David Cronenberg, after the experimental short films
in his native Toronto Crimes of the Future and Stereo,
directed the horror-sexual orgy
Shivers (1975), also known as They Came From Within,
a wild merry-go-round of rape, bestiality, pedophilia and murder.
Rabid (1976) is inspired by Romero's
Night Of The Living Dead (1968).
A young man and a young woman are riding on a motorcycle in the countryside
when they collide with a van that got stuck in the middle of the road.
The motorcycle explodes: the young man survives almost unhurt, but the woman
survives and is transported in terminal conditions to a nearby hospital
specializing in plastic surgery. The doctors operate but she remains in
She wakes up in the middle of the night. A doctor runs to her bed.
She hugs him and engages in a blood-sucking orgasm. A part of her body
is now capable of sucking blood from others. The doctor survives but is
left with no memory of what happened.
The following night she wakes up again. This time she leaves the hospital,
running under the rain, almost raped by a drunkard. Then runs back to the
hospital and drowns a nurse in the hot tub to suck her blood.
Rose tries to call her boyfriend for help.
In the meantime her first victim takes a taxi and bites the driver, thereby
causing a crash in which both die. Her second victim, the drunkard, enters
a restaurant and bites both a customer and the waitress. Rose's boyfriend
hears the news while he is driving with a friend, who happens to be
the partner of the hospital's chief, towards the hospital.
The girl runs away after yet another biting. When her boyfriend gets to the
hospital, there are police officers all over the place: they captured
her latest victim, the chief, who is being like a rabid dog and even bit
Rose has hitched a ride on a truck, and then on a car, and leaves behind
a wake of rabid victims. The rabids behave like zombies.
Rose finds shelter at a girlfriend's, and is aware of having become a monster,
but keeps striking.
The disease is spreading and her own girlfriend witnesses a rabid woman
biting a passenger on the subway. So do the experts who are coming to the
rescue, their driver assaulted in broad daylight by construction workers.
Even Rose herself witnesses a rabid man terrorizing the crowd in a shopping
Television broadcasts emergency instructions to the population.
The partner of the hospital and his little baby are also victims of the rabids.
The boyfriend's car is attacked as well, and he is saved by a squad of
snipers, whose job is to shoot them on sight.
Frank is still looking for Rose and finally finds her: she is finishing up
her girlfriend. Frank sees clearly the organ in her arm that she uses to
suck blood and spread the rabies. They fight, Frank falls, Rose runs away.
Brood (1979) is a psychological thriller that aims at placing terror
in the realm of private traumas. While far less successful than Rabid,
it experiments with stereotypes that Cronenberg will reprise later.
Nola is a divorcee, mentally instable, and cared by a creepy Dr. Raglan in
his private hospital in the woods. Raglan's
innovative technique consists in reviving the anger that drove people mad.
Nola's ex-husband Frank takes care of their little daughter.
Mysterious "dwarf" spread terror by killing harmless innocents who happen to
be related to Nola's family: Nola's mother, her daughter's sweet teacher who
befriended Frank, and so forth.
Somehow this happens every time Nola has a crisis.
Frank, alarmed by the disappearance of his daughter, confronts Dr. Raglan,
who tells him the children are real children of Nola.
Nola is capable of bearing an instant child, a creature that
somehow absorbs the rage she still feels from a childhood trauma when she
was abused. and then releases her anger by killing the people she hates.
Raglan convinces Frank to entertain Nola and give him a chance to free the
daughter. While Nola shows Frank her horrible womb and how she can make an
instant baby, Raglan walks into the room where all the creatures are sleeping
and carries away the girl. But Nola realizes that Frank is lying to her and
gets angry: the creatures wake up and attack Raglan. They surround him and
rip him apart. Then they chase the girl and are about to get her. Frank
has to strangle Nola to stop them.
Fast Company (1979) is a detour into drag racing.
Scanners (1981) is a sci-fi horror film.
Videodrome (1983) mixes pornography, sadomasochism, mind control, and media.
