Archive for oliver reed

Favourite Five Series: DAVID CRONENBERG

Posted in Canada, Favourite Five Series, horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2014 by goregirl

David Cronenberg has forty director credits listed on IMDB; twenty-one of those credits are feature films. I have seen twenty of those feature films; Maps of the Stars has not yet been released. I think they outta start naming some Canadian monuments after David Cronenberg, or at very least a school or two. David Cronenberg Elementary; they can do a musical version of The Brood each year in his honor. Before compiling this list I went to the effort of seeing Cosmopolis, which I found Comme-ci, comme ça. It certainly wasn’t changing anything on this list. The only film I feel really strongly about from Cronenberg’s last decade of filmmaking is Eastern Promises. Don’t misunderstand, I have actually quite enjoyed Cronenberg’s entire body of work but it is his horror films that will always have a special place in my heart. Cronenberg’s early horror films are the perfect combination of the physical with the psychological. The term body horror or venereal horror has been used to describe his early genre films and an apt description it is. The term body horror basically represents a complete and graphic breakdown of the human body from any number of causes; disease, parasite, cerebral manifestation to note a few. Cronenberg’s films are complimented by strong stories, perfect casting, amazing performances and gag-worthy visuals. This was the easiest list I have ever put together; the only real struggle was leaving Dead Ringers off the list. As much as I love Dead Ringers and Jeremy Irons brilliant performance it is not a film that I revisit nearly as often as the five included below.

**********

VIDEODROME (1983)

Videodrome is about a struggling cable television station run by Max Renn. Renn is always on the lookout for programming not offered by the competition and shows soft-core adult films late nights. Renn is looking to step up his game and one night his engineer stumbles upon a grainy barebones production called Videodrome. Videodrome appears to be simulated snuff but as Max soon discovers it is all very real. Videodrome is more than torture, it is an addictive mental mindfuck with the ability to transform the human body. Videodrome is both a warning about the dangers of technology taking over our lives and our desensitization to violence. It also has really bloody amazing effects by Rick Baker that hold up as well today as they did back in 1983. Really ghastly and original stuff. Despite a mainstream cast and major distribution Cronenberg holds back nothing and creates a gritty, disturbing and uncompromising film. James Woods is pitch-perfect as station owner Max Renn. Woods Renn character is cocky, tactless and intense; watching him lose his grip on reality is Shakespearian. Deborah Harry was an impeccable choice as Nicki Brand; she is sexy, kinky and completely believable in the role. Renn has a sexual relationship with Brand who becomes drawn into Videodrome and eventually becomes one of its victims. Videodrome is without a doubt my favourite David Croenberg film and one of my favorite horror films of all time. “Long live the new flesh!”

Videodrome3

**********

THE BROOD (1979)

The Brood is about Nola Carveth who is being treated by Psychotherapist Dr. Raglan. Dr. Raglan is using an unconventional treatment called Psychoplasmics. The method encourages the patient to work through their emotion until it physically manifests itself. Nola has become a primary focus of Dr. Raglan’s therapy due to her extraordinary adaptation. Nola receives weekend visits from her daughter Candy important to her therapy; but after her ex-husband Frank finds Candy bruised and scratched he puts an immediate end to the visitations. Shortly after, Nola’s abusive mother is found brutally murdered. Even more disconcerting they discover the dead body of a mutated child who appears to be the one responsible for the death. The ability to materialize your anxiety, fear or anger would be a pretty unsettling ability to have. I can’t imagine what mad nastiness my mind would concoct! The little mutant children featured in The Brood are creepy as hell. The effects are impressive and the makeup on the mutant kiddies is beautifully grotesque. Large groups of children in snowsuits scare me to this day. One of my favourite scenes in the film takes place in a kindergarten class with a bunch of child actors who probably grew up seriously traumatized thanks to Cronenberg. The best visual effects assault however is courtesy of Nola Carveth in the film’s finale. You can find pictures of it all over the place, but I am not going to be the one to spoil it for you. It really is freaking spectacular! Another top-notch cast that includes legend Oliver Reed who plays Dr. Raglan with charisma, strength and authority, the exquisite Samantha Eggar who plays Nola Carveth with disturbed psychosis, rage and a touch of empathy, Cindy Hinds who plays Candice Carveth a quiet, solemn little girl with an adult-like numbness that is chilling and Art Hindle who plays the voice of reason Frank Carveth. Mood and atmosphere, well paced, steadily building tension, amazing effects and stunning performances; The Brood is a suspenseful, intense and chilling experience.

The Brood

**********

NAKED LUNCH (1991)

Naked Lunch is loosely based on William S. Burroughs’ novel of the same name. Cronenberg turns the story into a semi-autobiographical account of Burroughs life. Characters are based on Burroughs real life acquaintances Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Joan Vollmer and Paul and Jane Bowles. Bill Lee is an exterminator whose wife Joan is addicted to the insecticide he uses to kill bugs. Bill too is affected by the substance which causes him to have severe hallucinations. So severe are his hallucinations that Bill believes he is a secret agent for an organization called Interzone and is assigned tasks by a giant insect! Although I included Naked Lunch on my top ten horror film list for 1991 it really is not a horror film; although Cronenberg definitely includes horrifying images in the film. There are some downright gross visuals that are on par with any of the horror films on the list. As noted, Cronenberg never intended his film to be a straight up adaptation of Burroughs book but I think he does a superb job of capturing the general vibe while maintaining a distinct David Cronenberg flavor. I love Cronenberg’s approach with the inclusion of facts from Burroughs fascinating life. The shooting death of Burrough’s girlfriend Joan Vollmer is worked into the plot of Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch. Burroughs says of the incident “I am forced to the appalling conclusion that I would have never become a writer but for Joan’s death”. Naked Lunch is a strange, hypnotic, and sublime trip into another world. The film is accented by some truly exceptional performances from Judy Davis, Roy Scheider, Ian Holm, Julian Sands and Nicholas Campbell and most notably Peter Weller who plays Bill Lee. When I think of the most iconic acting roles of the past few decades Weller’s Lee is one of the first that comes to mind. Naked Lunch has withstood countless viewings and always leaves me feeling a little disoriented but awestruck. It is truly a one of a kind experience that, like a lot of Cronenberg’s films, elicits strong opinions of love or hate; I happen to think it is a masterpiece. “Exterminate all rational thought. That is the conclusion I have come to.”

Naked Lunch

**********

RABID (1977)

Rabid focuses on Rose, the victim of a serious motorcycle accident. Rose becomes the beneficiary of a radical surgery performed by Dr. Keloid involving tissue grafting. The surgery has an unexpected side effect in the form of a vagina-like orifice in her armpit that craves human blood. Rose runs amok in an effort to sate her cravings. Rose’s feedings not only cause bodily harm but they infect her victims causing them to go into a rabid state and attack and infect others. Doctors in horror movies have caused so much mayhem over the years haven’t they? If Rose had been taken to a regular hospital instead of a plastic surgery clinic none of this would have happened. Needless to say the infection spreads like wildfire and martial law is declared. The infected move quickly and attack viciously; fortunately they are easy to kill. The effects are solid although Rabid is not especially graphic. Rose’s armpit vagina is the film’s coolest effect and it is quite a unique one too! There are some particularly well-executed action sequences. My favourite is a scene that takes place in a mall during Christmas time and a security guy goes on a crazy shooting spree and kills Santa! Another scene that takes place on a subway is also delightfully chaotic. Marilyn Chambers does not speak much in her role as Rose but she is lovely and intense and a pleasure to behold. Chambers brings a good balance of strength and vulnerability to Rose. Frank Moore is natural and likable as her boyfriend Hart. Rabid is well-paced with evenly distributed violence throughout. Rabid is smart, well-written, intense and seriously entertaining.

