Crash (1996)

NC-17   |    |  Drama


Crash (1996) Poster

After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.


6.4/10
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  • David Cronenberg and James Spader in Crash (1996)
  • James Spader and Deborah Kara Unger in Crash (1996)
  • James Spader in Crash (1996)
  • Deborah Kara Unger in Crash (1996)
  • David Cronenberg in Crash (1996)
  • Crash (1996)

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30 December 2003 | Skeptic459
8
| What a bunch of weirdo's! Awesome movie!
Crash caused a huge stir in the United Kingdom. Many conservatives were outraged by the combination of sex, already an issue of danger because of aids, and traffic accidents. Dangerous driving is like smoking, a subject that you just can't touch without many moral watchdogs chasing you through a hellish puritan junkyard.

I remember seeing this and a middle aged to elderly man in the theater began to quite obviously...ahem...trouser cough. This was one hell of a way to clear the cinema! That moment is pretty much like this film. Crash has weird sex and masterbation, stuff that you do not really want to see. But David Cronenberg with the help of James Ballard drags us into a world that just takes the whole 'I love cars' boy racer thing way too far! It is just not healthy...

Ballard writes in a bleak monotone. A monotone that Chuck Palahniuk seeks to imitate unsuccessfully. All of his characters are alien because of their lack of emotion. Cronenberg takes this aspect and runs with it. This makes the film good not because of the familiarity and sympathy that the viewer can build with the characters. It is actually quite the opposite, the film strikes the viewer because of the sheer UNREALITY of what is happening. The complete and utter icy way that everything is presented just leaves the viewer going 'what?' Am I watching a bunch of jellyfish here? The characters are so jaded. Trying desperately to experience emotion in an industrialized emotionless world. A world that has become nothing more than a production line. Good Ford! Sorry, Huxley joke. Nerdy but necessary.

Also, Cronenberg is presenting a discourse that the famous intellectual Donna Haraway puts forward. That basically the human race has become cyborgs. The the human form is constantly changing. That machines are changing our humanity and crash seems to say that our own sexuality can mingle with the mundane machines that we hold so dear. Oh no! I am getting flashbacks of the crazed artist Stellarc...no...no...no! Besides I bet in the future, terminators would make much more money as sexual partners, rather than as assassins. Imagine that, a beautiful spouse who always thinks your right and never argues with you. I LOVE THE FUTURE!

Sex is considered to be the ultimate joining of two people. The most intimate way that human beings can connect to one another. Wrong! This film suggests that sex means...well, nothing really. Procreation and a simple physical reaction. This is shown by James Spader and his wife's, Deborah Unger, relationship. These two are so jaded they tell each other their sexual adventures for attempted excitement but feel absolutely nothing. Certainly not some sought of emotional closeness to one another.

This film is just so incredibly empty. But it is also a comment on the human condition. How we make almost suicidal attempts to attain pleasure. If this was a film about heroin for instance, about junkies, this film would be much more understandable. Ballard has taken this addictive, self destructive behaviour and replaced it with an everyday object. The motor car. It is a brilliantly simple idea! But look at how many people it has horrified and offended! C'mon people, are we really this stupid? Sex and drugs, sex and violence. Sex, drugs and violence. These things are all o.k. Portrayed constantly in Hollywood movies. Van Diesel anybody? But sex and car accidents, how dare you? What kind of a sick freak are you??!! Consider how hypocritical this is when you watch something like Fast and the Furious.

This is also a film that features the psychological nature of fetish heavily. Instead of having the common fetish for breasts or bottoms, which again people might find more understandable. The fetish is actually for wounds and crash test dummy videos! That scene with Rosanna Arquette, ewww! Would that work? This is definitely something that no one should try at home.

David Cronenberg really deserves credit for making this film. He really has some big balls and respects the intelligence of the audience, which I however do not. All of the actors deserve much credit for taking on some truly difficult material. They must really trust the director. I'm surprised no one said 'no David, you are out to lunch on this one!' This film could have become a parody so easily. Never have I seen a film where everyone in the audience seemed so uncomfortable with the material. In fact, when I saw this film without the trouser coughing, people still walked out. It hasn't been since Salo that I have see a movie upset so many people. I give this 8 out of 10 for sheer weirdness. A great moment in a major auteur's career who is not afraid to take risks. Hollywood take note!

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$738,339 6 October 1996

Gross USA:

$2,664,812

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,667,076

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