The Dead Zone (1983) is an adaptation of a Stephen King story.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da
Lussana Marcello )
Rabid (1976) ispirato al film "La notte dei morti viventi" di
Un ragazzo e una ragazza stanno viaggiando su una motocicletta quando
si scontrano con
un furgone che e' rimasto bloccato in mezzo alla strada. La
motocicletta esplode: il ragazzo sopravvive quasi illeso, mentre la
donna in condizioni terminali e' trasportata all'ospedale piu' vicino,
che e' specializzato in chirurgia plastica. I dottori operano la ragazza
che rimane in coma. Si sveglia nel cuore della notte. Un dottore corre
al suo letto. Lei lo stringe forte a se con un orgasmo succhia-sangue.
Il dottore sopravvive ma senza ricordarsi niente di quello che e'
La notte seguente si sveglia ancora,questa volta lasciando l'ospedale,
correndo sotto la pioggia, finendo quasi stuprata da un ubriacone. Poi
ritorna all'ospedale e annega un'infermiera in una tinozza di acqua
bollente per succhiargli il sangue.
Rose prova a chiamare aiuto al suo ragazzo.
Intanto la prima vittima prende un taxi e morsica l'autista,causando
in questo modo un incidente nel quale entrambi muoiono. La seconda
vittima, l'ubriacone, entra in un ristorante dove morsica un cliente e
una cameriera. Il ragazzo di Rose sente la notizia mentre sta andando in
macchina con un amica (che casualmente e' la partner del capo
dell'ospedale) verso l'ospedale.
La ragazza riesce a fuggire via ma solo dopo essere stata morsicata.
Quando il suo ragazzo arriva all'ospedale, ci sono ufficiali di polizia
tutt'intorno al palazzo: hanno catturato l'ultima vittima, il capo
dell'ospedale, che si sta comportando come un cane rabbioso e aver
morsicato persino due poliziotti.
Rose ha fatto l'autostop su di un camion e poi su una macchina,
lasciandosi dietro una scia di vittime rabbiose. I rabbiosi si
comportano come zombie.
Rose trova riparo da un'amica, ma pur essendo consapevole di essere
diventata un mostro, lo tiene segreto.
La malattia si sta spargendo e la sua stessa amica assiste alla scena
di una donna rabbiosa che morsica un passeggero della metropolitana. Lo
stesso succede a dei tecnici che stanno raggiungendo la salvezza: il
loro autista e' pero' assaltato da operai edili in pieno giorno e in
mezzo alla strada. Pure Rose e' testimone di un uomo rabbioso che
terrorizza la gente in un centro commerciale.
Le trasmissioni televisive d'emergenza istruiscono la popolazione.
La partner del capo dell'ospedale e il suo piccolo bambino sono anche
loro vittime dei rabbiosi. Pure la macchina del ragazzo di Rose e'
attaccata ma viene salvata da una squadra di tiratori scelti, il cui
compito e' di sparare ai rabbiosi a vista.
Frank continua a cercare Rose e alla fine la trova: sta finendo la sua
Frank vede chiaramente l'organo nelle mani di Rose che usa per
succhiare il sangue e spargere la rabbia. Frank e Rose lottano: Frank
cade, Rose scappa via.
Brood (1979), tradotto da Paola Cavallini
Nola e' una donna divorziata, mentalmente instabile, in cura dal terribile Dott. Raglan nella sua clinica privata tra i
boschi. L' innovativa tecnica di cura di Raglan consiste nel far rivivere la rabbia che porto' questi soggetti alla
pazzia. L'ex-marito di Nola, Frank, nel frattempo si prende cura della loro bambina piccola.
Un misterioso "nano" sparge il terrore uccidendo alcune persone innocenti a cui accade di entrare in relazione con
la famiglia di Nola: la madre di Nola, la simpatica insegnante della sua bambina che e' diventata amica di Frank, e
In qualche modo, tutto cio' accade ogni volta che Nola ha una delle sue crisi.
Frank, allaramto per la saprizione della figlia, affronta il Dott. Raglan, che gli spiega che i bambini sono davvero
figli di Nola.
