David Cronenberg is a Canadian director with a weird bent on reality. He focuses on cheap horror movies, but has characters which matter, plots which are different. I enjoy his movies in the same manner that I will pick up Elmore Leonard. It is not merely a suggestion of plot or a funny character, but a building theme which creates a different environment.
We have a tendency to dismiss directors as non-writers because their work is on the screen. But if you examine some of the issues and how they are brought up through plot, I believe that directors and screenwriters have just as much to say as a novelist.
The Brood (1979) - About psycho-plasmics which can allow a woman to create small children that attack those who she feel has wronged her. Tell me that Oliver Reed doesn’t do menace. The man was born for the part of a weird psychologist.
The Dead Zone (1983) – Stephen King’s books have been turned into a lot of movies. I give him credit for making the crossover, but the results are less than great. The Dead Zone is one of the few books to movies that appeared to work. It’s about a man who walks up five years out of a coma, finds his life destroyed, then realizes he has the power of second-sight through touch. I enjoyed Christopher Walken, especially when he learns that Martin Sheen, a U.S. Senatorial candidate, is going to become the next tyrant. I watch this movie whenever it is on late night TV. Not a bad flick.
Crash (1997) – This is based off of a book by a Canadian author where people become sexually-charged by recreating car crashes. Definitely worth a look.
Spider (2003) – The point of view of a crazed individual who cannot understand his reality.