Rabid

**********

THEY CAME FROM WITHIN (1975)

They Came from Within aka Shivers is about an experiment conducted by Dr. Emil Hobbes using parasites. The parasites cause the patient to have an overwhelming sexual appetite. Hobbes implants his girlfriend Annabelle with the parasite who is living in The Starliner a self-contained, exclusive high-end condominium. Annabelle quickly spreads the parasite throughout the building. Hobbes then kills his Annabelle and himself and the case is closed. Meanwhile residents of the building are getting sick and parasites are running loose and attacking the residents. The condominiums on-site Doctor Dr. St. Luc uncovers information about Hobbes research and tries to contain the parasite in the Starliner condominium, but will it be too late? Shivers is an intense, intelligent, claustrophobic tale full of sexuality and violence. Shivers opens with the death of a very young woman by the hands of a middle-aged man who then cuts his own throat. The next bit of yuckiness comes from a resident named Nick who leaves work early feeling sick. He vomits out a parasite and it is not long before all hell breaks loose in the enclosed space of the condo. The violent and deviant scenes to follow are unique and effective in that very special Cronenberg sort of way. Shivers has sex, nudity, incest, violence and even cannibalism. There is a ton of crazy shit going on here! Repulsive, erotic, nasty, “even dying is an act of eroticism”. As is the case with all the films on this list there are great performances here from Paul Hampton as Dr. St. Luc, the feline-esque Lynn Lowry as Nurse Forsythe, Allan Kolman as Nicholas Tudor, Susan Petrie as Janine Tudor, Joe Silver as Rollo Linsky and Barbara Steele as Betts. Cronenberg creates an excellent mood of paranoia and includes plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle commentary on contemporary 70′s culture. Shivers was Cronenberg’s first horror film and is one of his best.

shivers

**********

Goregirl’s Dungeon on YouTube: Ennio Morricone – Un Amico (from Revolver)

Posted in Italy, movies with tags , , , , , , , on March 4, 2013 by goregirl

Ennio Morricone – Un Amico from Sergio Sollima’s 1973 film Revolver with a Fabio Testi slideshow.

Goregirl’s Werewolf Project: TOP TEN FAVOURITE WEREWOLF FILMS!

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2012 by goregirl

This is it! Drum roll please…my top ten favourite werewolf films! I realized when I started this project that I had not seen as many werewolf films as I thought. I watched a lot of werewolf films over the last few months. Many were first viewings, others were re-watches. Besides the top ten and the seventeen films I posted reviews for, I watched another six Howling sequels (I reviewed Howling V) and there were another three films I didn’t get reviews done for. The three films were: Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001), Kibakichi Bakko-yokaiden (2004) and Werewolf in a Women’s Prison (2006). Brotherhood of the Wolf is an action film, not horror. It is a period piece with over-the-top matrix-esque like fight scenes, with a decent story and acting. It is an enjoyable film, but as mentioned, it is not a horror film (and it isn’t exactly a werewolf film either). Kibakichi is a werewolf/samurai film! I love Kibakichi’s 60s samurai film vibe, but sadly, there was not nearly as much action as I was expecting. Granted, the action scenes they include are terrific! The story is rather on the dreary side but not unappealing. Kibakichi also leans heavier towards an action film than horror. Kibakichi left me a bit unsatisfied, but I did like it. Finally we have the super low budget Werewolf in a Women’s Prison. I really should have made the time to review this one! This is definitely horror, and it certainly delivers on its title. You get a werewolf in an all women’s prison with plenty of boobs, gore and general naughtiness! The effects are cheap and sometimes downright hokey and much of the acting is bad but there is plenty of fun here for those who like a more Troma type horror film. I liked Werewolf in a Women’s Prison and would give it a recommend. There were another twenty-six werewolf films that I had seen in the last few years that I remembered well enough to know they wouldn’t make the list; An American Werewolf in Paris, Wolf, Bad Moon and Skinwalkers to name a few. A total of 62 films isn’t a very deep pool to draw from! IMDB had 236 films listed with a “werewolf” tag; 183 of those were horror. Of those 183 werewolf horror films, several of those were not exclusively werewolf films. For instance, Cabin in the Woods, Monster Squad, Trick R Treat and House of Frankenstein; all four feature a werewolf but it is not the film’s focus. I disqualified at least half the list for this reason. And finally there was another smaller chunk of mainly post-1989 entries that just didn’t seem worth bothering with. I would like to give a howl out to my three favourite werewolf films that didn’t make the top ten: Curse of the Devil, Ginger Snaps: Unleashed and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man! At the bottom of the top ten list are links to all seventeen werewolf films I reviewed this month.

**********

#10 WEREWOLF WOMAN (1976)

Directed By: Rino Di Silvestro

I only read a few short IMDB reviews for Werewolf Woman that completely tore the film to shreds. Yeesh! Daniela Neseri was raped at the age of 13 and has become a lonely, troubled woman living in her father’s home in the country. Daniela finds some family heirlooms and learns of the strange history of a relative to whom she bares a striking resemblance. Turns out the relative was believed to be a werewolf and was chased down by a lynch mob and killed. Daniela begins having vivid dreams that she too is a werewolf and it isn’t long before she is ripping out throats. We are never led to believe Daniela is a werewolf; but Daniela wholeheartedly believes it! Daniela’s fevered dream of ritualistic naked dancing and the transformation which consists of covering her naked body with fun fur is something you are not likely to see twice. Two words for you…furry boobs. Lycanthropy, full frontal nudity, sex, masturbation, graphic violence, rape, revenge, furry boobs; Werewolf Woman has it all! Chocked full of Italian horror regulars including Dagmar Lassander, Tino Carraro, Howard Ross and a bold performance by Annik Borel as the title Werewolf Woman. Some questionably hilarious dialog (which may to some extent be a case of bad dubbing) would be my only complaint. Sure, Werewolf Woman is Euro-trash of the highest order, but that is what makes it so freaking awesome!

**********

#9 WEREWOLF OF LONDON (1935)

Directed By: Stuart Walker

In Werewolf of London a botanist returns from a trip to Tibet with a rare flower and the ability to turn into a werewolf. The story is simple but wonderfully effective, taking more of a scientific approach to the werewolf myths than a supernatural one. The beautifully filmed black and white movie has amazing effects and great werewolf makeup; as good as anything I have seen in the classic horror! The wonderful Henry Hull is terrific as a man whose shaky marriage to a younger woman is further complicated by the appearance of her childhood friend, a stranger who is a little too curious about his rare flower, not to mention, he is a bloody werewolf! I could take or leave some of the characters they add for comic relief but it certainly did not hurt the film any. There are some impressively creative shots; one of the best is the werewolf transformation among the columns! And what an ending!! If you dig the classic horror, Werewolf of London is a definite must see!

**********

#8 THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (1984)

Directed By: Neil Jordan

If you follow this blog, you might recall The Company of Wolves appeared on my top 10 favourite horror films from 1984. The Company of Wolves is a dreamy, surreal nightmare from the mind of a girl just about to enter into womanhood. The film is a collection of interesting and original short stories symbolizing sexual awakening, puberty, male domination, and the like. It is not exactly an anthology, it is more accurately stories told within a story. It is well written, well acted, and the effects are quite impressive and unique. There is a cornucopia of different visual variations of the werewolf! Some of them are surprisingly nasty too! While The Company of Wolves definitely has a fairy tale vibe and is loaded with sexuality and no actual sex it is nonetheless adult-friendly. Don’t let the appearance of Angela Lansbury scare you off. She plays granny (of course), but she does come with considerable bite. I also enjoyed Terence Stamp’s cameo as the devil! The pubescent female lead is perfectly played by Sarah Patterson. The Company of Wolves is a film I have re-watched a few times over the years, and it never fails to entertain me.

