After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally murders his wife and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa.
After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.
Crimes of the Future details the wanderings of Tripod (Mlodzik), sometime director of a dermatological clinic called the House of Skin, who is searching for his mentor, the mad dermatologist Antoine Rouge. Rouge has disappeared following a catastrophic plague resulting from cosmetic products, which has killed the entire population of sexually mature women. Tripod joins a succession of organisations including Metaphysical Import-Export and the Oceanic Podiatry Group, and meets various individuals and groups of men who are trying to adjust themselves to a defeminized world. One man parodies childbirth by continually growing new organs which are removed from his body. Eventually Tripod comes upon a group of paedophiles which is holding a 5 year-old girl, and they urge him to mate with her. He senses the presence of Antoine Rouge. Written by
This early Cronenberg is bizarre, strange, experimental and yet, this avantgarde approach to science-fiction nonetheless does not match with the masters latter works. Fascinatingly, in some regards, "Crimes of the Future" looks more "mature" then, say, "Shivers" or "Rabid". This is probably because the director/writer/cinematographer/producer Cronenberg does not mind to use a form of narrative which, while being incredibly slow and intentionally mannerist, also manages to trap the viewer into an almost hypnotic state. In other terms, he unfolds an "uneasy" way of story-telling. For the context of the tale, the venues are excellently chosen, and rarely have I seen such a convincing portrayal of an apocalyptic society. This counts for post-apocalypse (since all women have died and the male survivors behave in a dreamlike state, making it impossible for the protagonist (and us, the viewer), to read the rationality that motivates their doings) as well as in terms of pre-apocalypse, as the ending leaves no doubt that mankind this sort of "man"kind is doomed. Many aspects later to be taken up in other of Cronenbergs films already appear here, most prominently the subject of estranged skin diseases later to become "the new flesh". However, fans of the latter-day Cronenberg may be puzzled by this hard-to-crack nut; it is very different from what you might expect. It comes as no surprise that critics at the time, the booklet mentions, stated the young director is unlikely to continue film-making. And he did indeed change the direction. I would just love to see the short films for Canadian TV that followed this piece. Recommended!
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?