by Bryce Wilson
[Bryce Wilson, of Things That Don’t Suck, enters the fray with an anecdotal piece questioning whether Cronenberg should only be known for “body horror.”]
“You are either in the possession of a very new human ability. Or a very old one.”
Conventional wisdom says that the pairing of David Cronenberg and Stephen King was an odd one. Never mind the fact that the two have never shown each other anything but mutual respect. People can’t seem to wrap their heads around it. After all in one corner there’s ole Uncle Stevie, this generation’s Rod Serling: slaughtering a massive forest every year to peddle his mainstream morality plays masked as horror yarns to an undemanding public; delivering a gentle “boo” with a chuckle. And on the other hand there’s Dave Depraved himself: a man whose mind seems to work like an anthropologist from the future; a man given to dropping phrases like, “the genetic imperative to protect one’s offspring is strong” in interviews in order to explain parental love; a man if whom he ever had a sentimental bone in his body dug it out with a scalpel and sautéed and ate it long ago, but not after first examining it under a microscope; a man whose films thrive on the transgressive. How could the combination of those two ever work? Most critics when writing about The Dead Zone dismiss it, like the work of a major league baseball player making a charity visit to the farm leagues.