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Canada, United Kingdom · 1996
Rated NC-17 · 1h 30m
Director David Cronenberg
Starring James Spader, Deborah Kara Unger, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas
Genre Drama, Romance, Thriller

After getting into a serious accident, an average TV director discovers an underground subculture of scarred, omnisexual car crash fetishists, eventually turning to motor incidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.

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Cait Mohr Profile picture for Cait Mohr

A marked departure from Cronenberg’s other films in form, but not in theme, Crash provides a fantastically nasty look at the erotic life of a group of bisexual car crash fetishists. Following the hyperreal melding of man and television in Videodrome, Crash details a new remapping of the flesh, one that reconfigures the erogenous zones of the human body into a mix of metal, wires, and wounds. Giving us some of the most memorable performances in Cronenberg’s filmography, Hunter and Spader are wonderfully mechanical and off-putting, effectively cementing these transformations into man-woman-machines through stilted dirty talk and alien displays of obsession. A criminally underrated film and honestly…my controversial top movie pick for Pride month every year (seriously)!

What are critics saying?


Slate by

For a filmmaker who in Videodrome and Dead Ringers so elegantly broached the unspeakable, Cronenberg has here made a picture that is all surface.


Washington Post by Desson Thomson

Crash doesn't extend beyond its most immediate sensationalism. When the movie does attempt to find a theme, it slams into a brick wall of mumbo-jumbo.


San Francisco Chronicle by Edward Guthmann

I'm not quite sure what David Cronenberg is trying to say in Crash, but whatever it is, he deserves a lot of credit for having the nerve to put it on screen and face the consequences.


The New York Times by Elvis Mitchell

The Crash characters sleepwalk through this story in a state of futuristic numbness, seeking extreme forms of sensation because familiar feelings have long since failed them. It's a chilling, ghastly possibility that manages to exert a grim fascination.

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