**********

#7 DOG SOLDIERS (2002)

Directed By: Neil Marshall

Show them how it’s done Neil Marshall! Marshall’s two entries from the past decade The Descent and Dog Soldiers gave me renewed hope that the horror genre still had some life left in it. Why oh why has he not made another horror film? Absolutely every last detail of Dog Soldiers is near perfect. Dog Soldiers has a solid story, excellent cast, well-written and natural dialog, great setting, outstanding mood and atmosphere and beauty practical effects. There is plenty of blood and gore; the werewolves make short work of their prey leaving nothing behind but entrails and blood. That stuff can really stick to a boot! The werewolves are extremely impressive from a distance and cast an intimidating shadow. The only ever so minor complaint I have is that some of the close shots look slightly less than perfect. I absolutely love the fact that Marshall opted for costumes over CGI. Dog Soldiers is freaking awesome! To read the full review click here.

**********

#6 THE HOWLING (1981)

Directed By: Joe Dante

Joe Dante loves furry beasts. Before he made Gremlins, he created a film with a different sort of furry beast; an R-rated furry beast! Dante’s The Howling is a balls to the wall, kick ass horror film with nudity, gore and some bad-ass nasty werewolf effects that have held up beautifully! The Howling has a strong story, solid acting and a pitch perfect mood and atmosphere with a nicely escalating tension. I have read the odd complaint about this movie starting out slow, but I actually found The Howling to be well-paced. When the film goes “werewolf” it does so with grand style, and as a bonus, you get more than one creature! I have always been a fan of The Howling, but on my recent re-watch I found myself enjoying this even more than I recalled. I enjoyed every aspect of The Howling, but even impatient viewers should be impressed by The Howling’s spectacular werewolf effects and its seriously ass-kicking finale.

**********

#5 THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961)

Directed By: Terence Fisher

If you know me, you know I love my Hammer films! If a Hammer werewolf film exists there is a good chance it would make my list. Surprise! Hammer does have a werewolf film in their catalogue helmed by one of Hammer’s best directors; Terence Fisher! The Curse of the Werewolf is lushly filmed, with stunning sets and costumes and a stirring mood thick with atmosphere. Its enthralling story and wonderfully unique spin on the werewolf origin, and an absolutely superb and empathetic performance from Oliver Reed is what landed it in the top ten. It is a shame to spoil the peculiar but original origins of the werewolf but they do adhere to most of the classic werewolf hokum. There is a love story, transformations by the full moon, and a compassionate and empathetic central character that is on par with my number two pick. The effects and makeup are awesome; I really love the light coloring for the werewolf. The Curse of the Werewolf is beautiful, mesmerizing and mysterious mayhem at its most masterful!

**********

#4 THE NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF (1981)

Directed By: Paul Naschy

I adore Paul Naschy! Mr. Naschy has played a werewolf 11 times. Naschy does double duty as director and lead actor of The Night of the Werewolf; he totally rocks in both roles! It is not the first Paul Naschy film to open with Elizabeth Bathory and an execution, but it is the best one! The film moves to current day 1981 with a trio of attractive (duh) female college students who are seeking out the grave of Countess Elizabeth Bathory. This one serves up vampires with its werewolf; but the film’s focus is definitely the werewolf. Okay, I admit, I made somewhat of an exception here for Mr. Naschy. Naschy plays the Waldemar Daninsky character in most of his werewolf films. He is great as the strong and troubled Daninsky and he always puts everything he’s got into his werewolf performance. I loved the werewolf makeup and the transformations and there is plenty of blood spilled! The film looks great all around; cool sets, nifty props, groovy wardrobes, nudity, gore, vampires, and a freaking werewolf! What the hell is not to like? Paul Naschy and The Night of the Werewolf is wickedly sweet, hardcore howlingly good entertainment!

