators use a special TV signal to spread a sort of mental computer virus that causes realistic disturbing hallucinations to make the populace more kinky and violent.

The signal is carried on Videodrome, a pirate show featuring torture and snuff.

James Woods is a cable TV CEO trying to chase down the source of Videodrome, to gain an audience with the people involved to gain permission to put it on his channel.
Instead, he gets dragged into the web of intrigue, murder, hallucinations, and creepy weirdo philosophies.

Often cited as the precursor to most modern Virtual Reality stories, and the bit where the gun merges to Woods's hand is a clear visual inspiration for the Borg.

The Dead Zone (1983)

See here.

Another King crossover!

Little factoid.
Cronenberg got Walken to do that jarring start when he went into the trance by firing off a .357 magnum on set.
Fun guy!

The Fly (1986)

See here, and here.

Hey, yeah, that's right, Brundle's mutation also makes him sexually uninhibited.
Cronenberg is fixated on the crossing of those two ideas.

Dead Ringers (1988)

Jeremy Irons plays twin brothers who are both gynecologists, and who both fall in love with Geneviève Bujold.

Pretentious, and weird, it's worth a watch for the sheer "WTF??", value.

Nightbreed (1990)

See here.

The Clive Barker crossover!

Cronenberg plays Dr. Decker.

Naked Lunch  (1991)

A balls-tripping journey through the mind of William Burroughs.

Nuff said.

M. Butterfly (1993)

Another one with Jeremy Irons.
You know when Cronenberg and Irons collaborate, to just go "uh oh...".

Based on the play, based on the real life incident.

A guy (Irons) bangs a Chinese opera star for 20 years, somehow oblivious that it's a man.

On top of that, he's a Chinese spy, and Irons is tried for treason.

I saw an interview with the real guy some years ago, and the interviewer couldn't contain the jeering incredulity.
"20 years?? Really???".
He missed the obvious "what, did you think it was a really big veiny clit, or what??", question, but, y'know.

Crash (1996)

A group of people get sexually turned on by car accidents.

This one really infuriated the social conservatives, so, I've got to get around to seeing it.

Existenz (1999)

Videodrome 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Sawk eeet, Matrix.

Spider (2002)

Ralph Fiennes is another tortured crazy person the same year as "Red Dragon".

Flip a coin on which you like better.

Jason X (2002)

See here, and here.

Croneneberg plays one of the guys who dies at the hands of Jason at the very beginning.

A History Of Violence (2005)

Aragorn kills some robbers of his restaurant in self defense, and then gets stalked by mobsters who insist he was one of them in Philly.

Critics came in their pants, and social conservatives whined.
As usual.

At this point, I think it's just the Cronenberg name-brand that sets it off now, like Pavlog's dogs.

Eastern Promises (2007)

More Aragorn vs. the mafia crap.

Critics creamed some more.

A Dangerous Method (2011)

This time, Aragorn is Freud, depicted as the utter shit he was.

Critics exploded their jeans from the cream pressure.

Cosmolopolis (2012)

Edward from Twilight rides around in his limo, mopes, and watches his life fall apart.
Someone wants to kill him, and he couldn't give a shit.

More critic cream.

Frankly, I miss the pulsating organs. (:-(

"Peace has cost you your strength. Victory has defeated you!"

...ahem, and that's Cronenberg.

Okay, I know I promised singular entries, but I've still got more entries than days, so, tomorrow, a double feature of Guillermo Del Toro, and Ridley Scott.

No comments:

Blog Archive