Director - David Croneneberg (Scanners, The Fly)
Starring - Jeremy Irons (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice), Genevieve Bujold (Tightrope), and Heidi von Palleske (Land of the Dead)
Release Date - 1988
Genre - Thriller
Tagline - "Two bodies. Two minds. One soul"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
You can't just watch one David Cronenberg film. You can't. I've tried. I'm not that well versed in the world of Cronenberg but what I've seen I have been blown away by. Prior to watching Rabid and Dead Ringers I had only seen Scanners, The Fly, VideoDrome, A History of Violence, The Brood, and Eastern Promises. All of which are great films but I am always open to check out even more carnage from a truly underappreciated king of horror. Rabid was a unique spin on the infected films of the late 70s that spilled into the zombie apocalypse films of the 80s. It was fun spin on those stories and had Cronenberg's body horror twist tossed in the middle of it. After finishing Rabid I decided to go ahead and toss in Dead Ringers. This was one that had me intrigued. I reached out to Scream Factory and they were kind enough to send a review copy of their new blu release my way. Thanks guys!
The film follows identical twins Elliot and Beverly (Irons) who grow up to be renowned gynecologists. The two have made a name for themselves due to the unique way they work with each other and their radical practices. The two have the world by the balls until Beverly falls in love with an actress and starts using drugs. Elliot is afraid that their reputation will be shattered if anyone finds out he is using and tries to cure his brother of his addiction but he keeps failing when Bev returns to his girlfriend. Fearing he will lose his practice and his brother, Elliot starts using drugs so he can sync with Bev but things take a bloody turn.
Dead Ringers is a strange film from Croneneberg in the fact that it is not a horror film. Similar to A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. The film was not what I was expecting at all but it turned out to be my favorite Cronenberg film to date. It had one hell of a cast and a story that went for days. I doubt I will ever see Cronenberg top this one. The acting in this one is damn near perfect. Jeremy Irons pulls out double duty as the Mantle Twins and delivers, easily, the best performances of his career. He goes from the cocky and obnoxious Elliot to the hopeless romantic and drug addled Beverly. These drastic changes in character is hard for any seasons actor to pull off but Irons did so flawlessly. The remainder of the cast does a solid job but no one touches Irons. The story for this one lacks horror but does flow like a solid drama with an ending that can somewhat be labeled as a thriller. For the most part the film is a drama. It follows the unusual life of two well educated twins that have everything and let it slip away. It also shows that drug addiction is a human problem and not something that should be associated with class. With that aside, this is a very character driven piece that holds the viewer's attention with reckless intent. Finally, this one is not bloody, gory, and disgusting like most Cronenberg films. Instead, he delivers an emotional story about how fragile humans can be while showing how others become attached to someone. Overall, Dead Ringers is fucking fantastic. The film showcases the on screen talent of Jeremy Irons in a way no other film can. This is one must have film for any Cronenberg fan or fans of Scream Factory.