Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Oliver Reed Fights Some Canadian Mutant Killer Kids, or Thoughts on The Brood

From writer and director David Cronenberg of Scanners (1981) and Rabid (1977) The Brood (1979) featured British Legend Oliver Reed  as Dr. Hal Raglan of The Somafree Psychoplasmic Institute.  Dr. Raglan has a controversial therapy technique where he causes his patients to manifest their repressed emotions physically, usually in the form of hives or pustules (which is icky enough) but in some more extreme cases, (and because this is a David Cronenberg movie), in the form of mutant killer kids on a rampage against anyone the patient happens to resent.
Samantha Eggar is Nola, Dr. Raglan’s star patient and the mother of those aforementioned killer kids, who run through Toronto like a pack of Don’t Look Now (1973) dwarves in snow suits.  The evil child genre has never appealed to me personally but it’s a popular one thanks to all you parents, and when grafted (see what I did there) onto Cronenberg’s favorite themes of biological mutation and psychological horror, becomes a most disturbing portrait of motherhood and procreation.  A variation of Village of the Damned (1960) with a dash of Videodrome (1983), The Brood also features an atmospheric Bernard Hermann inspired soundtrack by Howard Shore in his film debut. 

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