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 Post subject: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:58 am 
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The Brood

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A disturbed woman is receiving a radical form of psychotherapy at a remote, mysterious institute. Meanwhile, her five-year-old daughter, under the care of her estranged husband, is being terrorized by a group of demonic beings. How these two story lines connect is the shocking and grotesque secret of this bloody tale of monstrous parenthood from David Cronenberg, starring Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar. With its combination of psychological and body horror, The Brood laid the groundwork for many of the director's films to come, but it stands on its own as a personal, singularly scary vision.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED EDITION:

• New, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by director David Cronenberg, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New documentary about the making of the film and Cronenberg's early work, featuring actor Samantha Eggar, producer Pierre David, cinematographer Mark Irwin, assistant director John Board, and special makeup effects artists Rick Baker (Videodrome) and Joe Blasco (Shivers and Rabid)
• New, restored 2K digital transfer of Crimes of the Future, a 1970 feature by Cronenberg, supervised by the director, plus a 2011 interview in which the director discusses his early films with Fangoria editor Chris Alexander
• Interview from 2013 with actors Art Hindle and Cindy Hinds
• Appearance by actor Oliver Reed on The Merv Griffin Show from 1980
• Trailer and radio spot
• PLUS: An essay by critic Carrie Rickey


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 Post subject: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:28 am 
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Galen Young wrote:
Fletch F. Fletch wrote:
GreenCine has an excellent, in-depth interview with Cronenberg:

http://www.greencine.com/article?action ... pageID=518

Nice interview.

Strange that he thinks there are no "genuine laughs" in The Brood. Surely he's forgetting the Jan Hartog character, played by the always unnerving Robert Silverman:

"Don't you think this will look impressive in court? Do you like it? I do. That's Raglan. That's Psychoplasmics! And it's called lymphosarcoma. And it's spreading! It's a form of cancer of the lymphatic system."

"You blame Raglan for that?"

"Oh Raglan did it. I mean, Raglan encouraged my body to, to revolt, against me. And it did. Now, I have small revolution on my hands and I'm not putting down very successfully."

Or the character Mike Trellan (Gary McKeehan):

"...you see, my real daddy rejected me, and then, my surrogate daddy rejected me -- that's just fucking wonderful don't you think!"

One of Cronenberg's true masterpieces, a pitch-black satire blended powerfully with heartbreaking tragedy.


bevilacq12 wrote:
It'd be cool if they had another Cronenberg title to release alongside Videodrome on BD. Crash would be good, and Scanners and The Brood are certainly good bedfellows for Videodrome. I know Scanners and The Brood already have DVD releases from MGM, but I'm not sure of their quality and I definitely doubt they're high on MGM's list for BD releases.

both the Scanners and Brood DVDs are pretty basic. nothing wrong with them, nothing to celebrate either. The Brood is a personal favorite of mine - not just my favorite Cronenberg, but horror period. I saw it as a kid when it first came out and had nightmares for weeks because of those little bastards in the snow suits. to this day it creeps me out something fierce, and I watch the MGM dvd every fall. As much as I love it, however, I really can't imagine that it or Scanners really passes muster for getting a spine number - though I would love a blu ray of a fully restored Brood more than most anyone I'm sure.


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 Post subject: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 11:50 pm 
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I'm right there with you on The Brood. It's one of the most unsettling films I've ever seen and a testament that Cronenberg was already a singular genius. I would love to see it get a new release.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:28 pm 
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I just watched The Brood for the first time last night, and God was it unnerving. I haven't seen a movie that chilled me this much in a long time. It's only my fifth Cronenberg after Eastern Promises, Videodrome, Rabid, and his completely uncharacteristic Fast Company. While the movie is pretty straightforward, the image of those hooded little buggers (a nod to Don't Look Now?) is pretty hard to shake, and when it's finally revealed what they are, I found it to be a genuinely frightening notion. Samantha Eggar literally breeds hatred. It's difficult for me to put my finger on exactly why this film chilled me more than so many other horror films (I literally could not bring myself to get out of bed when the movie was over to change the DVD), but although the film is not as polished as Cronenberg's later movies, and the acting (particulalry Art Hindle) is not always in top form, this movie touched me. It may be the central theme of the terror of family relationships, a theme I am very interested in. Whatever it is, I have a feeling this movie is going to stay with me for a long time.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:52 pm 
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Wasn't this film in part supposed to have been Cronenberg's response to going through a divorce during that particular period?

