Episode 6: Love In The Time Of Octopi And Cronenberg, Or: When Things Fall Apart, Can We Make A New Start? Not Likely.
Greetings, creeps and weirdos! Welcome to the sixth episode of Horror Business, the podcast that would thrill Tom Atkins time and time again. This episode, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Liam and Justin go against their better judgment and take a look at a couple of movies that exemplify the absolute dread that is the abomination of love gone absolutely wrong.
The first film that is discussed in David Cronenberg’s The Brood. Focal to this conversation is Cronenberg’s fascination with the grotesque and it’s intrusion into every day life and his obsession with detailing the interaction of the internal and external. In this specific case, it is the repressed emotions of a woman who had been abused as a child manifesting themselves as monstrous children that she births and the proceeds to unleash upon those she has perceived as having wronged her. The possibility of this film serving as a vehicle for Cronenberg’s criticism of pharmaceuticals and “New Age” therapies that could end up doing more harm than good, as is the extremely personal nature of the film due to it reflecting Cronenberg’s own frustrations with his divorce. Cronenberg’s cold and clinical style of film is discussed, as is the possibility of misogynistic tendencies in his films. On a humorous note, the overt and dominating masculinity of Oliver Reed is discussed at length, and Liam vents about his anxieties involving 1970s America.
Up next is the late Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession. Central to this conversation is the religious and mystical nature of the film, due to several of the characters constantly making references to God and the divine, and the possibility of there being no god. The possible demonic nature of the entity that is seducing Isabella Adjani’s character is likewise discussed. The nonsensical and apparently surreal nature is examined in an attempt to find some sort of meaning in the apparent chaos of the film. How the film treats the nature of romantic loss and jealousy is discussed at length, and the tragedy of a relationship falling apart is central to this discussion, central to which is Sam Neill’s descent into madness and his switch from the sympathetic character into a wholly unsympathetic character. Perhaps most interesting in the discussion of Possession is the role of politics in the film; while it is wrought with imagery of the Cold War (Sam Neill’s character is a spy of some sort and the actual Berlin Wall is seen in the background throughout much of the film) any actual political message is hard to discern. In other words, despite the heavy use of political imagery, the film remains a psychologically based horror film with some political imagery rather than a political film with horror overtones. Zulawski recently passed, but we recorded before this happened so we do not discuss it on the show.
As always thanks to everyone and anyone who checked this episode out.. Any questions, comments, suggestions for movies and guests, or if you yourself want to join us for a movie viewing or even an episode, can be sent to [email protected]. We can be reached on Facebook through the Horror Business page and you can follow us on Twitter at @thehorrorbiz666. Thanks always to Justin Miller and Doug Tilley for their technical contributions, and also thanks to Josh “Pineapple Jackson” Alvarez for being the Stephen Merritt-esque rendition of a great Misfits song for our theme. Until next time…stay creepy.