Nola infatti e' in grado di dare alla luce in brevissimo tempo un bambino, una creatura che in qualche modo
assorbe la rabbia che lei ancora prova a causa di un trauma infantile causato da una violenza subita, e cosi' lei
scarica la sua rabbia uccidendo le persone che odia.
Raglan convince Frank a distrarre Nola in modo da dargli la possibilita' di liberare sua figlia. Mentre Nola mostra a
Frank il suo orribile utero e come sia in grado di creare dei bambini con esso, Raglan entra nella stanza dove le
creature stanno dormendo e porta via la bambina. Nola si rende pero' conto che Frank le sta mentendo, e si
arrabbia: le creature si risvegliano ed attaccano Raglan. Lo circondano e lo fanno a pezzi. Poi inseguono la
bambina e stanno per farle fare la stessa fine. Frank e' costretto a strangolare Nola per fermarle.
If English is your first language and you could translate the Italian text, please contact me. |
The Fly (1986) was a sensational remake of the 1958 horror film.
Dead Ringers (1988), tratto da un bestseller,
Due gemelli sono diventati i massimi esperti mondiali di malattie sessuali,
insigniti di premi e onoroficenze. Vivono insieme e condividono tutto, anche
le ragazze, dalle quali sono morbosamente attratti.
Beverly e` un vero chirurgo, Elliot passa gran parte del tempo a dare seminari.
Un giorno si presenta loro una nuova cliente, un'attrice che vuole a tutti
i costi avere un figlio. I gemelli scoprono cio` che altri ginecologi non
aveva scoperto: che il suo utero e` deforme.
Cio` scatena la libidine dei gemelli. Prima e` Elliot ad approfittarne. Poi
Beverly addirittura se ne innamora follemente.
Ma Claire scopre che lui ha un fratello e per di piu` gemello e per di piu`
vivono insieme. Claire intuisce la verita` e Elliot confessa candidamente.
Elliot e` divertito, ma Beverly e` invece distrutto. Elliot e` freddo e
cinico, ma Beverly e` emotivo e sensibile.
Claire ha l'involontario effetto di distaccare progressivamente Beverly da
Elliot (l'incubo di lei che morde il cordone ombelicale).
Quando Claire la lascia per qualche giorno per andare a girare un film,
Beverly impazzisce di solitudine. Prima si droga, poi supplica un artista
di fabbricare strumenti per studiare donne mutanti e sbaglia alcune
operazioni. Elliot tenta di aiutarlo, ma a sua volta viene influenzato
dalla sua pazzia, come se il sangue dell'uno fluisse in quello dell'altro.
Decidono pertanto di separarsi, come se fossero sempre stati due gemelli
siamesi, con una complicata operazione.
Cronenberg fa un uso minimo dei mezzi tradizionali del suo horror.
Naked Lunch (1991) is a bold rendition of William Burroughs' novel.
The director manages to turn the delirious narrative into a more or less
linear plot. Basically,
Cronenberg interprets Burroughs' novel literally: what was a series of delirious
drug visions turns into a sci-fi epic.
The film's main drawback is that it flows at a terribly slow pace.
William Lee is a bug exterminator who has a problem: somebody is stealing his
roach poison and threatening his business.
At home he finds out that his neurotic wife, Joan, has been using the powder as a
potent drug that turns her (mentally) into a bug.
His doctor, Benway, is an expert in drugs and the head of the company running
Interzone: he recommends a potion to free William's wife from the addiction.
The police arrest him for drug trafficking. They test his powder on a giant
bug and leave William alone with the beast. The beast starts talking to him,
trying to recruit him for the Interzone and talk him into
killing his wife.
William grabs a shoe and kills the bug, then runs home.
But one day William finds his wife in bed (or better, on the couch) with
a friend and kills her.
Wanted by the police, William trades his gun
for a typewriter and escapes to the InterZone, a
decadent, labyrinthine Arab city.
He is welcome by a green reptile, the Mugwump, who asks him to write a daily
report on his experiences in the Interzone.
