Crimes of the Future (1970)
Critic Reviews for Crimes of the Future
All of Cronenberg's personal obsessions--the distortion of the body, the grotesquerie of sex--are on display, though the treatment is a bit sophomoric.
A great analytical joke by David Cronenberg, who has already the impeccable deadpan style to tell it
... essential to Cronenberg fans, (a) dispassionate portraitsof fictional experiments in the mutation of mankind in the near future.
Difficult viewing, although there are some intriguing nuggets buried within
Audience Reviews for Crimes of the Future
Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg, 1970) Going back into the obscure early works of a great, and distinctive, director can be instructive. And when a director is as distinctive as David Cronenberg, who seems to most of the world to have risen fully-formed with They Came from Within, this may be even more the case. For the body horror that was one of Cronenberg's major themes for the quarter-century between They Came from Within and eXistenZ was built slowly, over the course of the movies that came before, which very few have seen. They are far more available now than they were in the nineties, and Cronenberg fans would do well to avail themselves of the opportunity to see where it came from. This one in particular, perhaps; the working title of eXistenZ was, after all, Crimes of the Future. While I wouldn't exactly call what this movie has a plot, it centers around a doctor-maybe a psychatrist, but it's hard to tell-named Adrian Tripod (Ronald Mlodzik, who only ever appeared in Cronenberg productions; he can be found in Cronenberg's first two "mainstream" films, They Came from Within and Rabid), who takes an interest in certain strange cases to be found in Canada's future asylums. We know it's the future because in this Canada, most of the country's women have been killed off by a horrendous industrial accident (or was it?) that caused cosmetics to turn into caustic poisons. You can't make this stuff up. But, obviously, David Cronenberg can. While the movie is not explicit by any means, the seeds of most of Cronenberg's obsessions can be found here-the body horror (Tripod's first subject, for example, exudes a substance similar to chocolate that compels those who come into contact with it to desire nothing but eating it, a plot point that should be very familiar to those who saw Larry Cohen's The Stuff, released fifteen years after this), the sexual obsession (when there are so few women left in the world...), the works. It's an early film, almost a student film, and it shows in the ponderousness and disjointedness of some of this, but it's still worth watching for Cronenberg buffs. ** 1/2
It was a little bit better than Stereo but it was also really similar to it. I found more to like in this one, for one the simple fact that there is more audio is a plus. There is a bit of a storyline here which helps things as well, while Stereo had less of one. It's an all together interesting piece of work and I'll always look at Stereo and Crimes of the Future as a couplet of films that taught David Cronenberg about film making.
Only slightly more interesting than its predecessor, Cronenberg uses an identical protagonist to investigate an interesting topic with as little action as possible.
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