Saturday, January 7, 2017

Cronenbergian: The Brood

Shockingly, this is not for the faint of heart.  Today's Film is The Brood, a 1979 Film from David Cronenberg.  If you know him, you know what to expect.  The Film is chock full of Psychological anguish and Body Horror.  This is not one of his more celebrated works, coming out before his big success with The Fly.  Even so, this is definitely the kind of Movie that made him the famous Director he is.  The Film Stars Oliver Reed and...Art Hindle.  Yes, him again.  To explain, I had no idea who he was back when I did the The Clone Master for Project Terrible, a failed Pilot Starring...Art Hindle.  The same Year, I ended up doing the Film Offspring.  Later on, I discovered that he was also in Monster Brawl and Black Christmas...and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978).  It has been 2 years or so since a Film with him, so let's hope he brings me luck.  The Story involves a strange Psychologist (Reed) who is doing experiments on Hindle's wife.  Around this time, people in her life keep getting killed.  What is her connection?  The answer is sure to be weird!  To find out how this all plays out...
Reed is seen doing some very intense Psychotherapy with this guy.  Naturally, he has an audience.

Woo!  Deal with that Oedipal Complex!  Woo!
Hindle's ex-Wife is part of the group and he's mad because their Daughter has mysterious bruises.
The woman is going through some weird psychological issues, but thankfully still finds time to feather that hair.  You have to prioritize, people!
Out of nowhere, her Mother is attacked by a strange figure while babysitting the Daughter, who sees the killer and walks away.
Said killer shows up again to kill her Father (in town for the Funeral).  It turns out to be...the killer from Don't Look Now?  Or is it Alice Sweet Alice?
These are actually bizarre, asexual creations of a mysterious origin.  What the hell are they?
Before they can find out, another victim is claimed- a Teacher mistaken for Hindle's lover.
He eventually teams up with Reed (who sees all of the deaths and finally wakes up) and confronts his ex-wife.  It turns out that her rage/anger is manifesting in the form of the freaky, asexual child-things that obey her psychic will.

Of course, it is so obvious!
While Reed dies, Hindle and the Daughter survive when the ex-wife is killed.  In the aftermath, the Daughter has similar marks to the Mother.  Dun dun no Sequel.  The End.
Classic, creepy Cronenberg.  This one is a bit of a slow burn, but does pay off well.  The underlying tension of the Characters is built up nicely until you get the first kill.  From there, it escalates more noticeably.  Going into this Film blind, you probably won't exactly connect the dots.  If your first thought is 'Of course, this lady must be manifesting her rage as mutant children,' I'm really worried!  This is the kind of creepy stuff that he sure loved to do though.  The Acting here ranges from subdued to a bit over-the-top.  Reed manages to be creepy and controlling, while Hindle shows good indignancy.  The whole thing is played pretty straight until you get to the climax and find out the truth.  Seeing her 'give birth' to the creepy thing and clean it (see below) sure was a good pay-off.  A gross one, admittedly, but this is Cronenberg.  All in all, The Brood doesn't exactly mesh up with Science, but is a fairly-dry-but-rewarding 70s Thriller with a crazy climax.  If you like Cronenberg, you're already there.  Now clean your monster before you put it away...
Next up, a Remake of a Japanese Film already covered here.  Is Apartment Shopping any safer in America?  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. The 'Body Snatchers'version in which Hindle appears is from 1978, not 1973.