Weirdest David Cronenberg films

David Cronenberg‘s new film Maps to the Stars is in theaters and on VOD, and every time a new film arrives from the director I end up going back through his years of prior work to find new connections and ideas. It takes a while, sometimes, to really find where one of his films sits in the grand scheme of things. (I’m still trying to sort out Cosmopolis, frankly.) This time, I kept focusing on the weirdness of Cronenberg, which is what everyone focuses on in his films at some point. But this was more about the unusual connection between his subjective visions of reality and our own experience rather than eye-popping visuals. This isn’t an overview of David Cronenberg’s full career, but just to set out an organizing principle, what follows are 11 of the Weirdest David Cronenberg films, as they relate to our own lives.

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David Cronenberg’s first commercial feature was the great low-budget shocker Shivers (aka They Came From Within), in which the residents of an ultra-modern apartment complex are infected by a strange parasite. The parasite removes inhibitions, and drives its hosts into frenzies of sex and violence. Eventually the whole complex is full of a swirling mass of people that all look like they’ve taken their cosplay of scenes from Caligula a little too far.

The movie has a lot of people making out, some really weird little crawling parasite worms, and a healthy dose of early body horror in the signature Cronenberg style. It’s pretty great, but unfortunately not all that easy to see as the US DVD has been out of print for a few years.

Now, because we’re so much more comfortable with intertwined sex and violence on screen than we were when Cronenberg made the movie in ’75, Shivers is being remade. Read More »