His typewriter turns into a bug with the mouth of a vulva that encourages him
to engage in homosexuality.
As he wanders from bar to bar, William realizes that
the Interzone has a vast supply of cute boys.
One of them, Kiki, becomes his lover.
William feels lonely and would like to escape from the Interzone.
His life is now invaded by bugs: a black centipede crawls in the shower,
two typewriters turn into bugs and engage in a bloody fight,...
His talking typewriter tells him to seduce Joan, the sophisticated wife of
writer Tom, herself a writer, who can actually write arabic
on an odd typewriter that opens like a vagina. As he talks to her she
gets excited. They make love but are interrupted by her jealous nazi
housekeeper, Fadela, who
practices magic in order to control Joan.
Her husband Tom does not seem to mind the love affair, but
he wants William to return the typewriter he borrowed.
William's friends Hank and Martin arrive in Interzone and witness William's
unhappiness. They leave and warn William to return as soon as he has finished
William meets Yves, a dandy who befriends him. The Mugwump appears in William's
room and warns him that Yves can turn into a centipede.
William lets Yves take him for a ride in the countryside.
Yves seduces William's gay lover Kiki but, when they have sex, they turn into
William pursues Joan at the meatmarket of the mugwumps (where their blood
is used as a drug). They meet Fadela, who pulls out her skin and
reveals herself to be Dr Benway in disguise.
William gets his permission to elope with Joan.
William and Joan jump on a tank and drive towards the border.
Border guards demand that William proves he is truly a writer.
Instead, William shoots Joan in the head, just like he did with his wife,
and the border guard tells him "welcome to Annexia".
M. Butterfly (1993) is a diligent adaptation of David Henry Hwang's Tony-winning play.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx) |
Se sei interessato a tradurre questo testo, contattami
Crash (1996), from J.G. Ballard's science fiction novel, is a
glorification of sex and cars, the mythological foundations of so much
Hollywood cinema, in a a dark, mysterious, brooding tone
(a Twin Peaks-kind of atmosphere), obsessively showing devastating
crashes and visceral sex.
A woman makes love against the windshield of a car,
taken from behind by her lover. James is the producer of pornofilms.
At home, the wind opens the skirt of the girl from behind, on the balcony,
while James observes her.
The two have sexual affairs with others, but candidly report them to
each other at home.
James is driving recklessly (he was trying to reach for some of his porno
material) and hits a car. The driver is ejected into his
windshield and dies. The wife, Helen, is paralyzed in her seat (unfastens her
seatbelt and so exposes her breast).
James is hospitalized with a broken leg and is cared by his icy and sexy lover,
Helen is hospitalized in the same hospital.
Back at home, James watches traffic from the balcony through a binocular,
always cared for by his sensual girlfriend in an almost fatal/noir tone.
James meets Helen when they both visit their cars at the junkyard.
Helen is cold but polite and accepts a ride in his car.
After he almost killed them in another accident, the two make love in the car.
At home, James then has sex with Catherine on an armchair.
Helen takes James to see a show organized by her friend Vaughan, whom she met
at the hospital. Vaughan, scarred and limping, hires stunt drivers to recreate
famous car crashes, in the middle of the night in remote locations.
The audience pays just to see them crash into one another at high-speed.
The police send them home. One of the actors is hurt.
Vaughan drives James and Helen and in the car he touches the woman who
At Vaughan's home they meet Vaughan's bizarre and crippled girlfriend,
legs are broken and kept together by steel ligaments.
Vaughan is an amateur scientist who is a car-crash fetishists: he is fascinated
by wounds, the way a voyeur would be fascinated by sex.
James alternates his sexual performances between Catherine (at home) and Helen
(in the car), wild with the former and casual with the latter.
Vaughan's group of friends constitute de facto a group of cultists, who spend
evenings watching videos of car crashes and getting excited.
Helen almost gets an orgasm watching one video, while she touches Gabrielle
and is touched by James.
Vaughan and James hire a prostitute: while James drives the convertible,
Vaughan makes love to her in the back seat.
