Are You Scared Yet, Sicko?

When you read news about gangs, fires, earthquakes, or the possible creation of a black hole 300 feet below the Franco-Swiss border, do you just laugh and say, “Ha! Is that all you got?”

If so, consider stopping by the Steve Allen Theater at the Center For Inquiry in Hollywood for their continuing David Cronenberg retrospective.

Long before he shot Viggo Mortensen fighting in his birthday suit, the Canadian film director earned widespread critical acclaim and a cult following for bringing nightmare-inducing imagery and narratives of the primal fear variety to the silver screen.

The Center for Inquiry is showing one Cronenberg film each Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. through the end of May. The retrospective kicked off last Saturday with Dead Ringers, a gruesome little tale of twin sex- and drug-addicted gynecologists. If you missed it, don’t worry. It’s still not too late to see a dude’s head explode.

Yes, tonight’s film is Scanners (1981), a story of dueling telepaths and the pharmaceutical companies who love them. The film features nosebleeds a plenty, a melting telephone receiver, and a chilling performance by Michael Ironside as a ruthless baddie “scanner” whose drill-bit-to-the-forehead scar tissue practically steals the show.

See it before next year’s remake forever taints your memory.

Other highlights of the series include Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly (1986); his masterpiece about the dangers of lowest-common-denominator television programming, Videodrome (1983); and the American premiere of his short film At the Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World (2007).

Click the image below to see the complete schedule. Artwork: Travis Millard.


[UPDATE: Corrected start time. Each film begins at 8:00 p.m.)

10 thoughts on “Are You Scared Yet, Sicko?”

  1. LOL…RumorsDaily beat me to the same question. As a devout pastafarian I am convinced that in fact we are looking at the FSM in his many forms. Gotta love his constant reminders he has his benevolent noodly appendages in our affairs.

    Ramen and allelujia pass the parm!

  2. But what about They Came From Within?? (aka Shivers). Seventies horror at its finest–sexually transmitted killer internal parasites that make you deadly-horny loose in a condo. It doesn’t get much better than that. (Though I’ll admit that Dead Ringers gave me some serious nightmares.)

  3. That’s a great trailer, Travis. Gotta love “If this picture doesn’t make you scream and squirm, you’d better see a psychiatrist. Quick.”

  4. I have an unhealthy obsession with Cronenberg, so much so that I named my publishing company after a line in Videodrome. I have the complete Cronenberg collection on DVD and VHS (obsolete, schmobsolete. A true collector keeps everything).

    Oh, how I wish I could go see every one of these in the theater, but I’ll only be in town for two of my least favorites. This should be a traveling retrospective and should visit every city! Exploding heads for all!

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