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Thread: Cronenberg's Crash

  1. #1
    Spoon! Dom D's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Melbourne Australia

    Cronenberg's Crash

    Just checking in to see how this one is aging with everyone else. I rewatched it last night for the first time since it was released. When I first saw it way back when I was very familiar with the book and I recall being quite disappointed that the film was so different. As I barely remember the book at all now I figured it's time to give the film a fairer reevaluation.

    First thing that strikes with this film is the quantity and graphic nature of the sex scenes. When you're used to neutered 21st cinema it's always surprising to see a mainstream film from the past that's flaunting it's sexuality like that. Unger in particular was pretty ballsy in some of the angles she let Cronenberg lever himself into.

    Second thing that strikes, this film is still disappointing. Did not enjoy at all. I think a lot of the blame can be laid at the feet of Elias Koteas. He makes Vaughn such a wierd, breathy character, who so full mannerisms and tics that he's difficult to watch. I don't buy him as this virtual cult leader as I really couldn't see people being willing to be in the same room as him let alone people desperately wanting to bang him.

    Also the film has this cold, intellectual feel to it. But there's no real intelligence here. Nothing that grabs your brain and gives it something to work on. In Videodrome Brian O'Bllivion goes on long rants that sound like gibberish but when you stop and think about them you realise they're not gibberish at all. Some of it's actually sounding pretty prescient these day in fact. Vaughn on the other hand is always spouting off in a way that sounds profound but if you listen to the actual words they don't make a lick of sense.

    So what you're left with is this story of people turned on by car crashes. Which is about the only fetish that nobody has. Which is, I suppose, the point. But exactly what the point of that point is escapes me... So really it's just about people with a death wish. Except these aren't real people living in a real world so who cares if they have a death wish? Not me.

    Plus it's not a lot of fun to watch.
    "Never let the fact that they are doing it wrong stop you from doing it right." Hyman Mandell.

  2. #2
    My favorite Cronenberg and my second favorite film of all time. Maybe once I'm feeling more descriptive I'll expand upon that but yeah, incredible film. From a strictly visual standpoint I think its Cronenberg's finest as well. Slick as hell. Some of Howard Shore's best work too.
    Vortice Mortale - Latest post: Sinfonía erótica (Jess Franco, 1980)

  3. #3
    2nd favorite of the later period of Cronenbeg (later period being post The Fly where he focuses far less on body horror). This and Naked Lunch really stick out for me. It's a very good adaption of the book unlike Naked Lunch -which I still love- that does its own thing.

    Not a big fan of Dead Ringers or Existenz but I liked History of Violence.
    "Ah! By god's balls what licentiousness!"

    Marquis de Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom.

  4. #4
    MCMLXXX Matt H.'s Avatar
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    May 2015
    Burlington, ON
    Cronenberg is my favourite director, so usually if I watch one of his films, I end up watching a lot of them. The last time I had a Cronenberg marathon, CRASH didn't really grab me as it has in the past (I've seen it at least 4 times), but to me that's a sign of a film that will always be interesting, no matter how many times I watch it. It's never been one of my favourite Cronenberg flicks, but I certainly admire it quite a bit. And I agree with Tom, it has one of Shore's very best scores.

  5. #5
    Probably the only Cronenberg movie that I didn't get to the end just didnt grab me at the time and I never felt the urge to revisit it...

  6. #6
    Also totally disagree on Koteas who steals the show. Those "weird ticks" and "mannerisms" make the character. Strange, absolutely but also charismatic. Not hard at all to see why Spader and Unger would be drawn to him. Oh, and Symphorophilia is a real thing.
    Vortice Mortale - Latest post: Sinfonía erótica (Jess Franco, 1980)

  7. #7
    Spoon! Dom D's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Melbourne Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Clark View Post
    Oh, and Symphorophilia is a real thing.
    It has a name but that doesn't necessarily make it a real thing. Not a lot of car crash videos on xHamster which caters for most things. Actually though the reason I mentioned it is I remember in an interview on local telly Cronenberg saying something along the lines of how he wanted to explore fetishism through a fetish that nobody has. So in his mind at least.
    "Never let the fact that they are doing it wrong stop you from doing it right." Hyman Mandell.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mark Tolch's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Haven't seen it since I got a screener vhs back when it came out. I didn't like it then, Ian actually screamed "Stop saying anus!" At the tv. I should check it out again, it may knock my socks off

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jack J's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    I really liked it when I saw it on VHS back in the day. Watched it 4 or 5 times but haven't watched it since (even if I do own it on dvd). I remember reading that the laserdisc has a commentary track that was never ported over to dvd. Do any of you know if said track has been used for blu-ray?

  10. #10
    I don't think it has been released on Blu Ray anywhere yet? I have the Criterion LD, but it has succumbed to laser rot. As I recall it was a really good commentary (for example Cronenberg decides during the commentary not to allow the film to be released in Ireland due to the cuts required, although I believe it was released cut there in the end, and he discusses the authenticity of the damaged text in the title sequence), but it must be nearly 18 years since I listened to it. I always really liked this film, I saw it on its first day in London (just outside of Westminster council's jurisdiction, who had banned it) and, when it finished, there was a tv crew outside interviewing people because of the ban. The film woulndn't even raise an eyebrow today.
    Last edited by agent999; 07-01-2016 at 11:26 PM.
    I'm bitter, I'm twisted, James Joyce is fucking my sister.

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