I like this film too - you know a film is going to be extreme when Oliver Reed's character is presented as the calm, sane, voice of reason! And I agree that Samantha Eggar is amazing, especially in the revelatory 'birthing' scene - which is sort of the equivalent 'extreme' setpiece to the final battle in Scanners in that it pushes all the implications of the early part of the film far beyond anything that could have been expected to have been shown.

And there's that quite haunting image of the couple's daughter being led back to her mother, walking along that snowy road between two of her 'siblings', all of them in those brightly coloured coats! (I guess the motif could be traced back to Don't Look Now but the brightly coloured mac also gets used in another 1970s horror film Alice, Sweet Alice as well)

I think it is part of that early cycle of Cronenberg films (which I feel ends with Scanners) where relatively 'normal', sympathetic characters become victims of doctors/psychiatrists/corporations (delete as applicable). Though they're often not exactly classifiable as 'mad scientists', but more meddling, benevolent, fatherly experimentors, who royally manage to screw things up (the wordless opening of Shivers/They Came From Within is particularly queasy as the elderly gentleman wrestles a young girl onto a table. It plays like a rough sex game, with underage sex undertones, until he cuts her open to try and kill the creatures inside her that he has created, and then commits suicide himself), and then whisk their 'victims' off to high tech clinics or gated compounds in order to hide their actions from prying eyes and explore more deeply the consequences of their actions.

After this period the idea of manipulation is still there but becomes interestingly modified to take on a more subjective dimension - instead of watching Rose in Rabid or Nola in The Brood from their investigating boyfriend/husband's perspective, we are often fully inside the perspective of the central character themselves (though The Fly is a great blend of both this internal subjective perspective of the central metamorphosing character and the occasional jumps from that to see the impact on the girlfriend. Plus Seth Brundle is also able to be the architect of his own bizarre situation, so this film fuses all these previous themes together in a new manner).

This extra subjectivity better allows for ideas of paranoia, the use of drugs and compulsion to be tackled - and Crash is sort of all about these kinds of 'victimised' characters finally becoming autonomous beings again, ready to direct their own actions instead of just being pushed around or overcome by 'shocking' events - something which has slowly seemed to be developing through all the films.


Last edited by colinr0380 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:12 pm 
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Yes, this film was made (or, at least, conceived :wink:) during Cronenberg's divorce and brutal child-custody battle. It is interesting what you say about the cycle of "mad doctor" films, and it might have made the film even more interesting if it were told from Eggar's point of view rather than the husband's. But then, considering what Cronenberg was going through at the time, it's obvious why he would sympathize with the husband and depict the wife as literally distant and closed-off, unable to be reasoned with. This sympathy extends to Eggar's parents as well, with her mother being the abusive drunk and her father being the remorseful, anguished partner, the one who is loved by the child even as she recognizes his faults.

I would like to watch this film again and look deeper into its rich subtexts, but that's not something I'm prepared to do in the near future. I'm still shaken by it.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:44 pm 
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I love that small speech that Art Hindle makes to his daughter's teacher regarding Eggar's character: "Sometimes it just kills me to think that I might have screwed my kid up already. She's not even six...Sometimes when I'm being easy on myself I think 'It's not your fault, you got taken in. You got involved with a woman who married you for your sanity, hoping it would rub off'. Too bad it started to work the other way".

The thing I like most about Cronenberg's films is, though they have their gory and shocking moments, there is often a far more powerful feeling of glacial horror running through them - a shifting and melting of reality that makes all the films unforgettably troubling.

I find it difficult to put into words but from The Brood on Howard Shore's scores really add to this feeling, adding a layer of horror to the sequences in their drawn out notes and screaming shrieks of shock (yet also precisely timed in their howls), while the visuals calmly, impassively capture every detail of a shocking scene, as much as they would if a normal conversation were occurring.