Then the two men pick up Catherine and drive by a huge accident, Vaughan taking
pictures of the wreckage while firemen try to rescue the passengers still
trapped in the twisted metal.
The car is stained with blood and they decide to drive to a carwash.
Vaughan and the icy Catherine make love in the back seat while the car is
enveloped in steamy soap. At night Catherine is covered with bruises and like
in a trance while James makes love to her at home.
James accompanies Gabrielle to a car dealer where she tries a new car,
while exposing as much as possible of her crunt to the salesperson.
James and Gabrielle make love in the car, despite the devices at her legs.
Later, Vaughan and James make love in the convertible, with James fascinated
by Vaughan's steering wheel tattoo.
The "sex" continues when the two are in two separate cars and Vaughan hits
James' car over and over again.
The two couples drive recklessly until the car with Vaughan and Gabrielle
crashes down a bridge (Catherine is almost having an orgasm).
Helen and Gabrielle visit the wrecked car of Vaughan and make love in it.
James chases Catherine. The woman's car crashes. James lies next to her,
who is fatally wounded, and makes love to her under the wreckage.
All four characters are obsessed with each other's body and car.
It is probably Cronenberg's weakest film.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da Stefano Taiss) |
Crash (1996), tratto dal romanzo fantascientifico di J.G. Ballard, e' un'esaltazione di sesso e automobili, fondamenta mitologiche del cinema di Hollywood, espresso in un tono oscuro, misterioso e ruminante (alla Twin Peaks), in cui si susseguono ossessivamente incidenti devastanti e sesso viscerale.
Una donna sta facendo sesso contro il parabrezza di un'automobile, presa da dietro dal suo partner. James e' un produttore di film pornografici. Sul balcone di casa loro, mentre James la guarda, il vento solleva la gonna della ragazza. I due hanno rispettive relazioni con altri, ma le confessano nei particolari all'altro/a una volta tornati a casa.
James sta guidando in modo distratto, mentre analizza del materiale pornografico per il suo film, e si scontra con un'altra macchina, il cui conducente viene prontamente sbalzato attraverso il parabrezza e muore. La moglie, Helen, rimane immobile sul sedile (togliendosi la cintura di sicurezza lascia scoperto il seno). James e' ricoverato in ospedale con una gamba rotta, ed e' assisto dalla sua fredda e accattivante compagna, Catherine. Helen e' ricoverata nello stesso ospedale.
Una volta tornati a casa, James osserva il traffico dal suo balcone con un binocolo, pur sempre "accudito" dalla sua ragazza, sempre fedele al suo atteggiamento da femme fatale. James incontra Helen dallo sfasciacarrozze; Helen, distaccata ma non priva di educazione, accetta un passaggio in macchina. Dopo aver rischiato un altro grave incidente, i due fanno l'amore in macchina. Tornato a casa, James fa sesso con Catherine sulla poltrona.
Helen invita James a vedere uno spettacolo organizzato dal suo amico Vaughan, conosciuto all'ospedale. Vaughan, ricoperto di cicatrici e dall'incedere zoppicante, da lavoro a diversi stuntmen per ricreare, la notte e in luoghi isolati, gli incidenti automobilistici piu' famosi (per l'occasione quello mortale di James Dean). Il pubblico paga solo per vederli mentre si scontano ad alte velocita'. Ad incidente avvenuto, l'arrivo della polizia fa scappare tutti. Uno degli attori e' gravemente ferito. Vaughan fa salire in macchina sia Helen, che inizia a toccare insistentemente e a cui sembra provocare piacere, che James. A casa di Vaughan, conoscono la sua ragazza, particolarmente strana e soprattutto zoppa, Gabrielle, le cui gambe sono evidentemente rotte e tenute insieme da dei legamenti di acciaio. Vaughan e' uno studioso dilettante con il feticcio degli incidenti automobilistici, attratto dalle ferite nello stesso modo in cui un voyeur e' attirato dal sesso.