**********

#3 GINGER SNAPS (2000)

Directed By: John Fawcett

If you have been following this project, you probably already guessed Ginger Snaps was going to make the list. I reviewed both Ginger Snaps sequels and went on and on about my love for the original; I actually referred to this film as an “epiphany”. That is some strong language for me to use when I am talking about a film from the past decade. Ginger Snaps is smart, well-written, has great effects and an absolutely brilliant performance from its two lead actresses; Katherine Isabel and Emily Perkins. The two women have the most amazing chemistry; you do not question their relationship or motivations for a second. Much credit does belong to the writers who create two of the most interesting and likable teenage characters to appear in a horror film in bloody eons. This is the second film on this list where sexual coming-of-age symbolism is used to great effect. Everything about Ginger Snaps is effective. Ginger Snaps is not only an amazing werewolf film, it is one of the best horror films to come out of the past decade.

**********

#2 THE WOLF MAN (1941)

Directed By: George Waggner

When I started this blog it was my intention to discover more classics of the black and white variety. I’ve seen numerous titles since, and The Wolf Man, without a doubt, has been one of my personal favourites. Visually the film is flawless. Fog shrouded forests, gypsy caravans, beautiful massive estates, eerie crypts and a dark moody vibe full of mystery and horror. The entire cast are outstanding, but it is Lon Chaney Jr’s portrayal of the tragic Lawrence Talbot that stays with me. I love the simple but engrossing story which would pave the way for many a werewolf film that followed. I love the idea of werewolves; man’s struggle with the inner beast, human instinct and animal instinct colliding! It is a big part of what appeals to me about the sub-genre. Universal’s The Wolf Man captures this conflict so brilliantly. I’ve mentioned several times throughout this project that I prefer the half-man, half-wolf type werewolf and Chaney’s timeless portrait of the tortured Talbot and the solid creature makeup will forever be engraved into my heart. The Wolf Man is one of the most endearing horror films I’ve ever seen; an absolute classic!

**********

#1 AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981)

Directed By: John Landis

There are a few movie going experiences one never forgets. One of those for me was An American Werewolf in London. It is the one and only time I snuck into a movie before I was old enough to get in. We missed the first 15 minutes and I was so freaked out I made myself nauseous and couldn’t eat my popcorn. But it was so worth it! The effects in An American Werewolf in London blew my mind back in the day! I’ve watched this film many times since and the effects still blow my mind! Without a doubt, it is one of the most visually arresting uses of practical effects to ever grace a horror flick. It is a fantastic looking film all around. The Wales countryside is a beautiful location that also offers an eerie and intimidating vastness. An American Werewolf in London has the perfect marriage of comedy and horror. The film has some great laughs but still manages some serious intensity. David Naughton and Griffin Dunne are the perfect duo and both deliver great performances. And bloody hell!! What an ending! An American Werewolf in London has long been a favourite horror film and will have a place on my top 100 list forever. I will love this movie until I die.

**********

Films reviewed during this project:

Romasanta

Howling V: The Rebirth

Curse of the Devil

She-Wolf of London

The Werewolf of Washington

I was a Teenage Werewolf

The Mad Monster

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning

Ginger Snaps: Unleased

The Wolfman

Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory

The Fury of the Wolf Man

Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man

The Beast Must Die

Werewolves on Wheels

**********

THE BROOD (1979) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in Canada, horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2010 by goregirl

“The Ultimate Experience Of Inner Terror”

I did a little blurb about David Cronenberg when I first started this blog, but I am shocked that The Brood is my first full-length review of one of his films. What the hell is wrong with me?! Cronenberg is without a doubt one of my favourite directors of all time. I am particularly fond of Cronenberg’s older stuff referred to as “body horror” which is certainly apt as the body is transformed, infected and diseased in the most grotesque of ways. While the premise of his films seem wildly outrageous, Cronenberg’s intelligently written plots make you believe the impossible may actually be possible. Cronenberg’s films boast unforgettable scenes of gore and violence and some of the genre’s most perfectly cast leads. Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, James Wood in Videodrome, Christopher Walken in The Dead Zone, Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringers to name a few. Cronenberg includes social commentary, humour and various obsessions in his stories and character development is always an important component. I could go on for days about Cronenberg, but I’ll sum it up by just saying I think the man is brilliant. His flicks get under my skin and that really turns me on.

