I'm staying away from cat topics for a little bit because the passing of my Ginger kitty is still raw. So here I am reviewing one of th...

Movie: The Brood (1979)

I'm staying away from cat topics for a little bit because the passing of my Ginger kitty is still raw. So here I am reviewing one of the cult classics that's been swirling aound on my list of movies to watch... The Brood from David Cronenberg. (I reviewed the original Rabid a few years ago.)

I'll preface this by saying I'm not a fan of kids in horror movies...also I'm not a fan of kids. Although, I feel like if the parents are cool, the kids are usually cool too. I don't think I can relate to kids for a lot of reasons. I never wanted kids, I was an only child growing up, and I came from a broken home where I was raised by my mom and grandma. The idea of having kids just seems like a burden that I would never want. I know I have a lot of psychological damage from my upbringing, so watching a horror movie about kids doesn't appeal to me at all. Off the top of my head... The Babadook, meh. Constant screaming kid. The Omen, meh. Super boring. Children of the Corn...ok a little better than meh. You get the idea. The Brood appealed to me after I read an article that Cronenberg wrote the movie about his personal life and going through a divorce and custody battle with his daughter. Now this I can relate too.

Cronenberg's early movies have a look about them, and The Brood can be grouped in the same category as Rabid. They are filmed in dreary overcast Canada, they often feel like you are watching them from the middle of an ongoing story, experimental medical facilities looming, and they combine psychological issues with bodily horror. 

***Spoiler Alert***

The Brood is about a couple ~ Frank and Nola (who has amazing fluffy disco hair) and their daughter Candy. Nola is sequestered at the Somafree Institute of Psychoplasmatics treatment facility for controversial treatment of her psychological dysfunction. Frank picks up Candy from her weekend visits with her mother and he sees bruises and scratches on her back. Frank then confronts Nola's doctor. He hopes to get full custody of his daughter if he can prove Nola is abusing her.

Frank getting tough. 

Side note: He reminds me of Misha Collins that plays Castiel on Supernatural. See below.

Frank leaves Candy with her grandmother, Nola's mother, and we find out that Nola was abused by her mother. Her mother is then attacked by a child monster and beaten to death in her own kitchen. Candy finds her dead on the floor and even sees the monster. (We the audience really only see it at a glance at this point, so it's pretty creepy.) 

Here's your glance.

Nola's father comes back to town for his ex-wife's funeral and is bludgeoned to death by the little child monster too. Frank chases the monster through the house and kills it. The monster is described as having no retinas, no speech, no teeth, no sex organs, a stored "yolk sac" type lump, and no navel which means it's not born the traditional way. 

Meanwhile Frank is trying to build evidence against the doctor for custody of his daughter and befriends one of his ex-patients. The patient blames the doctor for his festering lymphosarcoma growth, that is briefly shown in all of it's off-putting putrid glory. 

We find out that Nola is the "queen bee" after 27 other patients are removed from treatment facility except for her. Foreshadowing....

Poor Candy is still trying to have a normal childhood going to school, but wait there's more of those child monsters! Two of them kill her teacher after Nola suspects she has a relationship with Frank, (not because the teacher has a mom Brady mullet. The hair in this movie is pretty great.) She's killed in front of all of Candy's classmates, and then the two minions abduct Candy. So now we know that it's Nola controlling these little monsters.

This teacher knows Frank's life is complicated. Check out that look.

Frank finds out that Candy is being held with "the disturbed kids in the work shed that your wife is taking care of. " Huh?! We find out that Nola is the monsters real mother and they are the product of her rage. She manifests them as growths on her body that become large enough sacs to hold what looks like a small baby, we see her then open the bloody sac with her teeth and lick it clean. Nola states to Frank she'd rather "kill Candy before I let you take her away from me". 

The ultimate in body horror. Nola uses her body to make her own monsters. (Check out her hair. I wonder if she uses hot rollers to keep it so bouncy?)

But in the end Candy is saved by her father after he kills her mother, and we see a couple lumps on Candy's arm... possibly her manifestation of psychological trauma as a silent witness this whole time?

It's really a movie about a father's fight for his daughter and the trickle down damage a dysfunctional family life can have. I wish I was fought over. Instead my real dad turned full custody over to my mother and I never saw him again. I was 5, around the age of Candy in the movie. I liked this movie because I could relate. I feel that often you bring your own experiences to watching a movie. I give it 4 and a half stomach sac growths out of 5. Candy is def going to need therapy after everything she's seen.

Poor Candy. I was traumatized for her.

The trailer in all it's late 1970s glory...