Meet the Makers
Meet the Makers: Early Films of David Cronenberg
When “David Cronenberg” is uttered, of the people who recognize his name, most will associate him with his most recent and more widely appealing films like A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. Within this group of movie-watchers, many will recall his more recognizable films like The Fly and Dead Zone. If we dig even deeper, some of these film enthusiasts will even acknowledge an awareness of more controversial films like Naked Lunch and Videodrome. However, only the true movie geeks will be familiar with his early works, which ultimately defined Cronenberg’s later work to a very influential extent …
[David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father was a journalist, and his mother was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early age (he wrote and published eerie short stories, thus following his father’s path) and for music (playing classical guitar until he was 12), Cronenberg graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Literature after switching from the science department.] — IMDB.com
Shivers (1975) marked Cronenberg’s entry into the world of serious film-making, also propelling him quickly into a cult status rivaled by few. Shivers revolves around a high-rise apartment building and its tenants, who become crazed nymphomaniacs after being infected by a genetically engineered parasite developed by a scientist living in the building. The tenants are now obsessed with spreading this parasite via any possible sexually transmitted method possible. Shivers would be the first in a line of films dealing with a favorite theme of Cronenberg’s … our fears of our own bodies and sexuality.
Rabid (1977) continues this theme of Cronenberg’s curiosity towards the human paradox of sexual lust and tension. Rabid stars Marilyn Chambers (Behind the Green Door) as Rose, a woman who finds herself craving human blood after completing an experimental plastic surgery. As she continues to indulge her urges, her victims are turning into rabid zombies who also crave blood, seeking out victims who in turn become infected, leading to a large-scale epidemic. Cronenberg created a new version of the vampire/zombie flick that is still very engaging and freaky.
The Brood (1979) is Cronenberg’s third film in a thread dealing with a correlation between the human body, sexual tendencies and the human fear of bodily mutation. The Brood tells the tale of a woman who is seeking treatment from a mysteriously secretive psychiatrist. Once her husband finds bruises on their daughter, he attempts to ban any further contact between his daughter and her mother, but experiences resistance from the shrink. The husband begins to suspect very strange and dangerous connections to the psychiatrist’s techniques after the woman’s parents are brutally attacked by a brood of grotesquely mutated children.