Jtwo Saw it with a friend last night. The film feels like a litmus test for exactly how you feel about Cronenberg, because the film is Cronenberg at his most unreservedly alienating: stilted dialogue, barely-human characters, claustrophobic low-budget filming, quasi-coherent plotting, Pythonesque absurdity played deadly serious. (And that’s assuming you’re down for the kink and gore.) Do you like it when David does this?
For me the answer is… kinda? The relentless alienation really does make this feel like a movie beamed in from an alternate dimension or distant future, and that’s not an experience one gets at the movies a lot. The ideas of the film, academically, are enthralling and classic Cronenberg biopunk: a desensitized post-human populace, detached from ownership of their own bodies, who find the pinnacle of art and eroticism in self-mutilation; a state that fears the revolutionary possibility of modifications to human biology. But as an actual film to watch, it’s absolutely joyless and inhuman to a degree that’s hard for me to appreciate.
yeso I think what people said is not so much that the imagery isn’t graphic - it is - but that it’s presented in such a detached, nonchalant manner (humans in the film’s setting literally don’t feel pain and actively seek out self-mutilation for pleasure) that it doesn’t hit with the psychological violence of something like, say, Hostel.