It’s been eight years since we received a new film from David Cronenberg, and even more so since he put on his most recognizable hat as a craftsman of deliciously sickening cinema. His back to body horror –a subgenre he had helped define but, after 1999 existlargely abandoned—with Future Crimes is cause for celebration. Cronenberg’s films are visually accurate and thematically dense, but above all, the father of body horror never skimps on gore.
Of course, he wouldn’t be one of today’s most respected directors if the violence were only provocative and devoid of thematic purpose. The author deconstructs the body to express ideas regarding technologically and pharmaceutically accelerated changes in the human genome, fratricide, the illusion of individual personality, and the (sometimes literal) merging of multiple identities.
Hon. Mention: Enraged (1977)
Decades before probing the sexual liberation of vehicle collisions in AccidentCronenberg made a film about a woman who literally sprouts new gentialia after a motorcycle accident – a phallic stinger tucked into her armpit.
The filmcontains some decent profanity – a scene in which the main character undergoes a skin graft is pretty hair-raising – but the choices made in the editing room obscure the amount of action we can see. Enraged is unlikely to satisfy horror fans looking for something truly depraved.
ten. A history of violence (2005)
Tom Stall’s idyllic existence in Indiana takes a turbulent turn when he kills two assailants in his restaurant. After making local headlines, Tom and his family are harassed by men in Philadelphia suits who insist that this small-town hero is actually a former criminal with an unpaid debt. A history of violence sort of comments on the filmography of its director, a man who moved away from body horror to make adult dramas but can’t seem to resist returning to where it all began. This deceptive thriller itself incorporates ideas he’s been exploring since the start of his career.
Cronenberg takes care of his fans while search for absolute realism. In the film’s two rudest scenes, Tom brutalizes the literal faces of men who, by forcing him to wake up his alter ego, Joey Cusack, threaten the figurative face he has adopted, that of a family man. upright and fully American. In terms of creepy imagery, we have to mention Ed Harris‘ noted Carl Fogarty, whose facial injury – the result of an old argument with Joey involving barbed wire – gives Cronenberg an excuse to indulge in the gruesome makeup he is known and loved for.
9. Dead ringtones (1988)
A history of violence speaks of two personalities composing a man, whereas Dead ringtones is about a personality born of two men. This psychosexual thriller that follows twin gynecologists has few gross moments, but one scene in which Beverly (Jeremy Irons) is having a nightmare in which he is physically attached to his brother will definitely make you flinch.
If a dental hepatectomy doesn’t make you uncomfortable, however, the thought of being operated on by the medieval torture devices that Bev orders as surgical instruments for the brothers’ practice probably will. Most of the film’s horror is psychological rather than visual, but the few instances of gore don’t disappoint!
8. Scanners (nineteen eighty one)
The director’s interest in accelerated evolution underlies this thriller about telepathsknown as “scanners”, who must choose between helping the government or joining the madman Darryl Revok (Michel Dacier) growing army. by Cronenberg Fire starter, Scanners is actually quite restrained whenever a head or artery doesn’t burst, but the film doesn’t rely on violence to be unsettling.
When our stomachs aren’t turned by the visuals, our ears are pierced by the sound design and Howard Shore‘s score, which mimic the numbing pressure that builds inside a scanner’s head as they intercept the thoughts of strangers. And if you’re a vinyl fan, a scene involving a van crashing into a record store is sure to blow your mind! Scanners may not have many bloody chills per minute, but it does contain some of the most chilling imagery in Cronenberg’s “organography.”
seven. exist (1999)
Before Crimes of the future, eXistenZ was Cronenberg’s deepest adventure in world-building and science fiction. The production design for his new film was clearly inspired by the techno-organic game modules of this sci-fi horror – waxy mounds of animatronic flesh and bone. Solid objects are swallowed through scarred orifices, stale food and loose teeth are weaponized, and we’re treated to more amphibious guts than we probably care to see.
Based on its goo consistency and gore frequency, exist should be a runner-up for the title of Cronenberg’s Grossest Film. However, heis more likely to leave you wishing you had some slime handy than writhing in discomfort. Much of this lush, campy creature resembles a Land of the Lost episode, but with sex and squirts of fake blood.
