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movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Crash

Starring: James Spader, Holly Hunter
Director: David Cronenberg
Rated: NC-17
RunTime: 98 Minutes
Release Date: March 1997
Genres: Drama, Cult

*Also starring: Peter MacNeill, Elias Koteas, Deborah Unger, Rosanna Arquette, Peter MacNeil

Review by Jerry Saravia
No Rating Supplied

The controversial "Crash" is the darkest and most twisted film to come out of David Cronenberg in years. The film stars James Spader as a commercial producer, James Ballard, who is married to a attractive, sexy woman, Catherine (Deborah Kara Unger). They indulge in their own sex fantasies: James has sex with his female assistants, and she carresses the cold surfaces of jet airplanes with her nipples. Then James gets into a fatal car accident and kills a passenger. The driver, Helen Remington (Holly Hunter), survives and becomes attracted to James. They start having sex in almost any wrecked car they find. Helen introduces James to Vaughan (Elias Koteas), the high priest of auto wrecks who recreates famous car crashes such as James Dean's and Jayne Mansfield's. Then they meet Gabrielle (Rosanna Arquette), a cripple who has a huge gash on her leg resembling a vagina. James and Catherine get sucked into this weird cult where a car crash or a video of a car crash equals sexual pleasure.

"Crash" is not an easy film to watch nor should it be. It shouldn't be dismissed as pornographic either since there are no gratuitous sex scenes - it isn't erotic or thrilling, just plain twisted. My interpretation of it is that these people need to feel pleasure in their sexual encounters and they do it by getting into car wrecks - it feeds their drive and lust. There are really no performances in this movie, the actors just simply react to each other with looks and glances and sexual gestures (Hunter seems out of her element in her less than hypnotic stares). You will not identify with any of these people or remotely like them. So why see this movie? Because it is challenging, stimulating and provocative. The tears in Catherine's eyes at the end of the film indicate that this sex game may have gone too far. Like Cronenberg's "Videodrome" and his recent "eXistenZ," it will make you feel icky, unsatisfied and uneasy for days on end.

Copyright 1997 Jerry Saravia

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