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The Brood

3.5 4
Director: David Cronenberg, Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle

Cast: David Cronenberg, Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle


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Canadian director David Cronenberg followed his graphic vampire variation Rabid with this multi-layered, speculative horror film which addresses the way the repressed demons of the psyche can force their way to the surface. Psychologist Dr. Raglan (Oliver Reed), director of the controversial Psychoplasmic Institute and author of the book "The Shape of Rage,"


Canadian director David Cronenberg followed his graphic vampire variation Rabid with this multi-layered, speculative horror film which addresses the way the repressed demons of the psyche can force their way to the surface. Psychologist Dr. Raglan (Oliver Reed), director of the controversial Psychoplasmic Institute and author of the book "The Shape of Rage," encourages his patients to outwardly manifest their anger and fear (aided by some experimental drugs), which then takes physical shape as actual sores, cancers or strange new organs. One of Raglan's more successful patients (from his point of view, anyway) is Nola Carveth (Samantha Eggar), who is undergoing therapy following a painful divorce from her husband Frank (Art Hindle). When Frank discovers evidence that Nola may have injured their daughter Candice (Cindy Hinds), he begins to suspect Raglan's techniques but is unprepared for the most horrifying by-product of her rage: a progeny of sexless, dwarflike mutants who are born for the sole purpose of acting out her violent fantasies of revenge. Containing only enough energy to carry out their murderous tasks, the brood is dispatched to kill Nola's parents, then a woman she believes is having an affair with Frank. By the time Frank discovers the origins of the tiny offspring, they have already abducted Candice and taken her to the institute, where Frank must confront Nola in person. Although it contains one of the most visceral and nauseating scenes in movie history (during the film's climax), this nevertheless remains the most subtle of Cronenberg's early horror projects, with a strong subtext about the devastating effects of divorce.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Throughout his career, David Cronenberg has uncovered new, often grotesque ways of externalizing the repression and alienation of contemporary life. Rarely, though, has he taken as restrained a route as he does with The Brood. The director introduces the central premise of his story -- mutation as therapy -- in the first sequence, but its full implications are mapped out only in stages, culminating in a truly chilling finale that veers from stark, otherworldly suspense to set piece gross-out. Shivers, Cronenberg's feature debut, moved at a similarly deliberate pace, but it was full of violence and gore almost from the start. In The Brood, Halloween-style point-of-view sequences build a sensation of lingering unease while jump cuts and cutaways help maintain dramatic tension during the action sequences. Cindy Hinds, as the pale, blank-faced Candice, echoes the scary children of Village of the Damned and anticipates the similarly hapless heroine of Steven Spielberg's Poltergeist. Samantha Eggar's haughty, self-obsessed Nola, meanwhile, establishes the Cronenberg ice-queen archetype that Genevieve Bujold would fill so indelibly in Dead Ringers. Although hardly the most influential of the director's early and mid-period horror exercises, The Brood stands up as a fully realized study of modern discontent given terrifying shape. The stars, special effects, and larger budgets of his later films sometimes give his messy subtexts too slick a sheen, but here the naturalistic production values and affectless art direction complement a storyline of slowly unfolding dread.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital Mono]

Special Features

Closed Caption; Original theatrical trailer; English mono; English, French & Spanish language subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Oliver Reed Dr. Hal Raglan
Samantha Eggar Nola Carveth
Art Hindle Frank Carveth
Cindy Hinds Candice Carveth
Henry Beckman Barton Kelly
Nuala Fitzgerald Juliana Kelly
Susan Hogan Ruth Mayer
Michael McGhee Inspector Mrazek
Gary McKeehan Mike Trellan
Felix Silla Creature
Rainer Schwartz Birkin
Nicholas Campbell Chris
Robert A. Silverman Jan Hartog
John Ferguson Creature
Christopher Britton Man In Auditorium
Michael Magee Inspector
Joseph Shaw Coroner
Larry Solway Lawyer
Mary Swinton Wendy
Jerry Kostur Construction Worker
Elijah Siegler Samson

