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3.3 3
Director: David Cronenberg, James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas

Cast: David Cronenberg, James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas

After surviving a brutal car wreck, commercial director James Ballard finds himself slowly drawn to a mysterious subculture of people who have transformed automobile accidents into erotic events. Like the J.G. Ballard novel that inspired it, David Cronenberg's study of the sexual dimension of man's relationship to technology was a magnet for controversy, drawing a


After surviving a brutal car wreck, commercial director James Ballard finds himself slowly drawn to a mysterious subculture of people who have transformed automobile accidents into erotic events. Like the J.G. Ballard novel that inspired it, David Cronenberg's study of the sexual dimension of man's relationship to technology was a magnet for controversy, drawing a NC-17 rating and criticism from several sources, including studio owner Ted Turner, who attempted to prevent the film's American release. But though some have leveled charges of pornography, James' descent into this fetishistic underworld is approached with cold, scientific detachment. Characters like Vaughn, the charismatic group leader who stages recreations of celebrity car crashes, seem more like driven researchers than sexual renegades, which is undoubtedly part of the film's point. This impression is reinforced by the pristine cinematography by Peter Suschitzsky, which proves particularly haunting during a crucial accident scene, and Howard Shore's superb score. Far from exploitative, Crash in fact proves less transgressive than the original novel, but is still undoubtedly not for all tastes.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
David Cronenberg's graphic adaptation of J.G. Ballard's controversial 1973 novel doesn't work like most films. For one thing, the main character (James Spader) experiences no great change in his life. He starts out disturbed, and only becomes more-so after his near-fatal car crash. Lured into the world of Vaughan (Elias Koteas), who runs an underground group of car-crash enthusiasts, Spader finds himself adding technology to his already prodigious list of sexual kinks. In the process, his fatalistic wife gets to live out her death fetish, and Spader himself becomes immersed in the techno-erotic subculture along with fellow damaged souls Holly Hunter and Rosanna Arquette. The film starts out with three bizarre sex scenes in a row, and many more follow. Although they aren't strictly exploitive and are necessary to the plot, squeamish viewers may find the film rough going. Crash paints a disturbing and coldly revolting portrait of turn-of-the-century Americans, advanced in technology but retarded emotionally. For these numb, disconnected people, humanity has lost its appeal, and their only remaining thrills can come from twisting their useless bodies into a bloody wreck on the freeway of the millennium. Cronenberg has fashioned a brutally candid return to his favorite themes, as well as coaxing a surprisingly dark and perceptive performance from Hunter, who steals the film from its uninvolving star. It's not for the timid, but is well worth seeing.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Archives
Sales rank:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Spader James Ballard
Holly Hunter Dr. Helen Remington
Elias Koteas Vaughan
Deborah Kara Unger Mrs. Catherine Ballard
Rosanna Arquette Gabrielle
Peter MacNeill Colin Seagrave

Technical Credits
David Cronenberg Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Chris Auty Executive Producer
Tom Bjelic Sound Editor
Deirdre Bowen Casting
Christopher Cooke Sound/Sound Designer
Christian Cooke Sound/Sound Designer
Denise Cronenberg Costumes/Costume Designer
David Lee Sound/Sound Designer
Tamara Deverell Art Director
Elinor Rose Galbraith Set Decoration/Design
Andras Hamori Executive Producer
John Laing Sound Editor
Robert Lantos Executive Producer
Andy Malcolm Sound Editor
Dino Pigat Sound/Sound Designer
Stéphane Reichel Co-producer
Ronald Sanders Editor
Dale Sheldrake Sound Editor
Howard Shore Score Composer,Songwriter
John Douglas Smith Sound/Sound Designer
Lou Solakofski Sound/Sound Designer
Carol Spier Production Designer
Marilyn Stonehouse Co-producer
Peter Suschitzky Cinematographer
Orest Sushko Sound/Sound Designer
Jeremy Thomas Executive Producer
Tony van den Akker Sound/Sound Designer
David J. Webb Asst. Director


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Crash 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film is excellent. It portrays the psychopathology of a several people, which stems from a fetish. However, this is unlike any other fetish, it is a car crash fetish. David Croneberg did a wonderfull job in rendering a film that is capable of depicting such a rare fetish without ofending anyone. There are some sexually explicit scenes, but again they are an important part of the depiction of this psychopathology. Anyone into psychology, or the study of human sexuality should definetly enjoy this movie.
Gonzo84 More than 1 year ago
A friend brought this film to my attention years ago. I remember thinking like everybody else of the Oscar winning film and not of this underground cult flick that drives controversy. My friend mainly asked me if I'd seen this film since years ago I had been in a horrible car accident that left me in the hospital for a few months. He asked if the premise of the story were to be true; if I had gotten some sort of fetish out of car accidents. Of course I looked at him like an arm was growing out of his face and told him "no." I had to check this film out though, the story and especially the director were interesting enough and the fact that the feature has an NC-17 rating doesn't hurt. I'd seen Videodrome and History of Violence, but this film like all Cronenberg films is widely different, the only connection his films seem to have are either violence, sex, and psychology. I love how Cronenberg takes on such a wide spectrum of different stories with suprising twists. This film is raw and intense and oozing with sexuality. Cronenberg takes us on a "crash course" in a bizaare underground world that hopefully doesn't exist in reality, but within this film James Spader's character, a television executive whom seems already to have a sexual addiction ends up in a bad car accident and is now introduced to Holly Hunter. Hunter's character takes Spader into a world that's a bit extreme and somehow evoking, a world of Sex and Car Crashes. Elias Koteas is the stand-out role in this film. He's so intense and electrifies the screen with his wild and crazy antics. At points you don't know who is the good or bad guy is or whether there is one at all, but you will not want to look away. The sex is very stylized and maybe be too much for the conservative types, but it's nothing worse than a late nite cinemax flick. All in all, this is a wonderful film that gets the audience thinking. If you're a Cronenberg fan, then I definitely recommend this film. It may seem slow at times to the average viewer, but to those film buffs, it's one that you'd want to keep going and going.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago