Crimes of the Future

This scrabbly, extended 1970 short bridges the gap between David Cronenberg's early independent films and the commercial horror movies (Scanners, etc) for which he's known. Filmed in 16-millimeter and using Toronto's stock of modernist architecture for an Alphaville-like discount vision of the future, it's a pseudodocumentary, with lugubrious dramatic passages, about a devastating plague caused by a secret ingredient in a line of cosmetics. All of Cronenberg's personal obsessions—the distortion of the body, the grotesquerie of sex—are on display, though the treatment is a bit sophomoric. A curiosity item for hard-core Cronenberg fans.

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