[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/david_cronenberg.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Creator/MartinScorsese says he looks like "a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon".]]

''The Creator/FranzKafka of film.''

David Cronenberg is a Canadian film director (from Toronto, specifically).

His early works include ''Film/{{Scanners}}'', the remake of ''Film/TheFly'' (starring Creator/JeffGoldblum), ''Film/TheBrood'', ''Film/{{Videodrome}}'', ''[[Film/ExistenZ eXistenZ]]'', the film version of ''Film/TheDeadZone'', and the film adaptation of Creator/WilliamSBurroughs' ''Film/NakedLunch''.

His SignatureStyle used to focus on BodyHorror and FanDisservice devices, with the occasional MindScrew (especially making use of ThroughTheEyesOfMadness), but his more recent works, such as ''Film/{{Spider}}'', ''Film/AHistoryOfViolence'', and ''Film/EasternPromises'', tend toward less visceral and (relatively) subtler means of disturbing the audience. If anything, his works can be described as transgressive, pretty much universally forcing you out of your comfort zone to deal with the topics he puts on film.

In late '70s/early '80s he often ran afoul of Canadian [[MediaWatchdog film review boards]] (in most of Canada, film ratings are assigned by government agencies at the provincial level), as some went so far as to ban his films in their jurisdictions. Cronenberg's animosity towards censorship ("Censors tend to do what only psychotics do: they confuse reality with illusion.") and the persecution of artists is a recurring theme in his work (''[[Film/ExistenZ eXistenZ]]'' being a prominent example, also inspired by his friend Salman Rushdie).

Frequently casts actors Robert Silverman (as in ''eXistenZ'', ''Scanners'', ''The Brood''), Les Carlson (''The Fly'', ''Camera'', ''Videodrome'', ''The Dead Zone'') and Creator/ViggoMortensen (''A History Of Violence'', ''Eastern Promises'', and ''A Dangerous Method''). All of his films from ''The Brood'' onwards were scored by Music/HowardShore (with the exception of ''Film/TheDeadZone'', which was scored by Michael Kamen). He's recently begun working regularly with Creator/RobertPattinson (''Cosmopolis'', ''Map to the Stars'').

He has also done a bit of acting, including a prominent role in the Creator/CliveBarker film ''Film/{{Nightbreed}}'' and a guest-villain role on ''Series/{{Alias}}'', as well as a somewhat inexplicable cameo in ''Film/JasonX''.

Mr. Cronenberg's first novel, ''Consumed'', is due out in September 2014.

Despite the dark content of his films, he's apparently [[RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor a really nice guy in person]].

A recent episode of the show ''RickAndMorty'' had MadScientist Rick say he Cronenberged the world when he turned the human race into mutant monsters.
----
!Filmography:

[[index]]
* ''Film/{{Stereo}}'' (1969)
* ''Film/CrimesOfTheFuture'' (1970)
* ''Film/{{Shivers}}'' (1975)
* ''Film/{{Rabid}}'' (1977)
* ''FastCompany'' (1979)
* ''Film/TheBrood'' (1979)
* ''Film/{{Scanners}}'' (1981)
* ''Film/{{Videodrome}}'' (1983)
* ''Film/TheDeadZone'' (1983)
* ''Film/TheFly'' (1986)
* ''Film/DeadRingers'' (1988)
* ''Film/NakedLunch'' (1991)
* ''MButterfly'' (1993)
* ''Literature/{{Crash}}'' (1996)
* ''Film/{{eXistenZ}}'' (1999)
* ''Film/{{Spider}}'' (2002)
* ''Film/AHistoryOfViolence'' (2005)
* ''Film/EasternPromises'' (2007)
* ''Film/ADangerousMethod'' (2011)
* ''Film/{{Cosmopolis}}'' (2012)
[[/index]]

!This director's work in general provides examples of:

