No Future: THE BROOD
The Royal Cinema
608 College St
No Future presents: THE BROOD
“…a particularly nasty little number” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times
“…an emotionally realistic horror movie about the collateral damage of divorce” — Carrie Rickey, The Criterion Collection
David Cronenberg matured from the schlocky social allegories of Rabid and Shivers to a more sophisticated form of psychological drama with The Brood (1979), a body horror classic that does for parenting and divorce what Jaws did for swimming. Art Hindle stars as Frank, a divorcee who finds bruises on his young daughter after her weekend visit to her estranged mother Nola (Samantha Eggar) in an experimental new institution run by the mysterious Dr. Raglan (Oliver Reed). Before long, Frank discovers that Nola’s “psychoplasmic” therapy, designed to bring buried childhood traumas up to the surface, is making her give birth to a legion of snowsuit-clad children with cleft palates and no navel, who murder anyone that tries to get close to him or his daughter. (The killers’ appearance is a likely nod to the diminutive slicker-sporting killer in Don’t Look Now.)
A deeply personal film responding to Cronenberg’s own recent separation from his first wife — with all the paranoia about bad mothers and all the sympathy toward hapless dads that might imply —The Brood transcends its premise with its visceral images and serious treatment, earnestly raising tough questions about how nothing breeds monsters like child abuse. Operatic, scary, and sad, The Brood might be Cronenberg’s masterpiece.
About the series
No Future — For anyone who’s not so sure the children are our future, a monthly film series devoted to the best monstrous births, creepy orphans, spectral kids, and possessed teens genre cinema has to offer.
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