David Cronenberg Turns 80, Go Inside His Warped Mind With Our Favorite Films
Master of body modification horror David Cronenberg celebrates his 80th birthday today. Getting his start in the late ’60s in Canada, it wasn’t until his first feature film Shivers in 1975 that he started make his mark in the sci-fi and horror realm. And what a mark he has made! Cronenberg is known for his very surreal and nightmarish body transformation approach to filmmaking. Here we count down some of our favorites through out the years.
Some of these trailers may be a bit disturbing, and trust us when we say we found the tamest ones possible. Oh and we wouldn’t recommend watching before bed as we did when looking them up. It may just haunt your dreams.
So lets get started!
Starring James Woods and Blondie’s leading lady Deborah Harry is the tale of an X-rated UHF TV programmer at a small station who is trying to track down a strange pirate broadcast he has discovered. In the end he finds a bizarre world beyond his wildest imagination! This one was on the cutting edge of “virtual”reality”.
Dead Ringers (1988)
Probably one of his tamer movies graphically but certainly not in storyline. It’s about twin gynecologists brothers who both are courting the same woman although, she has no idea until things start to fall apart toward the end and the brothers start to come apart at the seams. Stars Oscar winner Jeremy Irons as both brothers.
We should also mention there will be an even creepier reimagining made into a series of the same name coming out April 21 on Prime Video, but this time is twin sisters and stars Rachel Weisz
Naked Lunch (1991)
Loosely based on the works of author William S. Burroughs and how his drug-induced writing process was, this movie stars Peter Weller, who plays an exterminator and writer in the 1950s. After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill insects, it takes him down a rabbit hole of strange hallucinations including a secret government plot run by giant insects. This truly is one of the weirdest ones in our opinion, and left us scratching our heads after the first time we saw it.
The next big break after Shivers is about telekinesis and psychokinesis in people with strong psychic powers, referred to as “scanners.” Trying to fight a group of renegade scanners trying to conquer the world, Cameron Vale (Steven Lack), led by the help of scientist Dr. Paul Ruth (Patrick McGoohan), battling to take them down before it’s too late.
The Dead Zone (1983)
Definitely a little more mainstream then some of his other films, this is his adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Dead Zone” novel about a man who wakes from a coma to find he has psychic powers. Stars Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt and Martin Sheen.
The Fly (1986)
Probably his best-know film was The Fly, a reimagining of the 1958 film that starred Vincent Price. Jeff Goldblum stars in this version as an eccentric scientist who starts to undergo a transformation to, well, a fly, from an experiment gone wrong. It also stars Geena Davis and John Getz, and won an Oscar for best makeup.
Another super bizarre virtual reality film. This one is about world re-known game designer Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who is on the run from assassins. She drags a marketing trainee, Ted Pikul (Jude Law), in to play the game in order to make sure the only copy not damaged. Phew, sure glad this one hasn’t made it onto Oculus yet!
Still at it, Cronenberg had a movie released in 2022, Crimes of the Future, starring Viggo Mortensen, about humans adapting to a synthetic future. It is just as out-there as any of the afore mentioned films, and according to IMDB he still has some works in pre-production.
With that, happy birthday David Cronenberg, thanks for you visionary tales and nightmare fuel!
Drac is Back! Delve into some of the best vampire fare in TV, movies, radio and books.Buy This Issue