8 comments on “The Brood (1979)

  1. I don’t think the comparisons of this to SCANNERS is fair. Let me just say that I HATE THE BROOD. Of all the Cronenberg films (and I’ve pretty much seen all of them), it’s the one I hate the most, precisely because it’s just so damn boring. I think Cronenberg himself called it his most straightforward horror film. Personally, I think THE BROOD marks Cronenberg’s shift from his early period to his greatest run of films (1980s). SHIVERS and RABID exhibited an almost raw and chaotic yet amateurish nature. THE BROOD, on the other hand, feels a lot more restrained and “cleaner” looking.

    SCANNERS saw Cronenberg really come into his own. It featured all of his core themes, plus his ability to work a script and set aside a relevant tone. SCANNERS is usually classified as a horror/sci-fi, but to me feels almost like a political thriller at times. There’s a real political conspiracy undertone to it. As for the pacing, I disagree; while it was off in a few places, I thought it ran rather well. With THE BROOD, there was really no mood and, aside from what you argue is anti-women (which I’ll neither agree nor disagree with), there was still not one thing meritorious I could find with it. Yes, SCANNERS had some bad acting (Stephen Lack really lives up to his name), but for sheer Cronenberg delights, I think it’s very good, and the first truly Cronenbergian film. It also had a “voice”, which THE BROOD severely lacked.

    I think very few can surpass the run he had in the 1980s (all the way to DEAD RINGERS), before he entered an even more bizarre period. Between his early period and the 1980s, THE BROOD was the anomaly, and I think it was far FAR worse than SCANNERS.

    • I definitely would give Scanners a second chance. Michael Ironsides was fantastic (so underrated as a villain in my opinion) and the gore was just as the great, I think think the story unfolded too slowly and yes, Stephen Lack was duller than dirt. My mother actually loves this and Rabid but I think a lot of that has to do with nostalgia and when I told her I hated this all she could remember was being scared as a kid so I think nostalgia colored her perspective when she recommended this to me lol. I agree the 80s brought Cronenberg into his own, something that he’s slowly been losing since Eastern Promises. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who hated this though. Thanks for reading!

  2. I think you should give SCANNERS another watch (Cronenberg is one of those directors whose films almost always get better with more viewings, even if you liked them before [THE BROOD is an exception for me]). SCANNERS has a lot of underlying themes which Cronenberg utilized freely in the 1980s, and I don’t just mean the sex and violence and gore. There is a touch of fate-versus-free-will thing, choice-and-control, and the notion of what makes one human, and humanity. These are all themes which he expanded on pretty much every single film he made, including Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, and even Crash and Naked Lunch.

    • You’ve convinced me to give Scanners a second try lol. I did watch Videodrome a few months ago and that’s another one I need to give a second look (might need a Cronenberg weekend in the future).

      • Apologies for subjecting you to my wordy tyranny. I get a bit too passionate sometimes.

        Cronenberg is odd in that he’s a pretty critically acclaimed director, but he’s also, in a way, divisive. He’s been called one of the most challenging directors in the world. If you’ve not seen films like CRASH or NAKED LUNCH, you’re in for a surprise. I think key is not to expect too much with him (which is contradictory given the praise people have piled on him), but even then you’ll be oddly surprised.

      • Haha no problem, I think anyone who watches/writes/enjoys movies does so because their passionate so I expect it. You’re right about Cronenberg he is divisive for sure. I love several of his films although I haven’t completed his filmography yet. Crash and Naked Lunch are still on my must-see list. As for them being a surprise I expect that out of every Crone film lol.

  3. Pingback: The Month in Film: October 2012 | Journeys in Classic Film

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