Crimes of the Future

Year: 1970

Production: Emergent Films

Director: David Cronenberg

Starring: Ronald Mlodzik, Tania Zolty, Jon Lidolt, Jack Messinger

Screenwriter: David Cronenberg

70 minutes; Color


This cheaply made, inventive Canadian film, something between an underground and a commercial movie, is chiefly of interest as ushering in - along with Stereo (1969) - Cronenberg's distinguished, eccentric and (according to some) disgusting career in sf cinema. With hindsight, we can see many Cronenberg strategies and themes here in embryo: deliberately tasteless satire, the moral corruption of society, human metamorphosis at the heart of the argument, and the contrast of sterile settings with ravages and mutations of the flesh. The film is set in a near future where humans are devolving and all women of child-bearing age have been killed by an epidemic spread through a cosmetics additive created by a mad dermatologist (in the House of Skin), thus making procreative pedophilia a likely "crime of the future" and putting a 5-year-old girl (Zolty) at the center of the barely comprehensible plot.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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