In a blackly satirical near future, a thriving industry sells celebrity illnesses to their obsessed fans. Employee Syd March's attempts to exploit the system backfire when they involve him in a potentially deadly mystery.
Syd March is an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans. Biological communion - for a price. Syd also supplies illegal samples of these viruses to piracy groups, smuggling them from the clinic in his own body. When he becomes infected with the disease that kills super sensation Hannah Geist, Syd becomes a target for collectors and rabid fans. He must unravel the mystery surrounding her death before he suffers the same fate.Written by
All of the close-up shots of needles entering skin in the film are real. See more »
Before Syd puts the virus into Edward Porris's lip, we see the plunger of the syringe has been pulled back a bit, as it would be had Syd filled it with the virus. However, in the close up of the needle piercing the skin, you can see the plunger is all the way down, so when it was stuck into Edward's lip there was nothing in it. See more »
Is Cronenberg finally back to the body-horror genre? Yep, in a re-birth through his son, Brandon. What David hasn't done in the last 10 years is done here by Brandon. Dad's influence is obvious from the very first shot up to the last shot of the film. I found connections, clues, winks and homages to David's old films throughout the entire movie - I'm not sure whether they were intentional or just my intuition, but I recalled Videodrome, Shivers, The Fly, eXistenZ, Naked Lunch and Crash. If you were missing the old Cronenberg style, you're gonna love this movie.
The script is very original and contains some interesting ideas. The lead actor does a pretty decent job in his role; I wouldn't go as far as saying it's Oscar material, but it's good enough for this part. The production design is pretty good and interesting, although minimalist. So is the cinematography, which is "minimalist" in the sense of being static (or close to that) almost the entire film, with very few exceptions here and there; I guess it worked okay for the film, yet it was enough for me to be distracted by it more than once - I myself would have preferred to see a more dynamic camera-work.
The movie is not perfect. It gave me the feeling of "something is missing here" at times - including in its ending - but all in all it was pretty impressive as a first feature-film for Brandon, both as a writer and a director (although if I compare it to Duncan Jones' Moon, the latter wins big time). I'll definitely look forward to his next film - much more than to David's next film, sadly.
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