Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

THE BROOD


THE BROOD (1979). Director: David Cronenberg.

Frank Carveth (Art Hindle) has a young daughter Candy (Cindy Hinds) and a wife, Nola (Samantha Eggar) who is getting a bizarre form of therapy from a psychological wunderkind named Hal Raglan (Oliver Reed) who runs an outfit called Psychoplasmics. Carveth has no idea that Nola's treatment has some odd side effects. First her mother is killed, and then her father, by what appears to be a little boy in a hood but actually turns out to be an odd creature with no naval -- meaning it wasn't born in the usual sense ... what's going on? There are some interesting concepts and dialogue in this movie as there generally are in Cronenberg's films, but the film is awfully draggy and talks itself out long, long before the not-very-thrilling wind-up. Even the murder sequences aren't handled with that much flair. Busy actor Henry Beckman gives a terrific performance as Nola's father, Barton. Eggar is fine in a thankless, somewhat embarrassing role. Hindle and Reed are also good, as are some of the supporting players, but this picture just doesn't move.

Verdict: If you need a good night's sleep ... *1/2.

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