Trailer Terrors: Special Mother's Day Edition

The Brood (1979)

Despite having some notion to feature the all too obvious choice of Troma's epic ode to Mother's Day (1980), I decided to select a more obscure tribute to motherhood in David Cronenberg's body-horror sideshow The Brood.

From Pamela Voorhees in Friday the 13th to Amanda Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, women (in particularly mothers) have had a recurring presence as either the impetus for the carnage that ravages the screen or as the beacon of hope that banishes the darkness. So what's scarier than a mother whose offspring has homicidal tendencies towards today's youth culture? How about a whose own tortured memories of childhood form themselves on her own body like cancerous wombs which then proceed to kill for her en masse.

The Brood earns its highest mark as a Mother's Day tribute, though, thanks to a single scene near the end of the film when Nola (the "brood mother") opens her gown to reveal a stomach that is riddled with sores. Amongst the sores lies a lone translucent sac (see insert) in which resides her latest "broodling" child. For most this scene would be enough, but no, Cronenberg takes it further by showing Nola as she sinisterly proceeds to bite open the sac, licking off the afterbirth et al. Now if that's not a mother's love, I don't know what is.

A slow burn in the beginning, it takes The Brood awhile to really get interesting. Nonetheless it stands as one of Cronenberg's best films to date with its convergence of topical issues such as the effects of divorce on children and our subhuman proclivity towards violence (both self-inflicted and against others). The "broodlings" themselves are horriblly disfigured clones reminiscent of the red-coated dwarf from Don't Look Now (1973) whose horror is both intellectual and vile.


  1. Anonymous said...:

    God, that birthing scene gets to me every time. I want to yack.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    You really got to give it to Cronenberg, he knows how to pull off those skin-crawling moments.

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails