Let’s face it; we’ve all had some kind of childhood trauma. Whether it’s an ass-kickin’ for a bad report card, a dead pet, bullies, alcoholic parent(s), a perverted uncle, and list goes on and on in this sick and twisted thing we call life. Well, what if we could take all of those repressed emotions caused by life’s stressors and turn them into a group of minions that react to your capricious rage? Oh, and by the way, these minions start as little bumps on your skin and eventually develop into fetuses on the outside of your body. Welcome to the world of David Cronenberg and his 1979 sci-fi horror film, The Brood. This name should conjure up some classic macabre images, and if it doesn’t, just check his résumé: Shivers, Rabid, Scanners, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly (1986), and eXistenZ. And those are just his stabs at the horror genre. Cronenberg has always used his horror films to explore the human body and The Brood (his second film) is an early example of this.
The future is a pretty dreary place. Wars, famine, plagues, etc. Kinda makes you not want to see it. Thankfully, today’s story takes place 1,000 years after tomorrow, so unless there’s some kind of cure for everything released pretty soon or cryogenics steps up its’ game, we won’t have much to worry about. See, in this future a neutron war takes place. No, neutrons don’t fight each other, I’m guessing it’s some kind of war that has to do with neutron bombs. After the war, the world consists of vast deserts and large city-states. If you’re not in a city state, then you don’t use machinery (except weird floodlight/gun things) and you’re probably a mutant. Unless, of course, you’re a guide – which is an ancient warrior that lives only by it’s own code. If you are a guide, though, you’re hunted down to participate in the only punishment that’s still allowed in this distant future. That punishment is Deathsport!
I’m going to get this out of the way and just say it… I’m not a huge fan of death. Yeah, I might watch a lot of horror movies where people get their heads cut off of get limbs severed from their bodies, but I don’t really want that to happen to me anytime soon. I’m lucky in the fact that I’ve only had one person close to me die, but Mike and Jody Pearson aren’t so lucky. Just a short time after their parents are killed, one of their good friends is brutally murdered in a cemetery. After attending his funeral, Mike notices a suspicious man stealing their friend’s casket with his corpse still in it. He goes to investigate the man, but ends up finding something a lot more sinister than just a grave robber.
Most people know my taste in movies can be pretty weird and obscure. So it’s very rare that someone will recommend a movie to me, especially around Halloween. But a brave soul said I should watch something from her childhood that she still loves to this day, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things. Being that it was a few years before my time I didn’t give it much hope; classics for me don’t begin much before 1978. But it was directed by someone I am familiar with, Bob Clark, who went on to make Porky’s, Rhinestone, Loose Cannons, and Black Christmas which I reviewed a couple years ago. So I decided to give it a shot because something 3 years my senior that I had never seen before should at least bring 90 minutes of enjoyment to my life right!