The Brood(1979)(Review)[Weirdo Wednesday]
David Cronenberg is considered one of the godfather's of Gore, the sultan of psychological terror, one of the primary Canadian horror directors. While his most recent efforts have been more dramatic or action-oriented, his early catalog is full of nightmare fuel of all varieties. The only piece of his I can say I'm really familiar with is his remake of 'The Fly' and I love it. And so recently I've decided to begin seeing what all of the fuss was about.
A divorced mother and father are in a custody battle for their daughter. The husband is the primary caregiver while the wife is spending time at a home/hospital for psychological health. Her doctor is renowned for new breakthroughs in the progress of mental healing and development. But his methods are experimental and generally shielded from the public. But when the daughter, Candace, visits her mother and comes home with bruises, the father begins to worry and investigate with some extreme measures.
Eventually, people caught between the two of them begin to drop dead. And there are these strange little creatures running around and leaving prints at every scene.
At its core, 'The Brood' is a tale of divorce at the expense of the child. It's heart-wrenching and features some seriously scary images. It's been dubbed as the body-horror version of "Kramer Vs. Kramer", and it's one of the director's most personal films. It is widely known that he had recently gone through a bitter divorce and you can see him work out his problems through the creation of this. Which makes the heart at the center of it all resonate so much harder. On first viewing it's disturbing, but on second viewing it's emotional. Cronenberg seems to have that affect with most all of his works - they change right in front of your eyes and within your memories (which is ironically the ultimate body horror gag).
The movie is really scary and has an ending full of disgust and haunting images that Cronenberg is widely known for. But it's also one of his most straight-forward and easily digestible titles. He has many experimental outings through the years, but this one is brick-wall-solid and includes one scene in particular that is distressing and harrowing just to watch. (Hint: Two orange jackets). I love it, it's so powerful, and it's earned it's way into my top 3 of his so far on my expedition through his catalog.
'The Brood' is currently streaming on HBO Max.
Have you seen this film? What are your thoughts on it? And what is your favorite David Cronenberg piece? I may just cover them in the near future.
'Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra