This Memorable Prop From David Cronenberg's Crash Ended Up In Unexpected Place

The king of body horror, David Cronenberg, has made a career exploring physical discomfort in his art. As the director has grown older, he himself has had to experience more and more ailments that align him with the experiences of his characters. Perhaps the most damaged people Cronenberg has ever brought to life onscreen can be found in his controversial 1996 film "Crash," based on the J.G. Ballard novel of the same name.

"Crash" stars James Spader as a movie producer who plays erotic games with his wife. When Spader gets into a car accident with a mysterious doctor, he and his wife become privy to an underground world of weirdos who are turned on by automobile crashes. This group will gather to simulate famous car wrecks and even crash into each other for kicks. The psychological thriller is highly sexual and calls into question the viewer's own sexuality. The director hopes that "Crash" will prompt the viewer to think that although "these feelings [seem] completely distant and impossible for me, I do have a kinship with these characters," he told American Cinematographer. 

Part of the sexual deviance in "Crash" includes a fixed attraction to injuries sustained from the car wrecks, like the leg scars on Rosanna Arquette's character. These wounds are adorned and aided by props like canes or leg braces. Lots of memorable props decorate the sci-fi universe of David Cronenberg, from the telepods in "The Fly" to the typewriter-bug in "Naked Lunch." However, one prop from "Crash" in particular ended up in a highly unlikely home.

Rosanna Arquette's leg braces are in a secret location

Cronenberg revealed that Rosanna Arquette's leg braces from "Crash" ended up in a very unexpected place in a Q&A at TIFF. The director revealed that "nobody knows, but... the canes that Rosanna Arquette uses in the movie are in my bedroom." The prop found its way to the filmmaker's bedside because he blew out his back a few days prior to the Q&A. The "Videodrome" director, nearly immobilized by pain, was using the braces to walk around. Doing so made him feel a true "connection" to Arquette's character, although he claims he "wasn't wearing the net stockings."

As for Arquette herself, she was grappling with her own physical discomfort during filming that she brought directly to the role. The actress had just given birth to a daughter and was breastfeeding during the shoot. Arquette says the director encouraged her to lactate during her sex scene with James Spader, to heighten the elements of bodily perversion. When she inevitably did, she felt that Cronenberg "may have gone too far" and the shot was cut (via Page Six).

The lactation may have been removed from the final draft, but the leg wounds persisted as a fixed perversion for the characters in "Crash." The braces adorned and accentuated this fetishistic obsession with injury. It is ironic that the director would inevitably need to use them himself to support his own ailing body. Cronenberg's "Crash" remains incredibly polarizing, but persists as an unforgettable entry in the legendary director's canon. It is hilarious to imagine that the props ended up being used in real life so many years after the film's release.