Friday, March 27, 2009

You Scamps!

Always with the trouble, you kids! Get on home now! Shoo!

27 comments:

Ed Howard said...

Awesome movie. Those kids are so unbelievably creepy.

bill r. said...

Yeah, it's a good one. It was also kind of a turning point, in a way, because with Oliver Reed, Cronenberg started working with oddball, but well-known actors, and the performances in his films really started taking off.

I've been wanting to do something about Cronenberg, like a film-by-film overview, but to really do that I'd have to get my hands on his really early stuff, like Stereo and Crimes of the Future, which would mean spending money. I'll still probably end up doing it, though.

Ed Howard said...

You may already know this, but both Stereo and Crimes of the Future are available on the DVD of Fast Company. They're very interesting student films, and obviously contain the seeds of what Cronenberg would be up to later. Neither is exactly fully satisfying, but Stereo is the better of the two, kind of a trial run for Scanners.

I think Cronenberg is an especially good choice for a film-by-film overview of his career, because of all the interesting ways he's evolved over time. I'd like to do one myself at some point.

bill r. said...

I did not know that about the Fast Company DVD -- that's a Cronenberg film I've never seen, because I don't care about the subject (though were I to go ahead with this project, I'd have to check it out). I knew those older films were available, but I only knew about an old import DVD that would have cost a bit more than Fast Company. Thanks for the tip!

I'd still have to buy Shivers, though. But I liked that movie, so no big woop.

Wings said...

I bet these are the kids who think the flying monkeys are cute.

eep

Greg said...

What a brood. So adorable too. Don't you wanna just eat 'em up!

bill r. said...

Wings - I thought the flying monkeys were cute. They were blue and they wore felt pants and had little hats. And they were monkeys!

Greg - I know! After they finished killing, I bet they went out and played stickball and chased little girls with pigtails!


AND THEN THEY KILLED THOSE GIRLS!!!!

Wings said...

Ok, everything you said is WHY you should hate them! Their ONLY redemming quality is that they are monkeys.

And that witch was just bat-shit crazy.

Greg said...

AND THEN THEY KILLED THOSE GIRLS!!!!

And used their bones for more stickball games!

bill r. said...

Ok, everything you said is WHY you should hate them!

Are you telling me that you don't like to see monkeys wearing little hats?? Because if that's what you're saying, than you, my good man, have just made yourself a lifelong enemy.

Agreed on the witch, though. She was a nut.

Greg - And the balls used in the stickball games were chipmunk skulls!!!

Krauthammer said...

Isn't it amazing how Cronenberg slowly evolved from outre cult item, to one of the most darling of the critical darlings? I once went through period reviews of his films, and it's a really weird transformation.

Wings said...

Monkeys = cool.

Monkeys with little hats = cool

Monkeys with hats & vests = odd, but still okay

Flying Blue Monkeys with Hats and Matching Vests and Unholy Expressions of Frozen Delirium = Stuff nightmares are made of.

They are one of my 13 Things That Creep Me Out

Krauthammer said...

by the way, I believe that his current status is absolutely justified, wonderful director.

Greg said...

So, Ed has commented here and at the Edge today, and then there was one lone comment from Marilyn on CS. Aside from that it's pretty much just been you and me going back and forth.

Where does everyone keep disappearing too lately? I mean, I posted a picture of an actress with enormouse breasts and no comments from Fox or Arbo? What the hell is going on?!

Greg said...

Okay, Krauthammer just showed up. I'd include you too Wings but, alas, I am unfamiliar with you in these parts.

bill r. said...

Krauthammer - Cronenberg's critical transformation is odd. He's the only guy I can think of who made horror movies that were called horror movies that have ever had long-term critical support, but I say that having not read the old reviews you mention. Any idea when the tide started turning?

Wings - I just checked your site, and you show a signed picture of a flying monkey. These monkeys gave autographs! They're friendly! You know what you are? You're a bigot!

Greg - I've noted Fox's absence lately, too. It's odd. I don't know what he's been up to. Arbo and Marilyn move with the winds (Rick, too, sometimes), but Fox is usually a pretty solid presence.

Wings said...

When evil witches with satanic spells pervert nice, normal, hat wearing monkeys into flying, grinning, blue ushers to hell... well, then yeah, then I get all flyingmonkeyphobic.

(love your site, btw)

Ed Howard said...

Bill, I think a lot of Cronenberg's early films were just considered trashy horror pics as usual, I'm not sure when the tide turned, though. Roger Ebert, for one, hated The Brood.

bill r. said...

Wings - I take flying monkeys on a flying-monkey-by-flying-monkey basis. I don't paint them all with the same brush, and you can't hug your kids with nuclear arms, and all that stuff. I have some pamphlets I could send you that would really open your eyes.

(Thanks, I like your site, too)

Ed - Yeah, I've read Ebert's review before, though it's been a while. He was, and continues to be, bizarrely inconsistent when it comes to horror films. He hated The Brood, he didn't like Carpenter's The Thing, but he liked The Devil's Rejects and loved Craven's Last House on the Left. Does not compute.

Fox said...

Bill -

Maybe you should host a Cronenberg blog-a-thon??

Did you know Ivan Reitman produced Shivers?!? In the Cronenberg-on-Cronenberg book there is a still of the two of them on set. Funny.

Fox said...

Where does everyone keep disappearing too lately? I mean, I posted a picture of an actress with enormouse breasts and no comments from Fox or Arbo? What the hell is going on?!

---

Greg - I've noted Fox's absence lately, too. It's odd. I don't know what he's been up to.

Trust me. It's purely work-related. New duties, less goof off time. But it's good for my wallet. Anyways... I try my best to hit your places in the morn, but I wasn't free until noon-ish today.

bill r. said...

Welcome back, Fox!

Reitman produced Rabid, too, and probably a couple of other Cronenberg films. It was Reitman's idea to cast Marilyn Chambers.

And I am kicking around an idea for a blog-a-thon (not that it's actually a complicated idea), but not for Cronenberg. Someone else.

Fox said...

...but not for Cronenberg. Someone else.

Antoine Fuqua?

bill r. said...

You guessed it! I've got dibs on writing about The Replacement Killers!

Fox said...

I've been aching to do a 3-part essay on his "Gangsta's Paradise" video for a long time, so I can't tell you how grateful I am to for allowing me this opportunity.

Krauthammer said...

Any idea when the tide started turning?

I think up to and including Videodrome he was generally considered a trashy director. Maybe someone would point him out as trashy FUN, but still trashy. His first feature was even a lighting rod in Canada of being an example of the worst possible filth for god's sakes.

He really started to develop a cult following, but it was mostly in zines and smaller magazines. I remember Tim Lucas being especially adamant about it. Videodrome was really the dividing line movie, which was either seen as confusing filth or a true blue masterpiece, and you saw people deliberately using it as a cause celebre.

The Dead Zone and The Fly brought him a lot more respect from the critical community, the first because it's one of his most restrained films, and the second because it tends to wear its pathos on its sleeve a bit more than his other movies, then Dead Ringers came out and got a lot of great reviews and after that his reputation was basically solidified as an intelligent movie director, but he still remained kinda culty until basically A History of Violence, which everyone basically loved.

I did this basically on a lark, so it's not like it's a comprehensive study or anything, but that seemed to be the general trend.

bill r. said...

That sounds right, Krauthammer. I remember seeing Ebert and Siskel on the Tonight Show back when The Fly came out, and when Carson asked them to name one movie they thought everyone should see, they said (in unison, I think, but I'm probably misremembering) The Fly. So that and The Dead Zone were almost certainly at least Ebert's turning point.

Followers