The Fly (1986)

Veronica (Geena Davis) is a reporter for a science magazine, scoping out a party for up-and-coming scientists. There she meets Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum), an eccentric yet strangely charismatic guy who invites her back to his place to reveal an invention that will change the world as they know it. Upon arriving at his apartment, Veronica learns of Seth’s Telepods, devices that allow the user to instantaneously transport something from one place to another. At first they use an inanimate object, but the plan is to move living things, and then eventually Seth himself. Hilarity ensues.
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Naked Lunch

A bug exterminator, Bill Lee (Peter Weller) discovers the supply of his bright yellow bug-killing powder is running low, because it turns out his wife Joan (Judy Davis) has been shooting it up like heroin. Bill gives the powder/drug a try too, leading to some rather bizarre possible-hallucinations involving giant bugs, alien-like creatures and who knows what else?
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James Woods is Max Renn, president of Channel 83, a controversial TV channel with a limited budget and non-existent morals in David Cronenberg’s exploration into the power and motivation of television. Those familiar with only Cronenberg’s later, Viggo Mortensen-starring work (A History of Violence, Eastern Promises and the incoming A Dangerous Method) may be surprised to discover the mind-scarring imagery rife throughout his body-horror classics, most notable in Max Renn’s chest-vagina, as he finds himself morphing into a VCR, or a radio signal that induces brain tumours in the viewer to rid the world of the sadistic scum who watch it – a sort of Taxi Driver meets the Ring approach to cultural cleansing. Woods is riveting in every scene; an underrated and underused actor capable of a great deal more than he’s ever given credit for, and the ideas on show here are nothing short of fascinating. The pornography and violence may be too much for sum – a TV program has no plot, just realistic sex and torture, and a woman requests Max stub cigarettes out on her and pierce her ears during sex – but if you can cope with these then you’ll be fine.

Choose film 7/10

Crash (1996)

I’ve previously mentioned that I’m not overly squeamish about violence and mutilation in films, but I’m afraid this was more than I really wanted to take. This is a story of a movie producer (James Spader) who, after surviving a car crash, discovers a cult of car crash enthusiasts and proceeds to have as much sex as possible with every member of the cast, predominantly in cars. The sex is far more graphic than it needs to be, and involves, if not is stimulated by, the wounds and scars of the crash victims. Other than joining the club, there is no real narrative drive of the film, as the characters move from one orgy to another. Elias Koteas however is hypnotic as crash club leader Vaughan, but I’m not a big fan of nudity in general, and this film is little short of needlessly pornographic.

Choose life 3/10