Psychotherapist Dr. Hal Raglan is using an unconventional treatment with his patients called Psychoplasmics. The method encourages the patient to work through the emotion until it physically manifests itself. Dr. Raglan demonstrates with an audience attended therapy session where we see one man abused by his father develop welts on his skin. Nola Carveth becomes the focus of Dr. Raglan’s unorthodox treatments due to her extraordinary adaptation to the therapy. Nola receives weekend visits from her young daughter Candy that is important to her therapy. But after ex-husband Frank picks up Candy after one such visit and finds her bruised and scratched he puts an immediate end to the visitations. Dr. Raglan attempts to reason with Frank, understandably to no avail. Shortly after, Nola’s abusive mother is found brutally murdered. Even more disconcerting they discover the dead body of a mutated child who appears to be the one responsible for the death.

Oliver Reed is the perfect choice for Dr. Raglan and brings charisma, strength and authority to the mad doctor role. The idea of Psychoplasmics is eerie. The ability to materialize your anxiety, fear or anger would be a pretty unsettling ability to have if you ask me. I’m not sure the Psychoplasmic therapy is actually helpful to the patients in any way. It seems more of a burden than anything. A rather horrifying burden as a matter of fact! The wonderfully wide-eyed Samantha Eggar plays Nola Carveth exquisitely. There is no disputing that Nola is disturbed, but along with the psychosis and rage she brings a certain amount of empathy to the role. Cindy Hinds who plays Candice Carveth barely speaks the entire film. The solemn little girl sees some pretty disturbing things but has this numbness to it that is chilling. The films final shot of Candy suggests that the apple may not fall far from the tree. My one and only complaint about The Brood is the casting of Art Hindle as Frank Carveth. Frank is supposed to be the sane character in the story, and Hindle isn’t awful in the role, he’s just kind of generic and flat. Sharing the screen with Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar doesn’t do Hindle any favours. He is the only minor blemish on an otherwise brilliant piece of filmmaking.

The mood and atmosphere in The Brood is perfect, and hints from the start that something is not quite right. When Frank finds bruises on his five-year-old daughter after picking her up from a weekend visit with mom, we get our first hint of the horror to come. The film is well paced and the steadily building tension is spot on. There isn’t a ton of violence but what there is will certainly leave an impression. The climax is one of the greatest horror moments of all time! It’s a visual assault even after multiple viewings! (I intentionally included no spoilers in this review, but if you want the films monumental moment ruined you will have no trouble whatsoever finding reviews with spoilers galore and pictures to back it up). Another great scene takes place in a kindergarten class with a bunch of child actors who probably grew up seriously traumatized thanks to Cronenberg! The effects are impressive, particularly those featured in the finale. The makeup on the mutant children is very creepy. From the back or a distance the mutant tikes blend in nicely bundled in their winter snowsuits. Little kids in snowsuits scared the hell out of me for years after seeing this film.

As mentioned in my opening statement, Cronenberg has a way of making the impossible seem horrible possible and The Brood is a perfect example. The minds power over the body is a fascinating topic, which Cronenberg takes to a whole new frightening level with his Psychoplasmics. Harnessing negative emotion and creating something physical may seem absurd but it is completely believable in Cronenberg’s world. The Brood is full of anger, bitterness and trauma with some seriously ass kicking final scenes that will stay with you long after you’ve turned off the DVD player. The Brood is suspenseful, intense and chilling. Hell hath no fury like Nola Caveth scorned. Highest of recommendations.

Dungeon Rating: 5/5

Directed By: David Cronenberg

Starring: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle, Henry Beckman, Nuala Fitzgerald, Cindy Hinds, Susan Hogan, Gary McKeehan