Despite his protestations to the contrary, Cronenberg's films are epics of sexual anxiety boasting an almost Calvinistic focus on the human body as the centre of evil: a strain of sexual rabies in Rabid; slug-like parasites (curiously resembling faeces) in Shivers. In The Brood the threat seems initially more exterior (and so less threatening), with deranged patients from the sinister 'Institute of Psychoplasmics' on release, and small mutant murderers leaping out from behind doors and out of cupboards. But the source of the mayhem, it transpires, is Samantha Eggar, an improbably psychotic mother, busy unleashing hatred on her husband (and on Family Life generally). It's a strong theme, unfortunately undercut by faulty pacing and odd lapses in the tension. Still worth seeing for its latently political story and its gory special effects.
Cast and crew