6. The Brood (1979)
A divorced couple face very physical manifestations of their rage in this raw and intimate gem from 1979. Cronenberg’s thriller about childhood trauma, resentment and alternative therapy takes a while to free the goods, but once it does…Saint Brundlefly!
A shot of a placenta being fed from the outside is one of the scariest sights the body horror subgenre has to offer – and it’s not even the most terrifying image in the film! The Brood strongly rewards those who are patient enough to commit to it.
5. Future Crimes (2022)
Cronenberg’s latest film blends his thematic interests and aesthetic sensibilities into a polished cocktail of body horror. Set in a decaying future when humans acquire inorganic characteristics and technology seems more and more biological, Future Crimes meditates on evolution, the sensuality of pain and the intersection of art with propaganda.
Those who think the director’s long-awaited return is light on distaste may inadvertently prove his point about the desensitizing effect of increasingly violent media. Future Crimes contains many photorealistic scenes of invasive surgery and mutilation, not to mention people feasting on plastic as comfort food. The sound mix enhances the movie’s sweaty, sweaty production design. If the grotesquely inventive anatomical rearrangements in this film don’t make you squirm, you’ve clearly been filmed.
4. Eastern promises (2007)
Another successful collaboration between Cronenberg and Viggo Mortenson, Eastern promises– a crime drama set in London about the Russian mafia – is the director’s most serious film. This time his fascination with body transformation focuses on the myriad of tattoos that tell the story of a criminal’s life. The film’s commitment to realism makes its outbursts of violence all the more heartbreaking.
The famous sequence of Mortenson’s character battling thugs in a bathhouse is four visceral minutes of bone-crunching, body-slicing, and eye-gouging that’s as terrifying as anything Cronenberg has ever put on screen. There’s also a corpse that’s dismembered after being thawed with a hair dryer, so Eastern promises is definitely not for the faint of heart.
3. Thrill (1975)
A parasite finds its way into a luxury apartment complex and turns the residents into insatiable nymphomaniacs. Avoid extreme close-ups and quick cuts that would get in the way Enraged several years later, Thrill lets you really see the terror wrought by this “pathogenic organ” – which really does look like an animatronic turd.
Shot in 1975 on a micro budget, the film has a coarse, unfiltered quality that heightens the nasty elements – and there are plenty of them. But Cronenberg doesn’t rely solely on gore to unsettle his audience. There’s a photo of a strawberry pancake that will have you avoiding fluffy desert for the foreseeable future.
2. Videodrome (1983)
Beloved by horror lovers and chomskists, Videodrome follows a television executive whose life is disorganized after watching a violent show. Cronenberg approaches media ethics the only way he can – with blood, guts and sex. Close-ups of pierced ears, cigarette-scorched skin, and dilated body cavities are soft compared to the pyrotechnics of the finale. A famous shot by Max Renn (James Woods) the merging of the hand with a gun is a precursor to the gooey visuals that Cronenberg plays with in existanother film in which he predicts the rise of VR technology.
The design of the prostheses and the production will leave you nostalgic for the 80s. They don’t make you love them Videodrome more. As badly as Max is tested, however, there is a Cronenbergian protagonist who suffers an even more revolting fate.
1. Fly (1986)
It should come as no surprise: David Cronenberg’s most disgusting film is his remake of Fly. From its nightmarish prosthetics to its amazing hands-on VFX, Fly is the benchmark for 80s horror. You’ll Never Watch Jeff Goldblum similarly after seeing how his character prepares to consume food. But doubling down on a glazed donut with regurgitated bile is barely 5% of this film’s grotesque intensity. gets. Seth Brundle’s transformation into Brundlefly provides Cronenberg with all sorts of opportunities to torment the flesh.
The director once said, “When I look at a person, I see this maelstrom of organic, chemical and electronic chaos; volatility and instability, shimmering; and the ability to change, transform and transmute. None of his films visually manifest this philosophy to any greater or cruder effect than Fly.
KEEP READING: David Cronenberg’s Best Movies, Ranked