20 March 2001 | phasmatrope
regretfully dull and unrewarding...
While this rare student film of Cronenberg's was certainly a pleasure to come across, it sure as shoot didn't offer much for pleasure or entertainment period once actually viewed. Designed as a "faked" B & W, voiceover-only documentary on the extra-sensory/psychic abilities of a group of young subjects in an enclosed secluded laboratory, with the big problem being that "faked" documentaries on any subject generally manage to make themselves entertaining by being either funny (as was the case with "Spinal Tap," "Waiting For Guffman," "Fear Of A Black Hat," etc.), or disturbing/disgusting/scary/whatever (i.e. "Blair Witch," "The Last Broadcast," "Snuff," etc.) Unfortunately this film didn't seem to try to take any sort of emotional approach to the material--it didn't even have any of the nauseating gore & makeup effects characteristic of his later films like "The Brood" and "The Fly"--and thus simply managed to be tedious and unrewarding.
While it is enjoyable to see some of Cronenberg's early stock actors at work here (some of whom would later have smaller roles in his later films), and the subject matter for the film is an obvious precursor to his later "Scanners," ultimately the darn thing will probably do little more than offer the completists out there some rather unenthusiastic bragging rights. Whatta snooze!