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A young woman develops a taste for human blood after undergoing experimental plastic surgery, and her victims turn into rabid, blood-thirsty zombies who proceed to infect others, which turns into a city-wide epidemic.
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After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally kills his wife, and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa.
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 line is normally where I put the plot, but the plot is unclear to me... a group of people who live in an institution for bizarre venereal diseases, perhaps?
This film is David Cronenberg's follow-up to "Stereo", and aside from a slightly bigger budget and moving from monochrome to color, it is clear that his themes have not shifted much (if at all). He loves the medical institutions, the sterile surroundings of the hospital, and the imposing architecture (camera shots repeatedly make the building look bigger and the hallways longer than the reality most likely is).
He again talks of medical abnormality, something he would visit again in "Rabid" and "The Brood" and "Scanners". The special effects are played down here, with a discussion of new organs having few visuals to back up the idea (some indecipherable mass in a jar). The film as a whole is really an artistic exploration of minimalism. Most scenes involve characters sitting still for minutes at a time, hardly any words are spoken (though numerous discomforting sounds are heard). The whole film's plot is drawn out by a voice-over (perhaps calling to mind Chris Marker's "La Jetee").
What differentiates great directors from poor ones is, in my opinion, the ability to know your limits and to stretch the limits while keeping the budget in mind. Cronenberg fits into this category of greatness. Like early Kubrick ("The Killing"), he knows he has no budget but makes up for it with stark contrast and searing images. While this is by no means Cronenberg's best work, it is clear to see that given another script and a bigger budget, he has the vision. He frames each scene very carefully, the camera actually taking in more than is actually there in the process.
Your average viewer would watch this and, even at the very short 62 minute running time, declare it a waste of film. Who wants to watch a bunch of ugly men in a courtyard while a voice talks about venereal disease and the need to impregnate a child? But a film student or scholar may see the film differently. Clearly, knowing what we know now about Cronenberg's success makes me biased. But still, the germ of directing genius is present here.
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