James si divide nelle sue avventure sessuali con Catherine (a casa) e Helen (in macchina), a seconda del luogo in cui si trova.
Nella fattispecie, il gruppo di Vaughan e' formato da cultori della perversione, gente che passa il suo tempo la sera ad eccitarsi guardando filmati di incidenti: Helen ha quasi un orgasmo guardandone uno, mentre tocca Gabrielle e James (che la tocca a sua volta). Vaughan e James pagano una prostituta: mentre James guida la decappottabile, Vaughan fa l'amore con lei sul sedile posteriore.
I due raccolgono Catherine ma finiscono in coda per un enorme incidente: quando ci passano a fianco, Vaughan scatta delle fotografie ai resti delle auto coinvolte, mentre i pompieri cercano di estrarre i passeggeri dalle lamiere contorte. La macchina si sporca di sangue e i tre vanno ad un autolavaggio; Vaughan e una fredda Catherine fanno l'amore sul sedile posteriore mentre l'auto e' in mezzo ai rulli insaponati. La sera, a casa, Catherine e' ricoperta di lividi e mezza in catalessi, mentre fa l'amore con James a casa.
James accompagna Gabrielle ad un concessionario dove lei prova una macchina nuova, e non perde occasione per farsi toccare e guardare da un timido e imbarazzato venditore. James e Gabrielle, nonostante i problemi alle gambe di lei, fanno l'amore nella macchina. Piu' tardi ancora, James a Vaughan hanno un rapporto sessuale nella decappottabile, con James rapito dal nuovo tatuaggio (uno sterzo) di Vaughan. Il loro rapporto continua con i due che si tamponano ripetutamente con le rispettive macchine. Le due coppie poi si inseguono follemente sulle strade, urtandosi e colpendosi finche' Catherine non ha un orgasmo quando l'auto di Vaughan e Gabrielle esce di strada su un cavalcavia. Gabrielle e Helen hanno un rapporto nell'auto distrutta di Vaughan. James segue Catherine con la macchina, tamponandola ripetutamente. L'auto della donna esce di strada e si rovescia; James la raggiunge e si sdraia vicino a lei, ferita mortalmente, e fa l'amore con lei sotto la macchina distrutta.
Tutti i quattro personaggi sono ossessionati dal corpo e dall'auto degli altri. E' probabilmente il film piu' debole di Cronenberg.
Existenz (1999), or eXistenZ, is an apocalyptic film about
Like Crash, the film is laden with sexual innuendos.
The theme is half way between Kate Bigelow's Strange Days and
The Matrix. And the film is as loaded with special effects.
The ending redeems the rest of the film. The many twists and turns are
not only confusing but also badly realized. The ending, however, makes sense
An enthusiastic audience listens to Allegra, a world-famous game designer,
present her new invention, a virtual-reality game called "eXistenZ",
which is downloaded into the nervous systems of twelve volunteers.
While the download is in progress, a young man, Noel, pulls out a
weird pistol that shoots human teeth and
attempts to assassinate Allegra (is this already part of the virtual reality?).
The killer is shot dead and Allegra, barely wounded, is escorted out by Ted,
a colleague also employed at Antenna Research.
Ted and Allegra behave as if someone was chasing them, but who told them?
Allegra seems familiar with all the events, as if she had created them.
Are they merely playing a video game?
At the motel where they hide she discovers that he does not have a
"bio-port" (a hole in the spine) to download games into his body
(he is still a virgin: he has never played any game).
Unfortunately, the only way to
determine whether the game is still functioning is to play it: Ted must get a
bio-port. They drive to a gas station and ask the owner, who
recognizes Allegra and gets on his knees in adoration, to perform an illegal
operation on Ted, while someone is spying on them.
Strange animals wonder around the gas station.
As soon as Ted's bio-port is ready, Allegra plugs her unit into Ted, but
the bio-port causes a short and the unit gets damaged: Allegra is very upset
because it contains the only complete copy of eXistenZ.
She blames the short on Ted's nervousness, but the owner of the gas station
shows up with a gun (is this already part of the game? still part of the
previous game?) and declares his intention to kill her because there is a
bounty on her head.
It is crucial to repair the unit in order to rescue the original copy of the
game. Allegra and Ted seek out an expert, Kiri, who lives alone
in the woods, where more of those strange amphibians live.
Kiri operates (like a surgeon) on the unit (that looks like an internal organ)
and finally Allegra and Ted can play the game together (or at they already
playing it?), although it is not clear what the game is
("you have to play the game in order to find out why we are playing the game").
The scene changes suddenly to a video store. Ted feels like himself but his
character takes over his personality (Allegra is explaining how the game works
while they are playing it). One of the characters gives them the devices
that let them enter the virtual reality. The effect of these devices is to
make the holes disappear and make the bodies intact again.
Suddenly, they feel a sexual urge. AS the orgasm is still going on, Ted finds
himself transformed into a worker in a trout farm, where the units of the game
are assembled out of frogs and fish organs.
A collegue sends him to the Chinese restaurant and tells him to order the
Ted finds Allegra in the farm and together they follow the others (who walk
like zombies) to the Chinese restaurant. Ted orders the special. The other
workers leave the restaurant, obviously not excited about the special.
Ted asks to pause the game for a second and they return to the cabin where
they are playing. But now Ted is no longer sure that this is reality:
everything feels like a game and Allegra feels like a character to him.
She kisses him and brings him back into the game.
The special turns out to be a plate of disgusting organs. As Ted eats them,
he finds the same weird gun that was used against Allegra and a bridge of
teeth that fits perfectly inside the gun. He loads it and
feels the urge to kill the waiter. The other waiters and guests briefly stop
but then get back to their business.
Another character explains to Ted why he had to kill the waiter:
the trout farm belongs to a rival game firm.
They are in the middle of an industrial espionage conspiracy.
Another character tells them that the waiter was their contact and Ted was
induced to kill him by a double agent (the previous character).
When they find a diseased unit, Allegra feels the irresistible urge to plug into it.
She starts shivering. Ted cuts her loose and she starts bleeding.
The supposed double agent burns the diseased unit and saves Allegra's life.
Instead of being grateful, Allegra stabs the man to dead.
As the man drops dead, the fire spreads throughout the farm.
(Note: if this is a video game, it is really a lousy one).
Suddenly, Allegra and Ted are back to the cabin. They brought back the
disease and the disease has now infected Allegra's precious, original unit.
Ted's bio-port is badly infected: Kiri, obviously a double-crosser,
planted the disease into him so he
would spread it to Allegra's unit and destroy it.
A bomb blows up the door of the cabin and a game character breaks in brandishing
a machine gun. He shoots Allegra's unit, but Ted realizes that they must still
be inside the game (the shooter is a game character, after all).
Outside there a battle is raging, with grenades and machine guns. The game
character leads them to safety but then points the gun to Allegra, determined
to shoot the famous game designer. Before he can pull trigger, Kiri shoots him
from behind. Allegra is not relieved at all: she has lost her game, as the
original unit perished in the fire. But Kiri reveals that he had copied her
game already: Existenz is safe in his laboratory. Kiri is defecting to the
rival firm and begs Allegra to join them. Allegra grabs the machine gun and
kills him. Now it's Ted's turn to grab the machine gun and point it against
Allegra: he is one of "them" too (that's why he didn't have a bio-port) and
has played along only to understand the character he has to kill.
Now it's Allegra's turn to surprise him: Allegra knew all along he was paid
to kill her and has planted a bomb in his bio-port, which she now detonates.
Ted is dead, as the battle is still raging all around them. Allegra has
won the game.
Suddenly, we are back to the first scene: the twelve volunteers have completed
the experiment successfully. The twelve volunteers were the twelve characters
of the game (of this film). Allegra herself is but one of the twelve volunteers,
impersonating the game designer, who is in reality a brilliant young man.
He congratulates the twelve volunteers for playing a great game, but is
worried that the game was unusually violent against the designer. And, sure
enough, Allegra and Ted turn out to be two anti-game terrorists who pull out
their pistols and shoot him dead in order to avenge the suffering he has
inflicted on mankind. As they are about to go on a killing spree, the Chinese
who played the waiter asks them if they are still in a game...
A History of Violence (2005) is a liberal adaptation of John Wagner's and Vince Locke's graphic novel "A History of Violence" (1997).
Cronenberg adds a perverted sexual element that doesn't quite fit, but also
cunningly twists the old theme of the innocent naive man forced by
circumstances to become a killer (except that in this case he is indeed a
killer). Countless western movies had as protagonist a John Wayne or similar
actor who had renounced violence and was forced to take up arms again for
a good cause. In this case the good cause is simply to defend the second
life that the protagonist built for himself.
There is also a psychoanalytic element of doppelganger that harks back
to Stevenson's Dr Jekyll.
The film opens with the scene of a grisly murder carried out by two psychos,
who even kill a little girl in order to leave no witnesses behind.
In a quiet town far from the turmoil of big cities Tom is a well-respected
family man, father of teenager Jack and a little girl, who runs a humble restaurant.
One night the two psychos show up with the intention of robbing the restaurant.
Tom keeps calm and tries to save his workers. When one of the psychos tries
to rape a waitress, Tom carries out an acrobatic move and kills both psychos.
Tom becomes an instant hero. The media descend on the town to interview him but
he shuns publicity. The media post his face all over the country. One day
a sinister man shows up at the restaurant, a famous mobster from a distant city.
The mobster stares Tom in the eyes and calls him Joey. Tom denies being Joey
but the mobster removes his sunglasses and shows him the eye that this Joey
tried to egg out of his face. Tom still denies being Joey, but the mobster
seems to have no doubts. Tom calls the local sheriff who threatens the mobster
with arrest if he ever shows up in town again. Nonetheless, the mobster comes
back and threatens Tom's wife. The sheriff finds it hard to believe that
the mobster would make such a mistake, and is suspicious of the dexterity
showed by Tom in using the firearms.
Meanwhile, Jack is being constantly bullied at
school by an obnoxious kid. Jack has routinely downplayed the incidents trying
to avoid a fight. But this time he loses his temper and surprisingly beats up
the obnoxious bully sending him to the hospital.
Back home, Tom is angry at his son for that show of brutality but the son
has simply learned from his father to exact justice with maximum violence.
The kid leaves the house and is captured by the mobster. The mobster wants
Tom in exchange for the kid. Tom pretends to accept the exchange but then
explodes more acrobatic moves and kills all the mobster's henchmen. The mobster
is about to finish him when his son Jack grabs a gun and kills the mobster.
The kid has rapidly become a killer but also has saved his father's life.
Wounded, the father spends a few days at the hospital. Here he finally
confesses to his wife who has seen him perform those develish moves and shoot
with such accuracy: he is indeed Joey, a former gangster.
Tom/Joey swears that he wanted to bury Joey forever, but his wife is shocked
by the revelation. The sheriff is now even more suspicious but his wife
surprisingly defends Tom, presumably to defend her children.
She then attacks her husband but the fight ends with wild sex on the stairs
to the bedroom, as if she actually enjoyed the idea of making love with a
maniac. Tom's brother Richie, a notorious mobster, knows what happened
and calls him. One night Tom/Joey decides to drive down to his old city and
meet his brother. His brother is initially affectionate but then explains
that his career in the mob has been sabotaged by Joey's crazy brutality.
Richie has no chance of ever becoming the supreme boss as long as Joey
is alive. His henchmen try to kill Joey but end up like the others:
easily killed with acrobatic moves. Joey is a killing machine. Richie
does not escape either: Joey kills him in cold blood. Joey drives back home
where his wife is serving dinner to the children. When he walks in, there
is silence, but then his children offer him food and his wife accepts him,
albeit in tears.
Eastern Promises (2007)
A Dangerous Method (2011) is an adaptation of Christopher Hampton's play.
Cosmopolis (2012) is an adaptation of Don DeLillo's novel.
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