I've been a David Cronenberg fan for a long time. Ever since I saw The Brood as the second half of a double feature (along with Death Race 2000) when me and a friend sneaked into a drive-in. We didn't hide in a trunk. We, a couple of kids really, walked right in through the woods and a hole in the fence. We saw Rabid, along with Piranha, the same way.

From the beginning I knew David Cronenberg was something different and something very special. The rest of the world caught up with him when he skirted the mainstream with The Dead Zone and The Fly. I can't think of many other visionary directors who could go from small, arthouse productions to big-budget material and not compromise their aesthetic. David Lynch is another.

I followed Cronenberg's career with enthusiasm as the years went on. Some I absolutely loved, like Dead Ringers and A History of Violence. I was damned impressed that he managed to adapt novels, Naked Lunch and Crash, long thought to be unfilmable. Even when I felt a bit alienated by the movies, my respect for the man and his art have remained unshaken. I even like Fast Company.

By now everyone has seen the Crimes of the Future teaser. I have to be honest: It scares the hell out of me. Body Horror is not my cup of tea. I have a morbid fear of surgery and that sort of thing freaks me out. And not in a good way.

There's a lot of hype surrounding Crimes of the Future. An anonymous source who saw it claims there will be walk-outs, fainting, and panic attacks. Now, this isn't some kind of William Castle ballyhoo. We're talking about David Cronenberg here. He does not mess around.

The teaser is terrifying, and it looks to be in the same vein as Videodrome or eXistenZ. Neither are among my favorites of the director's work, but again, I respect the hell out of them. Honestly, I feel like a wimp saying this, but I mostly prefer Cronenberg's more commercial efforts.

My first reaction to the Crimes teaser was, no way. I don't need to see this. But the imagery in the clips haunted me. I've spent the better part of my lifetime as a serious Cronenberg fan. Can I let this one, the work of a seventy-nine year old man, scare me off?

I am reminded of the notorious Nine Inch Nails "Happiness in Slavery" video. It was famously banned from MTV, but thanks to my tape trading friends of the time, I had a copy of the video long before most people saw it. I wouldn't have hesitated seeing Crimes of the Future back then.

My old self from the nineties would undoubtedly think I am a wimp. I remember laughing when people walked out of Naked Lunch in the showing I attended. Good riddance, Grandma and Grandpa! That's okay, there are things about me back then I don't particularly care for today.

I remember when I was pretty young. No one I knew had cable TV, until one friend's family got HBO. There was a huge push for cable at the time, and one of big draws was The Exorcist being shown uncut. The Exorcist was another film with a controversial reputation. There was talk of walk-outs, faintings, and panic attacks.

One Friday night when I was around thirteen, three of us had a sleepover and watched The Exorcist. I felt equal feelings of excitement and abject dread. I think all of us felt that way, but we weren't about to let it show to the others.

We made it through The Exorcist unscathed. The movie is obviously a masterpiece, and it affected me deeply. I don't think I would have been proud of myself had I chickened out. Which I seriously considered doing.

I've been back and forth on Crimes of the Future. Will it be as bad as we are hearing it is? Will it merely be an engrossing statement about technology encroaching upon our lives? Will it be a let-down?

I am pretty sure Cronenberg will deliver the goods with Crimes of the Future. It looks like the movie could be his magnum opus. A synthesis of all the themes and ideas he has explored in his long and distinguished career.

At the moment I am still unsure of whether I will see it or not.

Written by Mark Sieber

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