At 80 years of age writer-director David Cronenberg has long since secured his reputation in having carved his niche in body horror a niche which he arguably pioneered and pretty much made his own with often challenging and brutal imagery. Having moved away from genre in the past twenty years with films such as the excellent A History of Violence and Eastern Promises he returns to body horror with Crimes of the Future released on Limited Edition 4K UHD /Blu-ray Box set & Standard Edition 4K/UHD and Standard Edition Blu-ray.
Crimes of the Future is set in the not-too-distant future, humanity has been forced to adapt to a synthetic environment and the human body has undergone new transformations and mutations. In a world where diseases and physical pain no longer exist, one man, Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen ), has the strange and fascinating ability to grow new organs inside of his body. Joined by his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux) the celebrity performing couple capitalise on his metamorphosis, showcasing the spectacle for a live audience. Witnessing the marvel first-hand, Timlin (Kristen Stewart ) is immediately stirred by her discovery and shares news with her boss Wippet (Don McKeller) – the leader of a mysterious group, the National Organ Registry – who want to use Saul’s notoriety to shed light on the next stage of human evolution.
Originally written back in the late 1990’s when micro plastics and evolution were on Cronenberg’s rader and he wrote a script that was ahead of the curve with a story that is disturbingly provocative right from the start with a child sitting on a bathroom floor biting mouthfuls out of a plastic bin. From here the film evolves into a perverse and typically unconventional love story with moments of body horror that might be too much for some with on screen ahead of its time surgery and characters masochistic acceptance of body mutilation. As with so many of Cronenberg’s films the imagery is shocking although the prosthetics don’t always match the standard of the idea in a way that the Oscar winning effects house KNB did with films such as Eli Roth’s truly stomach churning The Green Inferno but are nonetheless explicit enough to provoke a reaction.
As befitting many of Cronenberg’s films Crimes of the Future disc has a whole load of bonus features which include:
- UHD presented in Dolby Vision HDR
- New audio commentary by Caelum Vatnsdal
- Undeniably a Love Story: an interview with director David Cronenberg
- Things Change: an interview with Viggo Mortensen
- The Chaos Inside: an interview with Léa Seydoux
- The Heat and the Grime: an interview with Kristen Stewart
- The Bureau Man: a new interview with Don McKellar
- Painkiller: a new interview with producer Robert Lantos
- The Most Wonderful Dream: a new interview with cinematographer Douglas Koch
- The Code of David: a new interview with editor Christopher Donaldson
- New Flesh, Future Crimes: The Body and David Cronenberg – a video essay by Leigh Singer
- The Making of Crimes of the Future
- Production Design Materials
- Short film: The Death of David Cronenberg
Limited Edition contents
- Rigid slipcase with new artwork by Marko Manev
- 120 page book with new essays by Reyna Cervantes, Tim Coleman, Joel Hartley, Rich Johnson, Mikel Koven, Phil Nobile Jr, Ian Schultz and Hannah Strong
- Six collectors’ art cards
It is disappointing that Cronenberg himself doesn’t provide a commentary because as knowledgeable as writer Caelum Vatnsdal is about his fellow Canadian it’s the director you really want to talk about what’s on screen. It’s the standalone interviews that are best with Cronenberg, Mortenson, Seydoux, Stewart along with the behind the scenes crew which are most enlightening as is a video essay by Leigh Singer that serves as an engaging insight into the directors body of work and a short film titled ‘The Death Of Cronenberg’ though only one minute long is slightly unsettling as the director encounters his own grey dead body in a bedroom.
With its theme of environmentalism taken to the extreme Crimes of the Future can be taken as either the bleakest of satires or prophetic sci fi horror but either way it is both challenging and thought provoking.
Here’s the Crimes of the Future trailer……..
Crimes of the Future Limited Edition 4K UHD /Blu-ray Box set & Standard Edition 4K/UHD and Standard Edition Blu-ray is released on 11th September 2023