There is no lie that I am one of the biggest supporters of this man. In fact, in celebration of Canada, I have written three articles dedicated to his genius. There is no director quite like David Cronenberg and there will never be again. His intense visual spectrum of the humanity of horror is alluring, disturbing and quite frankly, impeccable. Transcending the horror genre and portraying nightmarish stories with a slick visceral vein, Cronenberg has vastly bent the rules to perforate our dreams and make us basically scared of everything. And that Canadian genius is being celebrated today (as well as this piece from Matthew Howe). Trust me, this was hard to choose.
Jeremy Irons is such a wonderful and prolific actor who has voiced menacing lions and kings. It’s natural that a movie with two of him in it will set hearts and minds aflame. However, underneath the rugged Irons’ double act is this intellectual thriller about twin brothers who use their uncanniness to woo women to disastrous effect. Cronenberg’s psychological drama is effectively terrifying, and Irons’ portrayal of both brothers is wonderfully perverse and tantalising, allowing us to explore the range of twins set about by jealously and vindication.
Remakes are tricky because on the one hand, hearing how all the movies most beloved are being transformed into something new can seem preposterous; but it has been a practice long before now that has given us some of the best cinematic treats. The Fly (the 1986 version) is a critically-acclaimed piece of terror that subverts the gaze of the audience into a graphic nightmare. Starring Jeff Goldblum as scientist Seth Brundle who slowly turns into the titular creature after an experiment goes wrong. The Fly's sickening visuals are Academy Award-winning (Best Makeup & Hairstyling) and Cronenberg’s tragic love story, as well as the thematic debilitation of disease, makes it teeming with maggoty goodness.
Proving that the iconic Cronenberg flare can be adapted to any genre, his attentiveness and human excavation tactics are paramount in this stunning crime drama. Starring Viggo Mortenson, A History of Violence centres on Tom Stall, owner of a small diner, living a simply life. When two robbers enter his premises, he is thrust into the limelight after killing them. Not only must he confront the act he has just committed, but he must also deal with his shaky and violent past. The fright here comes from a trip into a violent soul that had previously been placated. It’s a stirring piece that received worldwide acclaim and is an astonishing, outstanding film.
Delving into the other side of sexual activity is yet another of Cronenberg’s cult classics, offering us scenes of quaking human erotica. Based on a novel by J. G. Ballard, this disturbing yet evocative film has sliced critics down the middle: those who herald it as a masterpiece; and to those who lambasted it. Concentrating on a group whose fetish and desires manifest from car crashes, the journey into their dark urges and, indeed, the memorable sex scenes will stick to your mind for years to come especially as the sexual activity goes hand-in-hand with violence and death.
There isn’t enough words in the world to describe how stellar Videodrome is. And attempting a third, fourth or fifth time may be preposterously repetitive, but it is teeming with incredibleness that it will never get tiresome. Videodrome revolves around porn and snuff, as TV channel head Max Renn discovers a particularly vicious tape that may or may not be real sexual violence. As he descends into the world of “Videodrome” it soon takes him over and as he is plagued by terrifying images, his body becomes the hub for the “Videodrome” movement. Combining sexual politics, power-plays and horror, the movie is a tantalising piece of fiction. Long live the new flesh!
What Do You Think?
Should Scanners be on this list?
Or maybe Cosmopolis?
Let me know in the comments