|1983||The Dead Zone||6/10|
|2005||A History of Violence||8/10|
|2011||>>A Dangerous Method||.../...|
|2014||>>Maps to the Stars||.../...|
Review last updated: September 27, 2019
David Cronenberg is a prophetic filmmaker. He keeps coming back from the dead, when you least expect it, like Jesus. He is a mastermind of the macabre: wires coming out of people's faces, bugs, ejaculating alien-beings, enormous insects, people going in and out of screens, sadistic gynecologists (all made without CGI of any kind, 100% puppetry and animation), it's a never-ending black hole of insanity, of the truly strange and uncommon. He is a fictional mad scientist, and he's a permanent, everlasting underdog. He will always be the director, in thousands of people's heads, that made all of those weird "B Movies" in the '80s and '90s - he will be thought of as a prankster that made slasher flicks, gory sci-fi late-night action thrillers, technological perversions - but he is so, so much more than that. He's using the medium of film to create things that could not possibly exist: Cronenberg is using people's own fears to scare them, their own insecurities to hallucinate, their own egos and senses of self to obstruct them from their own self-annihilation, and their own vices and perversions to invoke a self-righteous response.
The fact that almost every Cronenberg picture - with the exceptions of The Fly, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, and The Dead Zone - was a box office flop, and a critical and commercial failure, and you would think he would be in so much debt that he could no longer afford to direct films, yet he keeps coming back with more films, only serves to prove my theory that Cronenberg himself is like one of the alien life forms he portrays in his movies. Watch Naked Lunch. There's no way in hell a human being made this picture, it has to be something else: Something superhuman, paranormal, existential. It's a very obvious "hey guys it's us, the aliens, don't mind us" type of message. I knew it all from the beginning. Only something that's barely human could create a work that's so alienating and impersonal, it would make Kafka himself go "yeah this is too weird for me". You are the insect. William S. Burroughs' very existence itself is super-human: Only a genetic abnormality could survive injecting bug poison into its veins for years (yeah, he really did that, it's not just a movie, and he lived to be 83).
Videodrome on the other hand, is less about the breakdown of an individual, and more about the breakdown of society as a whole. This film is a document of America's depravity, perversions, morbid curiosities and fetishes: We have utterly and systematically become a nation of bottom-feeders, of sadists, of sexual deviants. Americans will capitalize on anyone's suffering, no matter how vicious or brutal that suffering really is. The best entertainment for those that crave senseless violence and sexual sadism, is pure, Real Live violence and Actual People dying. This fact is exploited, capitalized on, and used to propagate an antiquated monetary system.