Friday, February 11, 2011
Spotlight On: David Cronenberg
This week's spotlight is on David Cronenberg, who is one of my favorite directors. He is most commonly associated with the "body horror" genre, which is a genre that deals with people's fears of bodily transformation. They are often quite grotesque, but usually involve some of the greatest practical effects in film history, which is what I love about older horror films. If Cronenberg's older films were made today, they probably would use CGI for all of the effects, and would thus be not as horrifying. Every single one of Cronenberg's films, even his non-horror ones, are really interesting to watch, and he has contributed greatly to both the horror and the science fiction genre. I have not seen all of his films, but here are the ones that I have seen and loved.
Rabid is about a girl who gets skin grafts after being burned in a motorcycle accident. Her surgery goes fine, but she then develops a sort of stinger under her armpit that feeds on peoples blood. Instead of killing them, though, it turns them into zombies. I think that this movie is a really interesting take on the zombie film, and is a great example of body horror. When you see the stinger, which is always in a close-up, it is absolutely disgusting. It isn't the zombies in this movie that scare me, it is simply the image of this pink fleshy phallic-type thing that emerges from her body.
The Brood (1979)
I'm not even going to say anything about Scanners. Just watch the video and it will say everything that I want to say...
Videodrome is a really cool sci-fi/ horror film. It has makeup by the great Rick Baker and some of the most grotesque/ amazing practical effects on film. This movie is quite disturbing at parts and is a perfect example of body horror.
The Dead Zone (1983)
The Fly (1986)
Now onto one of the greatest sci fi/horror movies every made. "I am becoming....Brundlefly." I just love this movie! It has Jeff Goldblum as a scientist who invents a teleportation device, but then starts turning into a fly when one flies into one of his machines. This movie has some of the most disgusting things ever put on film, and will always have a special place in my heart for having the ability to make me scream. (That is not easy to do for a movie.)
Dead Ringers (1988)
Naked Lunch (1991)
I had never heard about this movie at all before I watched it, so I was SHOCKED by the ending! I never suspected for a second that she was a man! I thought that the big twist was that she was just pretending to be all innocent and modest to get information from him, but I never expected that she was a man!
Crash is a really interesting film about people who get off on car accidents. Apparently there was a lot of controversy about this movie, but I think that it is incredibly sexy!
Cronenberg retuns to body horror in the science fiction film about a virtual reality game. To play the game, you have to have a bioport installed in your spine so that you can connect to these fleshy game pods.
A History of Violence (2005)
Eastern Promises (2007)
His next film will be A Dangerous Method, about Sigmund Freud. It stars Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, and Vincent Cassel.