Showing posts with label Robert Silverman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Robert Silverman. 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.

Friday, 5 April 2013


Last night I was fortunate to take in a David Cronenberg double bill at the lavish Plaza Theatre in Stockport. The evening was run by the Grimm Up North people who put on an excellent show which attracted a decent crowd. The first film on the bill was Scanners, Cronenberg’s 1981 science fiction horror which was for him at the time, a fairly conventional film. Throughout North America there exist people who are ‘scanners’. Scanners are able to read people’s minds and move objects through telekinesis. Weapons manufacturer ConSec are attempting to use scanners as weapons but rogue scanner Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside) halts the programme by killing ComSec’s scanners and forming his own group who wish to rise up and stamp their authority on ‘normal’ people. ComSec uncover Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack) and train him to take down Revok.

I thought Scanners was great fun. The movie has a pretty decent story behind it and I was engaged by the espionage and war that the plot created. The central idea is interesting and manages to sustain the plot for over 100 minutes. There are conspiracies and twists which add to the excitement and occasional action sequences which gives you more bang for your buck. In addition to this there are a couple of well written characters although the acting is frankly dreadful. Lead Stephen Lack is quite literally laughably awful. I can’t remember seeing a central performance which was so wooden and cringe worthy. No one really shines although Michael Ironside isn’t terrible and Robert Silverman is actually quite good. He was the acting highlight in a film full of poor performances.