Based on the novel by J. G. Ballard, Crash was one of most controversial movies of the 1990's. Exploring the psyche of those who extract pleasure through risk and eroticism through automobile accidents. James and Catherine Ballard are a married couple whose sex life has been reduced to recounting tales of mutual infidelity to turn each other on. James is eventually involved in a car accident that leaves one man dead. After his long rehab he meets the other survivor of the crash Helen (Hunter). They soon realize that the accident was the biggest turn on of their lives. Helen introduces James to a group, led by Vaughn (Koteas) who share in their fetish. To up the ante the group engage in more and more dangerous accidents to heighten their own arousal.
Anyone familiar with director David Cronenberg's work should know what to expect from this movie, only here it seems that Cronenberg has license to go as far as possible with the message he was trying to get across about the human animal and our twisted psyche when it comes to what we find erotic. His experiment with Crash was met with much controversy at the time of it's initial release in 1996. While many will find the film repulsive and/or sick, I happen to find it a rather genius character study. A film that succeeds in challenging the viewer by showing them a different side of the human spirit and hopefully pointing out their own sick little perversions. One thing is for sure, whether or not you "like" the movie you have to admire the balls it took to make such an anti-Hollywood film that went against everything "politically correct." What's sad is that a challenging, though provoking film like Crash couldn't be made today and if it were the people making it would most likely be jailed.
Cronenberg injects the film with a dreamy, trance-like quality that sucked me in from second one. That along with the low key score created a menacing atmosphere. The acting from the always brilliant James Spader is top-notch as always. Elias Koteas is one of the most underrated actors out there, he's brilliant here as well. Holly Hunter and the lovely Deborah Unger are also strong in supporting roles. This is what happens when a great script (written by Cronenberg), a great director, and great actors merge to create a truly original and daring film.
Much can be said about Crash, but the bottom line is: GO SEE IT! Rent the NC-17 version if your video store has it and explore this movie with an open mind. Whether you love it or hate it, Crash will challenge, make you think, and hopefully enlighten. Now days when crap films are recycled over and over like a commercially friendly PG-13 pop can, it was great to see a film that didn't treat the viewer like an idiot. Check it out!
This movie is not for everyone. There are a heavy amount of explicit sex scenes--and I only use the word explicit when I mean explicit. These scenes aren't porn. You watch these scenes, and they add to the mood. They add to a creepy, dirty feeling that's set on you from the beginning of the movie. And that's where Crash takes place...in the underworld. These scenes are done to enforce the mood. It's eerie. If there's one bad thing to say about Crash is that you'll go through over an hour and a half without hardly cracking a smile...and if you do, it's probably because the movie feels so good at parts that you just can't help yourself. This movie is far, far, far away from being trash. Everyone has their own opinion. Some opinions are just plain wrong.