Directed and written by David Cronenberg
Produced by Claude Héroux, Pierre David, Victor Solnicki
Starring Art Hindle, Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Cindy Hinds, Henry Beckman, Nuala Fitzgerald, Susan Hogan, Jan Hartog, Gary McKeehan, Michael Magee
Petrifying personifications by parturition connect the trenchant therapy of a disturbed segregate (Eggar) conducted by her innovative, imperious analyst (Reed) and the homicidal violence committed by xanthochroous dwarves against her parents and acquaintances, daughter (Hinds) and husband (Hindle). Inspired by his own onerous divorce and a custody battle of equal strain, Cronenberg's first international success may be his best metaphysical association of flesh following thought, a horror reliant less on scares than a creeping tension attending its arcanum and relations. Hindle and Hinds cannily incarnate a battered familial normalcy disrupted by freakish repercussions, while Reed's portentous presence and rich delivery counterplay subtly mounting hysterics expressing the trauma and fury Eggar's housewife purges as agamic abominations. A formal professionalism that's since befit his ulterior scenarios concerning inextricably interpenetrative psycho-corporeal conjunction, dysfunction, perversion and transgression was first adopted by and filmed finely through the fastidious eyes of Cronenberg and his decadal DP Mark Irwin in attractive, characteristically Canadian locations of Toronto and Mississauga. Beyond and beneath his overt discernment of matrimonial ruination, the directorial divorcé intimates that the perpetuity of parental abuse and ensuant dissolution of the nuclear unit are as insidious, often as ineluctable, as any congenital disease or disorder.
Recommended for a double feature paired with The Ninth Configuration.