House of Cronenberg at Chapeltown Picture House

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor
Dimension Films

House of Cronenberg at Cultplex, Manchester 27 August 2022 Tickets from £5.00 — Book now

Canadian auteur David Cronenberg has a new film out this year after an eight-year hiatus following 2014’s squirm-inducing Hollywood satire, Maps to the Stars. He’s back with Crimes of the Future starring Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen. The plot entails graphic performance art, surgery, sex and bodily mutilation, and it is being touted as Cronenberg’s explicit return to the kind of cerebral body horror that defined the early part of his career.

This summer, Chapeltown Picture House are offering an opportunity to get intimately acquainted with work of this cult director, with a day-long marathon that sends viewers headlong into worlds of grotesque televisual cults, suggestive bio-ports, telepathic assassins and experimental teleportation. Digging past the genre trappings, it’s an oeuvre obsessed with the malleability of mind, body and machinery, the fractious nature of identity, and slippery-ness of corporate and scientific ethics.

The four-movie marathon starts with James Woods and Debbie Harry in 1983’s Videodrome. Considered by many to be Cronenberg’s masterpiece, the film follows a television executive hunting for content who discovers a feed of real life snuff films and is drawn into a world of sinister bio-technological warcraft and neo-religious zealots as his body develops a Betamax-sized cavity. It’s prescient in the way it blurs the line between body and machine, envisioning our own increasing reliance on personal devices and wearable technology.


And the same can be said about Cronenberg’s 1999 Existenz, which takes things a step further. The second movie in the marathon, this immersive video game send-up stacks layers of reality as Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jude Law plug themselves (quite literally) into a new game as they avoid pursuing assassins. Featuring a gun made of bone, muscle and teeth, Existenz marks the director at his most sticky, slick and disgusting.

Next, it’s Cronenberg’s real breakout film, 1981’s Scanners, which sees battling telekinetic operatives duke it out in a world of secretive intelligence cabals and underground insurgencies. An early scene featuring an exploding skull is perhaps one of the defining images of the director’s career, while the film itself set the tone for much of what was to come in its combination of speculative sci-fi and penetrating horror.

The marathon concludes with Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis in 1986’s The Fly. Cronenberg’s remake of the classic science fiction film ups the gore levels with stunning prosthetics and make-up from Chris Walas and Stephan Dupuis as Goldblum’s eccentric scientist Seth Brundle’s laboratory mishap sees him genetically combined with a housefly. Mining the high-concept premise, the director emphasises the inherent tragedy of the story while drawing parallels between Brundle’s fate and the inevitable failing of the human body.

House of Cronenberg at Cultplex, Manchester 27 August 2022

Book Now

What's on at Cultplex

Harry Stachini: Grenade

Top-tier Manchester comedian Harry Stachini delivers honest, relatable and hilarious stand-up in his latest comedy special.

from £14.00

What's on: Cinema

MIF23: Jenn Nkiru

Visionary filmmaker Jenn Nkiru turns her attention to Manchester with a brand new short film.

free entry

Culture Guides


We go all in on festivals, with a round-up of everything from city-spanning giants to grassroots gems you may not know about.


There's no rest for the art lover - this month brings outdoor sculpture, musings on water, political drawings and Liverpool Biennial 2023!

Classical Music

Summer's classical music calendar is filling up nicely! Read our top picks of concerts happening in Manchester and the North.

Winnie the Pooh at Manchester Opera House

The sun has finally got his hat on! Enjoy our top picks of family-friendly events and activities, both indoors and outdoors.

Gerry Potter (credit Lee Baxter)

Books are big this summer, with festival readings, poetry slams, creative writing activities and famous faces all putting in an appearance.

Food and Drink

All signs point toward June being a scorcher of a month, so let’s take a look at all things summery food and drink.

Tours and Activities

From literary activities to brilliant independent shops, keep your minds and homes filled with the good stuff this month.

Theatre in Manchester

Check out our updated guide for lively theatre festivals, rip-roaring rooftop circus and dreamy outdoor shows.