Movie Review: Crash

Dennis suggests Crash (in Mystery/Thriller).  No, not the famously overrated Oscar winner, this is David Cronenberg’s 1996 adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s typically (for him) mental novel about people who get turned on my car crashes.  James Spader (creepy) plays a rich guy who gets into a horrific accident and finds himself inexplicably erotically obsessed with smashing cars, with people who’ve been injured and disfigured in car accidents, and with the now-maimed wife of the man who died in his own such accident (Holly Hunter {creepy}).  As both of them pry deeper into the inexplicably thriving underground of similar fetishists, they meet people even more obsessed and damaged than they are, including brace-wearing Rosanna Arquette (sooo creepy) who has taken the conflation of injured flesh and damaged machinery to it’s logical, yet unbelievably bananas conclusion.  It’s easy to see why Cronenberg was attracted to this material; Ballard’s philosophical characters, manically rolling off their reasons for the melding of flesh with machine, have a lot in common with Cronenberg’s devotees of ‘the New Flesh” in films like Videodrome, The Brood, The Fly, etc, except in Crash, humanity can’t wait for the flesh to rebel against itself, and, with the help of twisted metal and velocity, have begun the job themselves.  Gorgeously photographed (everything has a sheen like velvet reflected in chrome), with fearless, raw performances by Hunter, Deborah Kara Unger, and Spader (who should be a lock for the cinematic kink hall of fame by now), and  mysteriously moving, Crash is a uniquely shocking experience.

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Published in: on June 30, 2009 at 1:32 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. Good review of this intensely disturbing and yet very interesting Cronenberg film.

    Only a few of Spader’s films have been kinky, but considering how different and kinky they were and the fact that he seems to readily accept these types of characters would definitely qualify him for the cinematic kink hall of fame. Long live the “King of Kink”…James Spader.


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