Crash (1996) / Drama

MPAA Rated: NC-17 for numerous explicit sex scenes
Running Time: 100 min. (R-rated cut runs 90 min.)

Cast: James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Unger, Rosanna Arquette, Peter MacNeill
Director: David Cronenberg
Screenplay: David Cronenberg (based on the novel by J.G. Ballard)

Review published November 10, 1997

After a near fatal accident, a man is involved in a car accident with another couple which kills the husband but turns on the wife(!) Later in the hospital the two are approached by a sicko that wants to see their scars and pictures of the injuries because it's a turn-on for him and people of his ilk. The two that were in the accident soon discover that they too have become turned on by accidents and soon join a cult of people who have the same feelings, even re-enacting several famous crashes without safety belts.

It's certainly original (though based on an early 70s J.G. Ballard novel), but it's unpleasant and more concerned with sensationalism than in the characters. Shock-meister David Cronenberg (Videodrome, Shivers) seems to have made a career in trying to be controversial rather than entertaining, and this film is so overblown that there's practically nothing shocking about it save that a major studio actually would fund the money to make it.

The acting is terrible, with everyone speaking in low, guttural and almost inhuman tones, as if the cast were zombified and told to intone some babble. The liberal amount of sex scenes are quite unsexy, and in fact made me more nauseous than anything. I expect this kind of deviant soft-core porn from James Spader (Stargate, Wolf), who seems to be building a career on them, but Holly Hunter (The Firm, The Piano) must have just finished smoking a crack pipe to have seen anything in this garbage to have made her want to be in it.

Poor directing, unlikeable and unrealistic characters, unappealing sex scenes involving deviant sexual interests and people kissing each others scars -- an unpleasant experience from beginning to end.

 Qwipster's rating::

1997 Vince Leo