What's the deal with David Cronenberg?

I caught videodrome over the weekend and having seen “Naked Lunch”, I have to ask.

Has Mr. Cronenberg been abusing certain illegal substances?

After watching a few more of his movies, you will come to realize that David Cronenberg is a mind-altering substance.

Quite so.

His first movie, They Came From Within, is about symbiotic parasites that spread from human to human via sexual contact, and drive their hosts into a sexual frenzy in order to spread. Yes, I know, it sounds like a porn movie – and parts of it almost LOOK like a porn movie – but it’s remarkably chilling.

Next, he made Rabid, starring porn star Marilyn Chambers, about a woman whose skin graft develops an odd new appendage that causes her to need to draw blood from others in order to survive… and anyone she draws blood from later develops rabies-like symptoms. Possibly his worst film.

His other films include:
The Brood: a woman in psychotherapy gives birth to babylike drones who act out her rage fantasies, killing those who angered her…
Scanners: a race of telepaths grows within humanity. However, their powers tend to mean they will grow up … um… rather disturbed. The more powerful among them can cause your head to explode.
Videodrome: James Woods discovers that watching certain videotapes can cause permanent changes in the brain… and possibly, the body as well…

David Cronenberg is a creepy sort of filmmaker.

His movies are almost always horrors of the body. I can’t entirely figure him out, but there’s a unique physicality to his movies that’s rare in other horror films.

You forgot to mention that she gives birth to them from pendulous brood sacs that hang from her torso.

Hey, he’s Canadian, what do you expect? :wink: Actually, Cronenberg admits to being heavily influenced by William S. Burroughs. To prepare for writing Naked Lunch, he went and lived with Burroughs for a while. Burroughs was still smoking pot right up until the end of his life, so I don’t know if Cronenberg’s a toker, he’s certainly been around it.

Is pretention an illegal substance? He’s been doing quite a bit of that during the last 14 years.

:smack: Excuse me, that should be pretension.

I thought pretention was what you did to new guitar strings before you tuned them.

Um, no it shouldn’t. It should be “Cronenberg works in a manner that doesn’t fit very well into my brain, so I don’t enjoy his movies very much.”

I was joking so there’s no reason to be so insulting. This isn’t the Pit. Anyway, you will have to admit the movies he’s made after The Fly have tried to be more artier than his earlier fare. As for whether they’ve succeeded, YMMV.

*Pretentious *then is still not the word you want; maybe *arty *would do. Pretentious, which shares a root word with pretend, suggests that he’s claiming significance where there is none. I’ve never heard him make any such claim. In the first place. In the second place, if others find significance, then there is significance to be found, unless you’re calling them liars. If you don’t find significance, that’s about you, not about the work.

I’ve usually fallen asleep to his movies. The last film of his I know I saw was eXistenZ, which I rented a few years ago and, while it didn’t put me to sleep, it made me want to. He certainly has a style, though. He’s into like, icky goopy stuff.

I think I liked The Fly, but it’s been awhile. I think I’ll pass.

Of all the movies he has made (or of all the movies anyone has made), “Videodrome” is in a class by itself. Granted, it has the usual gore, slash, violence that is so typical of Cronenberg. However the dialogue in that movie is unique.

“I had a tumor and I had visions. I believe the visions caused the tumor and not the reverse … but when they removed the tumor it was called Videodrome”.

James woods to Sonja Smits:
“I was on a panel show with your father.”
“Ah yes. You said some superficial things”.

As far as reviews of that movie I’ve seen comments such as:
“Hollywood has sometimes portayed television as sinister. But never this sinister.”

“Not only is it impossible to tell the good guys from the bad guys, you can’t even figure out who’s doing what to whom.”

Well, if there are any other Videodrome fans out there, I’d like to hear your comments (although this is a thread about David Cronenberg).

Death to Videodrome - long live the new flesh.

A couple of minor points:

  1. His first major movie. He’d already made a double-fistful of TV movies and one or two minor features.

  2. It’s better known as Shivers, the title it was released under internationally. No sense in confusing people.

I saw this in the theater when it first came out. Me and, uh, that other guy. :smiley:

This is one of those movies that you have to watch 3 or 4 hundred times before you figure out what the hell it’s about. When I find out, I’ll let you know.

I haven’t picked up the DVD yet, but it’s on my list.

My experience with him is limited to Naked Lunch, but I loved it. One of the 25 best films of the last quarter century and far superior to Brazil (the only thing I can think to compare it to.)

Naked Lunch creeped me the fuck out and depressed me at the same time. Hey, here’s a guy who drinks mugwump spooge while rubbing rat poison on talking vagina beetles, all the while having flashbacks of blowing his wife’s brains out. Let’s watch. Wheeeee.

It always helps to take the casette out.

*Crash *was very different from the book, but I was extremely impressed nonetheless.