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... Read allCrimes 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 cosme... Read allCrimes 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 join... Read all
There were directors that started off shakily, Stanley Kubrick for example started with his worst film 'Fear and Desire'. Cronenberg was one of those directors, with this and 'Stereo', before improving significantly with 'Shivers'. Which wasn't perfect, but explored the major theme of sexual exploration and consciousness of mind that was introduced in 'Stereo' much better and the other five or so after doing the theme even better than that. Found his first great film to be 'The Brood' and his best films 'The Fly' and 'Dead Ringers'. After seeing 'Stereo' and 'Crimes of the Future' not far apart only recently, it is hard to decide which was worse between those two. None of them are unwatchable, but for Cronenberg they were both underwhelming and the flaws in both films are exactly the same.
Beginning with the good things, 'Crimes of the Future' doesn't look too bad at all for early Cronenberg and for a film made on a low budget. Actually thought it was one of the better-looking early Cronenberg films and feel the same with 'Stereo', both look better than 'Shivers' and 'Rabid' despite both of those films being better overall. The photography shows inexperience at times but mostly is quite skillful and atmospheric. The location does have a good deal of unsettlement, if not as eerie as 'Stereo' and the lighting adds a lot to the atmosphere.
Some interesting diverse themes here in 'Crimes of the Future' (but they were explored in much more detail and more compellingly in other films). Intriguing concept, Ronald Mlodzik is surprisingly hauntingly nuanced and the ending is memorable.
On the other hand, the flaws that were in 'Stereo' are not improved upon, other than the acting being marginally better (not saying much for most, got the sense their hearts weren't in it properly) and that it was a little less confused. That's pretty much it for the improvements. Found it to be very dull, going at too slow a pace for a story that was pretty slight, making a very short length feel longer. Too many overlong and drawn out scenes are the problem in this regard. Also felt that it was too clinical and emotionally distant, usually do feel something watching Cronenberg whether it's being disturbed, being amused at some dark wit or being moved. This is a not so common case of feeling nothing in a Cronenberg film.
Cronenberg's direction is similarly clinical and it comes over as bland apart from being relatively technically sound. Despite saying that the slight story was less confused, again that was actually not saying much either because it is still muddled and one may have to ask anybody who's watching it with them what's going on and they are likely to not know. The dialogue is self-indulgent and eccentric and the over-use and over-complicated (the writing here not the delivery, the delivery is infinitely better here) feel present in the narration of 'Stereo' is here too at times if not as much. One never cares for the characters, who come and go a lot which confuses the narrative. Then there is the soundtrack/sound effects, which sometimes was not necessary and often went overboard on the weirdness.
In conclusion, an interesting failure that is still worth a one time watch. 4/10
- Jun 6, 2019