The Brood (Domingo’s VHS Vault # 1)

23 Aug

I had an idea yesterday that I’m sure I’ll be really enthusiastic about for a few days and then completely lose interest, cause I do that, but for now let’s assume I’m actually the type of person who finishes what he starts.  Here is the Eureka type idea:

“I will watch…and write a review of….EVERY SINGLE MOVIE THAT I OWN!!”

That may not sound like that big of a deal except for the fact that I own around 5000 movies.  You read that right.  Five.  THOUSAND.  Movies.  And that’s a conservative estimate.

I was considering starting a whole new blog for this venture, but decided to just create a sub-category instead.  “Domingo’s VHS Vault. ” I did this partially because I’m too lazy to start a whole new blog, and partially because the blog I already have has been far too neglected of late.  I may write another entry explaining this neglect today or I may not.  I would bet on NOT.  (But one never knows, especially when alcohol is involved, which I began consuming today well before noon)

So without further ado I will jump right into it!  It should be duly noted that in further blogs from this sub-category I will dispense with all this rambling exposition, but as it has been quite some time since I have contributed to my blog, I can’t really help myself.)

cover

THE BROOD

1979

Directed by David Cronenberg

Starring Oliver Reed (you might know him as that guy that died while he was making “Gladiator” with Russel Crowe) , Art Hindle and Samantha Eggar

So yesterday afternoon I popped this tape in. (Yeah it’s an actual VHS tape. Some of these movie reviews, assuming at the moment I ever actually do any more, may end up being DVD, BLU-Ray or stuff I watched online, but I’m going to continue to call these blogs “Domingo’s VHS Vault,” because as far as I’m concerned there never has been a better medium for viewing films, and there never will be.  Don’t bother arguing if you believe otherwise.  You are wrong.)

I knew I was in for a treat when I noticed this movie was directed by David Cronenberg.  This guy was the MASTER of weird psychological horror in the 70’s.

Listen,  I’m going to spoil the shit out of this movie right off the bat, so if you care, go watch it, and then come back to see what I have to say about it. Or don’t.  I don’t really give a shit what you do to be honest, but don’t come whining about it later.  I will only point and laugh at you, since you have in fact been warned.

Here’s the basic premise:  Some guy’s crazy wife is in a weird asylum run by a quirky psychiatrist (Oliver Reed) who uses a theatrical form of confrontational psychology that is supposed to make a person separate themselves from their most destructive emotions.  The guy does NOT trust this psychiatrist (and who would?  Oliver Reed was MOSTLY known for playing villains) and he becomes further concerned when his young daughter comes back from visiting her mother with a bunch of bruises and scratches on her.  He confronts the psychiatrist and tells him he doesn’t want his wife to have contact with their daughter anymore but is told that would interfere with her therapy.   Then a bunch of savage murders start to happen to people around him.  By murders I mean people are bludgeoned to death by deformed children.  One of the “children” dies after the attack and is examined.   They are indeed CREEPY looking as fuck.

THE-BROOD

HERE COME THE SPOILERS:

Turns out the murderous “children” ARE in fact the wife’s separated emotions of anger and vengeance. Eventually a couple of them kidnap the young daughter and the husband goes to the Asylum to confront the doctor (who actually turns out NOT to be the bad guy at all but is sincerely trying to help!)  In the climactic ending, the husband sees his wife give “birth” to one of these creatures while several others beat Oliver Reed to death.

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So  how did I feel about this movie?

Like most Cronenberg movies of this era, a creepy and unsettling tone is set right from the beginning, but also the story seems kind of dull and plodding for the first 45 minutes or so and I found myself wondering when and if anything was actually going to happen.  Still I found myself enjoying it and when it got to the climax, when the wife (Samatha Eggar) reveals she is about to spawn another of The Brood I literally sat up off the couch and said (out loud, in an empty apartment:  “WHAT…THE…FUCK?”)

She literally rips an embryonic pouch off her belly, peels the mutant baby out of it, and begins LICKING THE BLOOD OFF IT!   (Apparently this was improvised on the spot by Eggar) In order to save the day the husband must to strangle her to death, at which point the brood children all drop dead, though not in time to save Oliver Reed.  (poor sap)

I grant this film 7 out of 10.  (I haven’t decided what I will use as stars yet.  I was considering Orange Slices, as there is a bag of them sitting on my desk right now.  Where was I when Ant Man needed me?)

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Good wholesome family fun.  Make plenty of popcorn before viewing!

 

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