Dead Ringers

MARCH 6, 2007


There are two types of David Cronenberg films. Some are high concept films, the others are character studies. Most of the former came in the early part of his career: The Brood. The Fly. Shivers. Even Dead Zone ranks as one of the better King adaptations. But ever since then, the other type is more predominant, which is kind of a shame because the concepts behind the aforementioned films were great (I didn’t even mention Videodrome). Starting with Dead Ringers, the films are more subtle and personal, with plots one could hardly consider exciting. For example, History of Violence, for all its acclaim, was basically:

Ed Harris: Hi Joey.
Viggo: My name’s Tom.
Ed Harris: No it’s not.
Viggo: You’re right. (shoots everyone)

Dead Ringers falls in that category. It’s an actor’s piece, and a phenomenal one at that, but story-wise it’s very thin. Give me “A series of murders committed by mutant children leads a man to uncover the secret behind his wife’s shady psychiatrist”!

Irons is great, I dare anyone to say otherwise. Crossing Jordan shows up as one of two twin “entertainer” sisters (sadly we see none of their performance). Also considering the age (pre CG), the scenes of the two Irons interacting are a marvel.

Those who like latter day Cronenberg (and I am not saying I am not one) will love the film, and rightfully so. Those who prefer his high concept stuff might long to rewatch one of those instead. And yet still others might mistakenly believe they are about to watch a film based on the Meat Loaf album Dead Ringer. God only knows what they’ll think of it.

What say you?


  1. I gotta say that I love Cronenberg's old as well as his new (older more so), but I rank this as a tie with the fly as his best work ever. Irons and Goldblum were terrific in both as was the direction, and everything else.

  2. I think this wasn't my type of movie. I was kind of confused by it at times but I only watched it once and don't really remember it. xD


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