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Five Great David Cronenberg Films

by on 2012/08/01

Director David Cronenberg is a fascinating figure. To me, he’s just about equally compelling and intimidating. I’ve never been a scary movie geek so much as a sci-fi one, and his preoccupation with “body horror” unnerves me. Yet every single movie of his which I can remember seeing, however I resisted, won me over in the end. Any horror was presented in service of deeper ideas I got hooked on.

At least until the next time, when I’d feel intimidated all over again.

But now — like Michael Dyer facing his fear through CBT exposures — I’ve decided to take on the Canadian auteur with gusto. While Gru revisits Woody Allen’s repertoire this month, I’ll be working my way through nearly a dozen Cronenberg videos, a career-long sampling of cars, psychology, sci-fi and, of course, body horror.

Not that we haven’t come across him before, mind you. In the life of our site, we’ve delved into his world six times between us both . . . and seven if you count his acting in Last Night. (Whether you do or not, it’s well worth seeing.)

With that, before I forge ahead, let’s take a brief look back at our five favourite Cronenberg films so far…

Crash (1996)

* * * *

“The peerless purveyor of body horror, David Cronenberg explores bodily alteration and transformation though infection, disease and injury. Crash focuses on transformation through car crashes, the explosive, volcanic collision between tons of twisted metal and glass, and the human body.”

Eastern Promises (2007)

* * * * *

“This mature drama doesn’t let you forget Cronenberg’s roots in shock horror and gore. You haven’t seen a throat cut until you’ve seen Eastern Promises. The fight scene in the bath house makes the bathroom fight scene in Casino Royale (2006) look like a Saturday morning with the Smurfs.”

eXistenZ (1999)

* * * * *

“To put it as geekily as I can: If Inception is the Battle of Hoth, then eXistenZ was a trip to Dagobah. It’s a stunning work of fiction, far in advance of its time. Both meditations on the nature of delusion, escape, and obsession, eXistenZ plays more as a cautionary tale, forsaking sweep for shock, and polish for grit.”

A History of Violence (2005)

* * * * *

“While it’s certainly successful on emotional and thematic levels, A History of Violence also feels as if Cronenberg has refashioned The Long Kiss Goodnight, maintaining most everything that worked, and correcting whatever did not.”

He said / She said

Videodrome (1983)

* * * *

Videodrome is a vehicle for a sober message of caution, an experience which left me thinking long after its end. Fortunately it’s an entertaining one too.”


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  1. A Geek’s Month in Review: August 2012 « Geek vs Goth

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