This weekend I had the Showtime channel to watch for free. You would think that Showtime would want to bring their "A" Game, hoping to entice you into subscribing. But after I watched David Cronenberg's film from 1979 The Brood, I realized that clearly wasn't the case. This is one of those films that leave you scratching your head saying "WTF", but it is also one that you feel you need to tell people about. It's just like when you taste something that is truly horrible and you tell your friend that they need to try it. There is just something really wrong about this film. No - I take it back, there's not just one thing wrong, but many! Just look at these screen shots from the film. Do they make sense? They don't to me either, and I saw the movie!
The first thing you notice right away is the casting. Oliver Reed must have been paid his weight in adult beverages to appear in this film, and his acting skills are completely wasted on his New Age Psychotherapist role. He is called "Daddy" by his patients far too many times for my comfort level - but hey, he is a rock star Psychotherapist. Don't believe me? Get a load of this picture. When his character isn't dealing with delusional people with Mommy and Daddy issues, he is battling the evil unexplained babies from his favorite patient, Nola.
What really troubled me with The Brood was the amount of violence children were made to witness. The story centers around a young girl, Candy whose parents Nola and Frank are getting divorced. Not only does she struggle with her parents, she also has to deal with the deformed evil "brothers/sisters" that her Mommy grows at the drop of a hat outside her tummy. Candy is a dead ringer for Caroline in Poltergeist, which was confusing to me in hindsight. Also all of the children of The Brood are blond haired and blue eyed Boys From Brazil in nature, which also was a distraction.
|Candy in The Brood|
|Caroline in Poltergeist|
He is Frank - Candy's dad and Nola's soon to be ex-husband. His primary role in the film is to run around looking for his daughter endlessly, and to happen along the bodies that The Brood gang leaves behind. Ughhhh, the acting in this film is so over the top unbelievable you have to see it to believe it. Cronenberg has managed to make movies that I really enjoy, and I have several of his films on Criterion, but I think it will be a long time before I pick this one up!
Lucky for all of you, The Brood is actually available to watch on you tube. Why not spend a few hours with a film meant to be a horror but is actually more along the comedy side of things? It won't hurt you - and if you ever happen across a small blond child in a snow suit with black eyes a wierd nose and no belly button you will know what to do. You remove all the hammers from the room.