4/23/09

David Cronenberg's The Brood (1979)

The trailer for David Cronenberg's The Brood (1979) begins with this warning:

"Now comes a major motion picture event that will take you far beyond anything filmed before. You are about to journey beyond fear, beyond terror, beyond the boundaries of your mind, in a film so terrifying it will devastate you totally."

Believe it or not, this is not an overstatement. I should have taken this warning seriously - I sat down to watch a simple 70's horror flick and had my world rocked. I feel like Cronenberg bitch slapped me for 92 minutes straight. The homicidal humanoid children scared the crap out of me. And beyond the frights was a storyline that will have me thinking back on it for days to come.

I contemplated going through this film step by step as I normally do in movie reviews here on Retrospace, but I don't want spoil a single scene for you. However, I can't help but point out one moment in the film...

...yeah, that right - a Happy Days lunchbox is basically the centerpiece for a few moments. Sort of took me out of the moment temporarily - similar to when Ted Danson appeared out of nowhere in Saving Private Ryan and all I could think about was Cheers for the next 20 minutes.
But don't let The Fonz dissuade you from checking this movie out. This is the most chilling mind bending horror movie that I have seen in a long, long time. So, if you'll excuse me, I need to go watch Sanford & Son to counteract the bad vibes and chase the heebee jeebees away.

13 comments:

  1. I felt the same way about Videodrome.

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  2. This is probably not a good thing, but they're actually going to remake The Brood.

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  3. I still haven't seen Videodrome, but after The Brood will be putting it in my Netflix queue.

    Do they keep remaking things because the producers feel it will be a sure bet? Don't they realize that any film is a gamble? There's absolutely no point whatsoever to remake this film.

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  4. Was in the hostpital getting my tonsils taken out and this was one of the books they gave me to read along with one about the Jonestown tragedy. Freaked me out and to this day seeing little kids in hoodies from behind takes me back to that frickin book.

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  5. I love this film. It's been ages since I've seen it though. I've been wanting to see a lot of Cronenberg's films again.

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  6. I was totally creeped out by this movie when I first watched it as a teenager. I'd like to revisit it someday--but not around meal time.

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  7. Did this film come out before or after PHANTASM as both films feature killer children/dwarf/Jawa-types? Weird.

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  8. Kal - They gave you this as reading material? Was this some sort of experimental fear therapy?

    Keith & Deep Dish- Didn't really like Dead Ringers, The Fly or Crash, so I had low expectations for this Cronenberg film. Man, was I surprised.

    j.d. - I think the original jawa sized killer may have been in Don't Look Now (1973)- easily one of the creepiest movies ever (starring Donald Sutherland). Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) also had a diminutive killer in a raincoat.

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  9. In Strauss and Howe's book Generations, they talk about Generation X being the only generation of evil children in the movies. By the mid 80s things started to change back to sweet children again.

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  10. robert - Don't even get me started on that topic. It's a fact that Boomers had serious issues with their children as evidenced by the flood of evil kid movies beginning with Rosemary's Baby, then The Exorcist, The Omen, etc..... by the 80's it was back to kids like Macaulay Culkin.

    Great point. I'll have to devote a post to that topic before too long.

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  11. I own this movie. Creepy!

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  12. I recall seeing this one on VHS long ago and I may seen ti again on cable, all cut up. Cronenberg could certainly be serious and dark. His horror films typically did not rely on humor or parodies of the genre to succeed. I think I will try to find this one on line and give it a new fresh looking over.

    Bill

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  13. I haven't seen it, but I believe this is the one that prompted a friend of mine to coin the word "ragebabies.'

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