Based on JG Ballard’s cult novel, this uncompromising and controversial film from director David Cronenberg is set among a group of urban sophisticates so morally exhausted that they need to invent perversions to keep what sensuality they have left alive – thus car accidents become sadomasochistic turn-ons.
In a bleak and passionless world of multi-lane freeways, television commercial producer James Ballard (James Spader) and his wife Catherine (Deborah Unger) lead hollow but complex sex lives.
Following a near-fatal car crash, James is drawn into a life where sex and danger are interlinked when he meets a scientist who seeks to release his sexual tensions by crashing into cars on the freeway.
While in no way pornographic or exploitative, Cronenberg’s daring intellectual wake-up call is potent adult food for thought and a landmark 1990s fantasy.
The film sparked off hysterical reactions in the British tabloids and a ban by Westminster Council.
Dr Helen Remington