* BioPunk: Most of his work are forays into this genre.
** ''Shivers'', where a scientist accidentally creates a sexually-transmitted PuppeteerParasite, causing in turn a ZombieApocalypse of rape zombies.
** ''Rabid'', where an experimental skin graft creates a sort of BioPunk vampire, whose victims all become rabid zombies and attack Montreal.
** ''Film/TheBrood'', where a revolutionary psychiatric method results in hideous bodily mutations.
** ''Film/{{Scanners}}'', where a pharmacological error creates a BizarreBabyBoom of socially-maladjusted, creepy psychics.
** ''Film/{{Videodrome}}'', where warring ideologies use communications technology to mutate viewers into monstrous pawns.
** ''Film/NakedLunch'' is BioPunk via Creator/TheBeatGeneration, with sentient typewriters, giant bugs, and monsters who give you tremendous creativity in exchange for blowjobs.
** ''[[Film/{{Existenz}} eXistenZ]]'', where genetically-engined amphibians are used to create OrganicTechnology video game hardware.
** ''Film/TheFly'', where a failed teleportation experiment fuses Creator/JeffGoldblum and... well, a fly.
* BodyHorror: Cronenberg specializes in a genre he calls venereal horror, dealing with infection, diseases and transformation of the flesh.
* CanadaEh: Cronenberg's films are often set in his hometown, Toronto, which he naturally portrays quite realistically. A realistic Montreal crops up occasionally, too. His 1986 remake of ''Film/TheFly'' is shot in the downtown core of Toronto, and several prominent stores are visible during some of the scenes (such as Toronto City Hall, and, when Brundle walks down the street eating a chocolate bar, he passes the most random places.)
* DaylightHorror: Cronenberg did this quite a bit in his early days with movies such as ''Shivers'' and ''Rabid'' which depicted horrific scenes in well-lit buildings or even daytime. For instance, the subway is pretty bright.
* FanDisservice: The torture/murder channel in ''Film/{{Videodrome}}'', the disturbing fetishization of car crashes in ''Literature/{{Crash}}'', and the borderline violent stairway sex scene in ''Film/AHistoryOfViolence'' come to mind.
* LovecraftianSuperpower:
** ''Film/TheBrood''. While Psychoplasmics isn't ''necessarily'' a superpower, the ability to birth homunculi from your traumatic memories who end up subconsciously doing your bidding might be considered useful, if fucked up.
** ''Film/{{Scanners}}'' are technically "just" {{Telepath}}s. Thing is, most telepaths in fiction ''can't'' make '''YourHeadASplode.''' And the BigBad can overpressurize a man's veins until he fountains blood and '''''[[SpontaneousHumanCombustion bursts into flames!]]'''''
** ''Film/{{Videodrome}}'', where Max ([[UnreliableNarrator probably]]) gets mutable flesh and a giant mouth in his stomach, which can apparently create hand grenades.
** Seth Brundle in ''Film/TheFly'' gains the ability to wallcrawl, super strength, and even vomit a corrosive enzyme to dissolve food (or enemies). Unfortunately, he gained these abilities when he accidentally fused his genes with a fly, and slowly mutates into a grotesque giant insect/human hybrid. BlessedWithSuck indeed.
* MagnumOpusDissonance: Cronenberg's (arguably) two most popular films, ''Film/TheFly'' and ''Film/AHistoryOfViolence'', were actually born out of TroubledProduction on two films - he went into the director's chair on the former after he was fired from production on ''Film/TotalRecall1990'', and in the commentary, says he was "interested in it somewhat" (he didn't write the original script, just some patchwork), and admitted that he didn't like the original 1958 film. The latter film is one which he did [[MoneyDearBoy primarily for the paycheck]] after having to defer his salary on the now-forgotten ''Film/{{Spider}}''. Unlike many of the creators here, he has come to appreciate these projects, and talks in interviews about doing a potential companion piece to ''The Fly''.\\
\\
Conversely, two of his best reviewed films, ''Videodrome'' and ''Eastern Promises'' didn't do too well at the box office; Promises barely made it's money back and Videodrome flopped. Fortunately Promises was nominated for an Oscar and several Golden Globes and Videodrome has since been VindicatedByHistory with a lavish Criterion Collection release.
* RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor: David Cronenberg as a director, though usually not as an actor. His films are full of [[BodyHorror hideous mutations]], ColdBloodedTorture, [[FanDisservice images of depraved sexuality]], and [[YourHeadASplode exploding heads]]. In person, he's a very nice, unassuming sort of guy. Creator/MartinScorsese said he looked like a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. This usually comes across in his cameo appearances, although he played a SerialKiller in Creator/CliveBarker's ''Film/{{NightBreed}}''.
* {{Mindscrew}}: Several films as regards to what is really happening and what isn't.
* OrganicTechnology: There are fleshy videocasettes and living televisions in ''Film/{{Videodrome}}'', talking insectoid typewriters in ''Film/NakedLunch'', and organic videogame platforms and guns in ''Film/{{eXistenZ}}''.
* PlayingAgainstType: A meta example. He's known mainly as a horror director who has made several very unsettling films, but in interviews he's always a very humble, articulate and unassuming sort of guy. In his biggest acting role in Creator/CliveBarker's ''Film/{{Nightbreed}}'', he plays a SerialKiller who talks in a CreepyMonotone and is so evil and depraved (among other things, he's both a family killer and a genocider) that it comes as a shock if you're mostly familiar with the real guy.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''Film/{{eXistenZ}}'' is regarded as this to ''Film/{{Videodrome}}''.
* ThroughTheEyesOfMadness: Several films blur the line between reality and imagination with a protagonist who is hallucinating at several or all points.
** ''Film/{{Videodrome}}'', in which Max Renn's grasp of reality is tainted by the brain-damaging Videodrome signal.
** ''Film/NakedLunch'', in which Bill Lee is either insane, tripping on drugs, or is inserting himself into his own story about Interzone.
** ''Film/{{Spider}}'' is told from the perspective of Spider, a paranoid schizophrenic who is hallucinating half the time.

----