One of the other interesting things about the early period of Cronenberg films and their focus on somewhat peripheral to the action figures of boyfriends/husbands, when really we might expect far more attention to be paid to Rose or Nola, is that it adds greatly to the sense of futility. Our 'heroes' don't really have an inkling as to what is going on until around the mid-point of these films and even then there is little they can do to fight against the horror, just try and focus on saving their girlfriends or children - with the tragedy being that they were often the first to be lost.

Shivers/They Came From Within/The Parasite Murders is a great example of this, as our clueless doctor based in the surgery in the deluxe block of flats starts noticing strange behaviour amongst his patients (shades of Invasion of the Body Snatchers), that seems to be linked to a sexual disease. Of course by the time he has uncovered the elderly doctor's experiments and had the implications explained to him by his friend (Joe Silver, who plays a very similar role, and meets a similarly nasty and ironic end in Rabid), it is far too late to do anything about it. (While I'm looking forward to seeing if Vincenzo Natali's adaptation of J.G. Ballard's High Rise works out, really Cronenberg already captured a lot of the same kind of ideas in Shivers)

These 'heroes' are callow voyeurs (Jude Law in eXistenZ plays a similar character, who has more things happen to him than pushing forward the narrative himself), watching the new world come into being while the doctors and scientists like Dr Keloid in Rabid or the doctor in Shivers who have all the answers die, commit suicide or go mad early on in the film, abandoning the narrative and the characters within it to the consequences of their machinations.

Even when the 'father figure' survives to the final section, such as Reed's Dr Raglan or Dr Ruth in Scanners, they are singularly ineffectual or literally immobilised by their guilt, suitable only to be decoys to set up the final confrontations.


Last edited by colinr0380 on Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:48 am 
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colinr0380 wrote:
The thing I like most about Cronenberg's films is though they have their gory and shocking moments there's often a far more powerful feeling of glacial horror running through them - a shifting and melting of reality that makes all the films unforgettably troubling.

This is why I love Cronenberg. He's clearly an intellectual director. But what I respond to in his films is not so much their ideas, but the visceral discomfort I feel while watching them. I'm puzzled by this every time I watch one of his movies. I ask myself, "Why do I take pleasure in the unpleasant feelings this film engenders in me?" The obvious answer would be that I'm seeking a vicarious thrill in a scary movie, but I maintain that my enjoyment of Cronenberg's cinema goes far beyond that. Walter Pater writes about the necessity of recognizing how a work of art modifies one's nature, and I've concluded that my love for Cronenberg stems from his ability to to alter my own nature. Many directors are capable of overwhelming me with emotion, Fellini or Wenders for instance, yet their work rejuvenates feelings and convictions that are always with me. Cronenberg has the power to genuinely modify me, to rattle me out of the my usual avenues of thought and emotion. For this, I will always love him. I'm also in awe of his imaginative power. He doesn't need gore to unsettle me. The gun shot wounds in Naked Lunch aren't bloody at all, but the image of them is unforgettable.


colinr0380 wrote:
I find it difficult to put into words but from The Brood on Howard Shore's scores really add to this feeling, adding a layer of horror to the sequences in their drawn out notes and screaming shrieks of shock (yet also precisely timed in their howls), while the visuals calmly, impassively capture every detail of a shocking scene, as much as they would if a normal conversation were occurring.

Absolutely. His score for The Fly might be my favorite. I admire how briskly Cronenberg paced the film. After the title sequence, it opens with a medium close-up of Goldblum saying something like, "I'm working on something that will change the world." There is no introduction to the characters, no exposition whatsoever. Cronenberg thrusts us right into the story, and I think he was only able to do that because Shore's music immediately lends the film a magnitude that audiences don't normally expect from a horror remake.


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 Post subject: Re: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:47 pm 
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So much for the assertion that spine # 777 would be some gambling/Vegas-related film


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 Post subject: Re: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:30 pm 
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So much for Criterion rendering Arrow's Videodrome redundant with the extras on their next Cronenberg release.


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 Post subject: Re: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:53 pm 
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One of the few films that genuinely scares me. Glad to be able to get a nice edition of it!


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 Post subject: Re: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:29 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:11 am
Personally, I think this is Cronenberg best. The cover of the video scared the hell out of me as a kid back in the videostore-days. Crimes of the Future is a very nice addition. Nice package.