Technical Credits
David Cronenberg Director,Screenwriter
John Board Asst. Director
Alan Collins Editor
Allan Cotter Special Effects
Pierre David Executive Producer
Bryan Day Sound/Sound Designer
Joe Grimaldi Sound/Sound Designer
Claude Heroux Producer
Mark Irwin Cinematographer
Gwen Iveson Production Manager
Shonagh Jabour Makeup
Dennis Pike Makeup Special Effects
Howard Shore Score Composer
Victor Solnicki Executive Producer
Carol Spier Art Director
Jack H. Young Makeup Special Effects

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title/Beaten [6:58]
2. Accusation [4:25]
3. Bad Mommy [5:08]
4. Grandma Gets It [4:20]
5. Protect Her [8:55]
6. Case Against Raglan [7:32]
7. Denied Access [6:10]
8. Grandpa Gets It [4:01]
9. Strange Creature [5:29]
10. Broken Family [4:15]
11. Evacuation [5:54]
12. Kidnap & Kill [6:22]
13. Going In [8:31]
14. Queen Bee [10:50]
15. Going Home [1:48]
16. End Credits [1:32]


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The Brood 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have heard of this movie via the 100 Scariest Movie Moments on AMC. And before and after I had seen it advirtised on Scariest Movie Moments, I had always seen it in the stores or on the web..But every time I had passed it up or didn't want to pay the price they were asking for it. Finally after seeing it on 100 Scariest Movie Moments for the 2nd time I had set my mind to go ahead and buy the movie..But then of course I couldn't find it in stores anywhere and it was just a bit too much money to buy it on the web with out seeing it.But awhile back I had found the movie for a good deal and picked it up, took it home and watched it.. I'm a huge horror movie buff so not much creeps me out...But this one actually managed to do so...I had found my self for the next few days on edge and bit jumpy espeically in kicthens (you'll know once you watch this movie) So to make a long story short, the movie is about a lady in a looney bin who is undergoing expermental thearapy to help release her anger/emotions and little does the doc or anyone else know she is doing this by releasing a Brood of deformed demon children on her enemies. This title is definatly one that shouldn't over looked countless times by any true horror movie fan!! So if you like the older authintic spooky movies and want to see the supposed 78th (I think it was actually creepier then movies after it on the 100 scariest movie list) scariest movie then check it out..It's worth the price!!!
Gonzo84 More than 1 year ago
I just watched this film and really didn't know what to think of it. I am a Cronenberg fan and wanted to see some of his works that weren't within the mainstream market of todays standards and came across this feature. I'm not a fan of Horror unless they are more of a cult or art status. Cronenberg is one of those directors who I can watch, since it's more than just a scary movie, but more of a mind-bending feature that makes you think while you're being entertained (i.e. "The Fly"). This is an interesting mixture of both, but along with that classic scary sense. I'm sure if I was a teenager when this film came out, I would've been scared right out of my seat, but this isn't compared to the gore and thrill-rides of present horror flicks. This film deals with psychology (which is always Cronenberg's nich) and how we deal with our emotions/anger. I definitely enjoyed the mysteriousness that the characters portray and having this film involve children always gives that extra creepy feeling (i.e. "The Omen," "The Shining"). The opening shot of the film pretty much jumps you right into what we, the audience, are dealing with. Unlike some of Cronenberg's future works, the film doesn't leave any questions...this is more of just a straight foward horror/thriller. There are the Cronenberg touches with ridiculously over-the-top graphics which will have images stuck in your head for a tad time to come. I was suprised to see that Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings) did the score to this, even though he and Cronenberg have work with eachother on majority of all of his films, I didn't know that their collaborations went as far back as the late 70s. So I recommend this feature to any Horror and Classic Cult fans and especially Cronenberg fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago