Showing posts with label 1979. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1979. Show all posts

Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Brood

The second half of Grimm Up North’s recent David Cronenberg double bill was 1979’s The Brood. Creepier and less funny than Scanners, the first film on the bill, The Brood stars a late period Oliver Reed as a Psychotherapist who specialises in the field of ‘Psychoplasmics’, a method in which patients let go of suppressed emotions through physiological changes in their bodies. One of Dr. Raglan’s (Reed) patients is Nola (Samantha Eggar), the wife of Frank Carveth (Art Hindle). Frank is worried about his wife’s treatment at the hands of Dr. Raglan and begins to suspect something else is wrong when their young daughter returns from a visit covered in scratches and bruises. Frank is right to worry as an unwanted side effect of Nola’s treatment is the creation of The Brood, childlike monsters who feed off her negative thoughts, attacking and killing based on her emotions.

Unlike Scanners which I enjoyed all the way through, The Brood takes its time to get going. There are large swathes of the film where I was feeling a little bit bored by what was going on and I wasn’t sure where the film was going. What kept me interested was an early appearance of one of The Brood. The confusion about what it was and where it came from helped me to remain focussed throughout the less interesting moments before a final half hour which was full of excitement, action and terror.

Sunday, 6 May 2012


"I got you, you son of a bitch!"

With Prometheus just a couple of weeks away I thought it was about time I filled one of the most unforgivable gaps in my film history and finally watch Alien. The crew of the Nostromo are in stasis on a return trip to Earth, carrying a cargo of mineral ore. They are awakened early by the ship’s computer as it has intercepted a transmission for a nearby planetoid. Upon investigation, crew member Kane (John Hurt) discovers what appear to be eggs inside an unidentified ship. A life form hatches out of one of the eggs and attaches itself to his face. Returning to the Nostromo the crew try to detach the creature from Kane’s face but with no success. A short time later the creature removes itself from Kane and the crew find it dead. While preparing to go back into stasis for the return to Earth something extraordinary happens that unleashes an even greater threat to the ship and the crew.

My first thoughts were that the Nostromo reminded me of so much I’ve seen already. It is obvious how much influence the film has had on subsequent science fiction. The living quarters reminded me of the film Moon and in just about every other scene I said to myself “That’s just like Red Dwarf”. Everything about the film’s design was excellent. The ship felt large and real and the creature design was incredible. Considering the film is now over thirty years old, the latex or prosthetics that were used looked really good. Even now. Obviously some aspects of the film have aged noticeably. The computers for instance look as old as they are. This isn’t a major problem though as anything older than about five years or without a touch screen looks aged.