HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Crash Is This Your Car, Sir?
Year: 1996
Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger, Rosanna Arquette, Peter MacNeill, Yolande Julian, Cheryl Swarts, Judah Katz, Nicky Guadagni
Genre: Sex, Science Fiction, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: Film director James Ballard (James Spader) and his wife Catherine (Deborah Kara Unger) have a strange relationship where the sexual side of things is only satisfying if they can tell each other about their extra-marital conquests. So James tells Catherine about the script girl he enjoyed the company of while she tells him of the man she met at the aircraft hangar. Still they feel that there is something missing in their lives, until James is out on the highway and after dropping some papers onto the floor of his car by accident, he causes a crash that kills another man. But the really surprising thing is when the wife of the deceased exposes herself as she sits in the passenger seat...

Do you find it cold in here? Has someone left the freezer door open? No, it's just David Cronenberg's adaptation of J.G. Ballard's controversial novel Crash - it's cold as hell. After tackling one supposedly infilmable book in William Burroughs' Naked Lunch, the auteur tried another one here, making one of the chilliest and most glacial erotic films ever to hit the screen. That's if anybody actually found much of it erotic: Cronenberg films the participants as if they were a new species of insect, although if its naysayers in the United Kingdom would have you believe when it was first released, it would have led to a spate of copycat crimes.

As if the idea of drivers merrily smashing their cars into each other's for kicks wasn't silly enough, but in the film and novel it was science fiction, and in real life hardly anybody went to see the film and society did not break down as a result, not that it would have anyway. However, there's no getting away from the straightfaced absurdity of the film, as where the book degenerates into page upon page of descriptions of twisted metal, Cronenberg had trouble meshing his sexual angle with his vehicle angle. This means plenty of sex scenes, usually in cars, but not much in the way of crashing.

There's very little joy in the film as James finds himself drawn into an underworld of car accident enthusiasts (well, maybe not accidents if they're deliberate), most of whom look as if they've just been to a funeral. Only Rosanna Arquette as the near-paralysed from the waist down Gabrielle adds a dash of glee to her portrayal, and the showroom sequence is a small oasis of humour in a very morose ninety minutes or so. The leader of the group is Vaughan (Elias Koteas), a photographer whose love of cars has driven (geddit?) him insane to the point where he recreates celebrity death crashes for a small audience, that's if the department of transport doesn't intervene first.

All the main characters have sex with each other at some point, but the idea that it's the vehicles setting them off remains a nebulous one. The sexualisation of cars sounds like a Freudian concept, with people taking their passion for driving too far and letting it invade their emotional lives, but here emotions barely register. Actually, as depicted here the fetishists might as well be a bunch of trainspotters who happen to shag one another - the film never pins down its weirdo notion and at times simply comes across as a soft porn film for the emotion-free. But after a while a strange melancholy begins to make itself apparent, whether it's due to Howard Shore's superb music score with its stark, lonely, electric guitar driven sound or the haunted playing of the cast, and finally the film takes on a tragic air of people so starved of stimulation, of love, that they resort to extremes to feel anything at all.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4647 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

David Cronenberg  (1943 - )

Highly regarded Canadian writer/director who frequently combines intellectual concerns with genre subjects. Began directing in the late-70s with a series of gruesome but socially aware horror thrillers, such as Shivers, Rabid and The Brood. 1981's Scanners was Cronenberg's commercial breakthrough, and if the hallucinatory Videodrome was box office flop, it remains one of the finest films of his career. The sombre Stephen King adaptation The Dead Zone and the hugely successful remake of The Fly followed.

The disturbing Dead Ringers (1988) was a watershed film, based for the first time entirely in reality and featuring a career-best performance from Jeremy Irons. The 1990s saw Cronenberg in uncompromising form, adapting a pair of "unfilmable" modern classics - Burrough's Naked Lunch and Ballard's Crash - in typically idiosyncratic style. M. Butterfly was something of a misfire, but eXistenZ surprised many by being fast-moving and funny, while 2002's powerful Spider saw Cronenberg at his most art-house.

His later films were the acclaimed, bloody comic book adaptation A History of Violence, London-set thriller Eastern Promises, an examination of the sources of psychotherapy in A Dangerous Method, drama in a day Cosmopolis and Tinseltown takedown Maps to the Stars. Never one to bow to critical or popular demands, Cronenberg remains one of modern cinema's finest filmmakers.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: