David Cronenberg

Highest Rated: 92% The Fly (1986)
Lowest Rated: 8% Trial by Jury (1994)
Birthday: Mar 15, 1943
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Like Tobe Hooper and George Romero, David Cronenberg sprang into public consciousness with a series of low-budget horror films that shocked and surprised audiences for their sheer audacity and intelligence. Unlike the former two filmmakers, Cronenberg has been able to avoid being pigeonholed into a single restrictive genre category. His works, which consistently explore the same themes, have the mark of a true auteur in the strictest sense of the word. Cronenberg's films have the unnerving ability to delve into society's collective unconscious and dredge up all of the perverse, suppressed desires of modern life. His world features grotesque deformities, hallucinatory couplings, and carnality unhinged from its corporeal moorings.Born on March 15, 1943, in Toronto, Canada, Cronenberg was the son of a freelance journalist and a piano teacher. He was raised in a nurturing middle class family and wrote constantly as a child, showing a strong interest in science, particularly in botany and lepidopterology (the study of moths). In 1963, he entered the University of Toronto as an Honors Science student, though he quickly grew disenchanted and within a year switched to the Honors English Language and Literature program. During this time, Cronenberg was profoundly impressed by Winter Kept Us Warm (1966) by classmate David Secter. Though previously not especially interested in film, this student work piqued his interest, and soon he was hanging out at film camera rental houses where he taught himself the ins and outs of filmmaking. He made two no-budget 16mm films (Transfer and From the Drain), and -- inspired by the underground film scene in New York -- he founded the Toronto Film Co-op with Iain Ewing and Ivan Reitman. After a year traveling in Europe, Cronenberg returned to Canada and graduated at the top of his class in 1967.After making the avant-garde sci-fi flick Stereo (1969), Cronenberg became one of the first recipients of CFDC (Canadian Film Development Corporation) funding for his follow-up, Crimes of the Future (also 1969), a dark, surreal experimental exploration of sexuality. After these two films, Cronenberg realized that working in a strictly experimental venue was ultimately a dead end -- he wanted to broaden his audience.With Reitman as the producer, Cronenberg made his feature debut with the low-budget horror flick Shivers (1975). Recalling Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Shivers gleefully presents the audience with phallus-like parasites that turn an apartment full of well-to-do professionals into a throng of sex-mad maniacs. Shivers sharply divided critics. Cronenberg made two more films with direct or indirect funding from the CFDC -- Rabid (1977) and The Brood (1979). Both of these films, along with Shivers, form a rough trilogy of sorts about physical evolutions of the body bringing civilization to its knees. In Rabid, featuring Ivory Pure model-turned-porn star Marilyn Chambers as Typhoid Mary, a virulent strain of rabies that reduces victims to foaming murderous animals devastates the city of Montreal. In The Brood, a mother manifests her angers as bloodthirsty, hideously misshapen children.Cronenberg's breakthrough film was his 1981 box office hit Scanners. Featuring an overtly sci-fi story line, a sinister performance by Michael Ironside, and an infamous exploding head scene, the film established Cronenberg's name beyond the exploitation house and drive-in audiences. Two years later, Cronenberg followed this up with his masterful Videodrome. Told in a Burroughs-esque fractured stream of consciousness, the film concerns Renn, a sleazy cable TV operator, who discovers that the mysterious snuff cable he happened upon gives the viewers brain tumors. Humans and media hardware merge in unexpected, strangely sexual ways: video tapes throb like organs, and a tape is slotted into a vagina like gash in a human abdomen. Though Videodrome's awe of video may seem dated, the film'

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
62% Maps to the Stars Director $0.4M 2015
No Score Yet Tales From the Organ Trade Actor 2013
66% Cosmopolis Screenwriter Director $0.7M 2012
78% A Dangerous Method Director $5.8M 2011
79% Barney's Version O'Malley Director #2 $7.6M 2011
88% William S. Burroughs: A Man Within Actor $46.9K 2010
89% Eastern Promises Director $17.2M 2007
87% A History of Violence Producer Director $31.6M 2005
No Score Yet Best of Secter & the Rest of Secter Actor 2005
No Score Yet Masters of Horror Actor 2002
84% Spider Director Producer $1.3M 2002
19% Jason X Dr. Wimmer $12.7M 2002
No Score Yet Steve Martini's 'The Judge' Detective Stobel 2001
67% The American Nightmare Actor 2001
40% I'm Losing You Executive Producer $13.2K 1999
17% Resurrection Priest 1999
74% Existenz Director Screenwriter Producer 1999
84% Last Night Duncan 1998
No Score Yet Henry & Verlin Doc Fisher 1997
56% Extreme Measures Hospital Lawyer 1996
20% The Stupids Postal Supervisor 1996
59% Crash Screenwriter Producer Director $3.2M 1996
No Score Yet Moonshine Highway Clem Clayton 1996
88% To Die For Man at Lake 1995
No Score Yet Blood & Donuts Crime Lord 1995
8% Trial by Jury Director 1994
43% M. Butterfly Director 1993
69% Naked Lunch Director Screenwriter 1991
39% Nightbreed Dr. Philip Decker 1990
82% Dead Ringers Screenwriter Director Producer 1988
92% The Fly Screenwriter Director Gynecologist 1986
38% Into the Night Group Supervisor 1985
90% The Dead Zone Director 1983
79% Videodrome Screenwriter Director 1983
78% Scanners Director 1981
88% Fast Company Screenwriter Director 1979
79% The Brood Screenwriter Director 1979
70% Rabid Director Screenwriter 1979
88% Shivers (They Came from Within) (The Parasite Murders) Director 1975
60% Crimes of the Future Director Producer Screenwriter 1970
60% Stereo Director 1969
No Score Yet From the Drain Director 1967
No Score Yet Transfer Director 1966

TV

CREDIT
44% Happy Town
2010
Dr. Leichman
  • 2010
88% Alias
2001-2006
Guest Dr. Brezzel
  • 2003
No Score Yet Friday the 13th: The Series
1987-1990
Director
  • 1988

QUOTES FROM David Cronenberg CHARACTERS