Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Brood

The Brood (1979) ***1/2

The Brood has been called "Cronenberg's Kramer vs. Kramer," which I love as a descriptor. I guess the rise of divorce in the 70s (after no-fault-divorce laws were passed as part of the women's movement) really had our country on edge: "What are we doing to the children?!?" Judging by Cronenberg's entry (he was in the process of divorcing his wife and fighting for custody during production), it's nothing good.

The titular brood at first appears to be growling children who murder grandparents. It turns out they're not children at all, but psychic manifestations of a woman named Nola's rage over her impending divorce and childhood trauma. Nola is in isolation therapy with some 70s New Agey quack played by Oliver Reed. This treatment at first struck me as a mix of Lennon's primal scream therapy and Scientology. It has that same culty vibe. Dr. Raglan's gimmick is "psychoplasmics" that he peddles through his book: "The Shape of Rage."

Truth be told, this one is sort of slow for a while, but it had me pretty engaged throughout (and I watched it at 3:30 this morning after a bout of insomnia). There's a pretty great (and apparently famous) payoff scene in the final 20 minutes though, and I think Horrorthoners need to see this movie for that alone. Nola "births" one of her brood and then starts licking the bloody corpse. Here you go!

4 comments:

AC said...

Sounds interesting, though not sure if I'd be entertained or appalled by the Oliver Reed character. Maybe both?

Catfreeek said...

Nice! You have made such solid choices this year.

DCD said...

Gah! Not so into that last picture, although I'm relieved as at first I thought she was eating that baby...

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Freakin' LOVE this movie, my favorite Cronenberg flick actually. There's nothing else like it.