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The controversial 1996 film directed by David Cronenberg and based on the book by J.G. Ballard.

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Cars, Sex and Gore , Oh My.....

  • Apr 13, 2007
  • by
I remember watching this movie when it came out about 10 years ago, and after seeing it again a few months ago, I draw the same conclusion. This movie IS REALLY BAD! I am not a prude and am not offended by sex, nudity, violence and gore. Crash features all of the former, so the question is why do I believe this movie is harebrained? The best answer I can give is how idiotic the entire premise is: A subculture of people who become erotically aroused by being involved in car crashes. I'll say it again, a subculture of people who become erotically aroused by being involved in car crashes.

I was also shocked by how many familiar actors/actresses were in this movie: James Spader (Pretty in Pink), Holly Hunter (Raising Arizona), Elias Koteas (Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles), Deborah Kara Unger (The Game) and Rosanna Arquette (Pulp Fiction). I also didn't realize David Cronenberg directed this movie. Now I love Mr. Cronenberg's cult classic Shivers. Now Shivers was sort of campy and is a novelty, it's also a sci-fi movie and isn't really suppose to be realistic. Now Crash presents itself as this cutting edge drama, but it is come across totally lame.

I can respect that the fact that there are weird and/or peculiar people out in the world. In addition, these people might become aroused and/or mesmerized after a traumatic event such as a car crash. This is the idea behind Carl Jung's Shadow theory. However, the idea there is group of 50 to 100 people living in the same city and all get off on horrific auto crashes is totally ludicrous. They also have a club where they reenact car crashes, just so they can become "warm and fuzzy". WHAT THE???? I know some people see some very deep epistemology and pathology in the themes of this film. I really don't get that. I just see this as a movie that is pushing the envelope with risky and strong sexual themes. What I find rather amazing is the cult following this film has.

Once this movie is over, I try and understand what's the meaning behind this film. Perhaps I have lost my edge, but I don't get it. If these are the extremes a couple (characters played by James Spader & Deborah Kara Unger) has to go through to save their marriage, then maybe it is time to start seeing someone else. Also has anyone ever been in a car crash? I have and the first thing I can think of after getting into a car crash is, "I'm glad I'm not dead. Damn, my car insurance going to go up". The last thing on my mind is having sex, no even if it is with movie stars.

In conclusion, if you want to watch a movie that is so off the wall, with regards to its plot foundation, I suggest you watch Crash. If you want to watch a movie that will make you laugh because you really can't believe what you are witnessing, I suggest you watch Crash. I will give Crash some credit for being different and not your normal cookie cutter film. This again is the one and only reason that I gave this movie two stars.

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More Crash (1996 film) reviews
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2011
posted in Cult Cinema
Simultaneously one of David Cronenberg's most flawed films and his most daring, Crash manages to be a film of seeming contradictions as it merges a truly psychologically disturbing story and character elements with a level of eroticism rarely seen in mainstream cinema. The film was hugely controversial upon its original release, in part because of its distressing and provocative thematic material, but also because of its somewhat unconventional directorial execution. Cronenberg isn't interested …
review by . October 05, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
1996 poster
   It comes as no surprise that controversy surrounds David Cronenberg’s “CRASH” (1996); a movie about gruesome sex and automobile accidents. The movie was a big hit in the CANNES film festival, it has been banned in England for a time and its release was delayed in U.S. shores. The film is based on the book by J.G. Ballard, who also wrote his semi-autobiographical novel “Empire of the Sun”. This film explores the shocking world of people who get sexually …
review by . December 07, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Cronenberg's inventive and disturbing film about eroticism and automobiles explores the following quasi-syllogism:    Premise 1: Cars are sexy  Premise 2: Sex in cars is exciting (because, I guess, cars are sexy and because of the risk of being seen)  Premise 3: Sex while driving is dangerous and thrilling (because, perhaps, the risk of a crash adds adrenaline to the thrills listed above)  Therefore, car crashes are the ultimate aphrodisiac.    I …
review by . June 25, 2007
I really tried to like this movie, but with every scene it became more and more ridiculous. So many things bugged me about this film, this is a small summary.    1. Everybody speaks in these whispered tones; annoying.    2. Nothing really happens, they just follow/watch/talk about car crashes and everybody has sex with each other.    3. Not one character in this movie was likeable. It's like a collection of weirdo's, each one a little more …
review by . June 04, 2007
"Crash" is a weird and original movie about something you probably don't see very often. Director David Cronenberg has made some weird movies in his career and I have to admit that I like most of them, find them entertaining. With 'Crash' it is hard to say what I really think. The movie itself is not bad, but its subject is people who get sexually aroused by car crashes. The car crashes could have been anything but if they were, let's say, flowers, the movie was not that weird and original and Cronenberg …
review by . October 19, 2005
David Cronenberg takes chances and his pushing the edge of cinematic art is what makes his films so interesting. JG Ballard's controversial novel CRASH seemed an unlikely prospect for a film, so dark were its explorations of the outer zones of excitation and their relationship to near-death events. But Cronenberg worked through making Ballard's visions visual and his screenplay based on Ballard's book is more about interior dialogue and visceral sexual encounters as they relate to trauma.    Jam …
review by . March 26, 2001
posted in Movie Hype
Crash has been derided for gratuitous sexuality and the lack of a conventional story arc. But beneath the "repelling" qualities is a compelling movie that sadly suffers from a few artistic excesses that hurt the experience. I'm a casual fan of Cronenberg's work, but Crash is definitely unusual and weirdly fascinating (and certainly disturbing at times). The amort color scheme (think noirish and dreamy) augments the passionless nature of the characters, who are deliberately acted with a lack of emotion, …
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Joshua E Hoppock ()
Ranked #40
It is rather brisk in this field. The leaves are descending like a tapestry of aloof dreams. The wind entices these leaves into a plume of whimsical billowing ontological paradox. Then I recall that I … more
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About this movie


Adapted from the controversial novel by J.G. Ballard,Crash will either repel or amaze you, with little or no room for a neutral reaction. The film is perfectly matched to the artistic and intellectual proclivities of director David Cronenberg, who has used the inspiration of Ballard's novel to create what critic Roger Ebert has described as "a dissection of the mechanics of pornography." Filmed with a metallic color scheme and a dominant tone of emotional detachment, the story focuses on a close-knit group of people who have developed a sexual fetish around the collision of automobiles. They use cars as a tool of arousal, in which orgasm is directly connected to death-defying temptations of fate at high speeds. Ballard wrote his book to illustrate the connections between sex and technology--the ultimate postmodern melding of flesh and machine--and Cronenberg takes this theme to the final frontier of sexual expression. Holly Hunter, James Spader, and Deborah Unger are utterly fearless in roles that few actors would dare to play, and their surrender to Cronenberg's vision makes Crash an utterly unique and challenging film experience. It's rated NC-17, so don't say you weren't warned!--Jeff Shannon
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Director: David Cronenberg
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Release Date: July 17, 1996
MPAA Rating: NC-17
Screen Writer: David Cronenberg
DVD Release Date: November 17, 1998
Runtime: 100 minutes
Studio: New Line Home Video, Telefilm Canada, Alliance Communcations Corporation
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