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 Post subject: Re: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:27 pm 
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The UK Second Sight blu is solid should the Criterion release change the colour timing a la Scanners.


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 Post subject: Re: 777 the Brood
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:27 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:25 am
I am glad that The Brood gets a BD release (and am curious if this'll also have a different color scheme - see SCANNERS), but the thing I am most excited about is this:

Quote:
New, restored 2K digital transfer of Crimes of the Future, a 1970 feature by Cronenberg, supervised by the director, plus a 2011 interview in which the director discusses his early films with Fangoria editor Chris Alexander


I love STEREO, and have only seen about a few minutes of CRIMES OF THE FUTURE (which I liked, too).

To add my own 2$ to the previous discussion: the themes you speak of also show up in later Cronenberg. Think of A Dangerous Method. Think of Eastern Promises and A History of Violence, where gated communities reveal a place where the perverse and hideous blooms. Think of M. Butterfly and Naked Lunch, where an individual is caught in his own projections of reality and - in the end - is granted an asylum which allows for a self-annihilation of SOME kind. Think of Spider.


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 Post subject: Re: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:02 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:25 am
Beaver Review

The Brood from Criterion has a similar blue filter to it as Scanners. Cronenberg seems to be actively trying to change the look of his entire pre-Videodrome output.


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 Post subject: Re: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:23 pm 
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Blu-ray.com

There was a Merv Griffin episode with Oliver Reed, Orson Welles and Charo?!


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 Post subject: Re: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:18 am
I really enjoyed the Brood. My take on the film would be that I found it to be rather funny with the mutated kids in the cabin. On the special features on the Criterion disc, Samantha Egger talks about the scene where she licks the baby of hers coming out of her body. She said that people found it rather gross but I guess I found it, in a certain sense, funny. She mentions in it that she is an animal lover and I think she found that scene to be natural for her to do rather than finding it disgusting. I also watched Crimes of the Future on the disc and though I didn't quite "get it," it wasn't so confusing that I didn't find it entertaining or interesting to watch.


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 Post subject: Re: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:56 pm 

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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film5/blu-ray_ ... lu-ray.htm

Wow....what to make of this? I think the German release looks better and more as I remember the movie on dvd. The Criterion looks quite flat and muted. But it is supervised and approved by Cronenberg. But what a difference in color....it looks like night and day.


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 Post subject: Re: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:28 pm 
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I don't think it's a difference in color so much as brightness levels. The German release does look quite nice.


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 Post subject: Re: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:30 pm 
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If you're bothered by the darkness of the Criterion transfer, might I suggest playing around with the brightness controls on your TV? My Samsung LCD has four pre-programmed "Picture Mode" settings: Dynamic (extremely bright), Standard, Natural, and Movie (very dark--presumably for watching with the lights off?). I use one of the two middle settings for watching Blu-rays, depending on which looks the most balanced to my eye. For example The Brood looks slightly underlit and muted on Natural, but watching it on Standard corrects for this and creates a look more similar to the German Blu-ray (brighter, with richer colors).


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 Post subject: Re: 777 The Brood
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:38 am 
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HAL 9000 wrote:
I really enjoyed the Brood. My take on the film would be that I found it to be rather funny with the mutated kids in the cabin. On the special features on the Criterion disc, Samantha Egger talks about the scene where she licks the baby of hers coming out of her body. She said that people found it rather gross but I guess I found it, in a certain sense, funny. She mentions in it that she is an animal lover and I think she found that scene to be natural for her to do rather than finding it disgusting.

There are moments in the film which seem to me to be played for laughs. I'm thinking of the autopsy scene in particular. It's lit in this seemingly unnecessarily unusual purple glow and though it likely wasn't intended (it's reminiscent of the infamous Fox alien autopsy footage which didn't come until decades later) the creature looks like a little grey. The doctor himself seems to be getting a perverse kick out of the whole thing with lines like (paraphrasing) "outside the lack of genitalia, there's something quite unusual about the external appearance. Have you spotted it yet?" like he's playing a little game.

I'm somewhat surprised by some of the reactions mentioned earlier in this thread. The film is a little creepy, but in no way did I find myself strongly unsettled by it.


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