Cronenberg’s second experimental feature is set in a dystopian near-future where an epidemic spread by cosmetics has killed all sexually-mature women and left the surviving men mutating into atavistic forms. The disease is called “Rouge's Malady,” after the mad dermatologist who discovered it. Rouge has disappeared; his clinic, the House of Skin, is now being managed by his desperate disciple Adrian Tripod (Ronald Mlodzik, also the lead in Stereo). “Cronenberg amplifies and extends all the most striking characteristics of Stereo: the lucid visual style, the unusual counterpointing of sound and image, the thematic preoccupation with overcoming orthodox concepts of human sexuality, the blacker-than-sick humour” (Tony Rayns, Monthly Film Bulletin ).
From the Drain
Canada 1967. Director: David Cronenberg. 13 min. HDCAM
In Cronenberg’s second short, a bizarre, Samuel Beckett-like sketch set in the near future, two clothed men in a bathtub discuss the use of biological and chemical weapons in a recent war.
"Cronenberg’s obsession for such matters as bodily mutation and grotesque growths, aberrant medical experiments, massive plagues and futuristic architecture are all here."Variety | full review
"The humour couldn't be blacker, and the quality of invention is outrageously high."Time Out | full review