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4.0 out of 5 stars B Movie Oddity plus 2 astonishing New Wave SF classics, 14 Sep 2013
By 
Stephen E. Andrews "Writer" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fast Company [DVD] [US Import] (DVD)
'Fast Company' is the odd man out in David Cronenberg's career. A solid but unexciting B movie thriller set around the world of drag racing (Cronenberg likes fast machines), this was a filler he directed to make money. For the DC fan, it is of course essential, but it's the most atypical item in his ouevre.

However, the real reason to buy this disc is the extras, comprising of two short features made near the start of Cronenberg's career. Following his short films 'Transfer' and 'From The Drain' (which I'm hoping will someday surface as bonus features on a blu-ray release of one of the great man's early features - in fact, they'd fit in very well on a BD of 'Shivers'), 'Stereo' and 'Crimes of the Future' are both included here.

'Stereo' is shot in black and white, with a documentary-style voiceover. You could call it a 'fictious documentary' that reports on an experiment with Telepaths in near-future Canada. As such, it is of interest to anyone who likes 'Scanners', but note that it has no real plot - the acotrs improvised their movements and interactions as directed by DC and the voiceover was added later. The second film, 'Crimes of the Future' is in colour, runs slightly longer (about 1 hr) and has a narrative, but is again voiced-over. Set in a future where women have been wiped out by a disease caused by cosmetics, the film examines the central character's uncovering of a sinister plot to save humanity by unconventional reproductive means.

The casual viewer should be warned that both of these films are seriously 'arty' and strictly for Cronenberg obsessives, those who like serious science fiction cinema and devotees of literary SF. In fact, I can think of no other films that more closely resemble the 'New Wave' SF of the 1960s and early 1970s - fans of J G Ballard, Christopher Priest, Tim Disch and Samuel Delany will feel at home here. If your idea of SF is 'Star Wars', forget it.

Both 'Stereo' and 'Crimes of the Future' (in particular) are brilliant, first rate SF films. If you love 'Videodrome;, 'The Man Who Fell To Earth' and 'Primer', you'll love these experimental movies.

Please note that a bluray release is also available, but I have not seen it so cannot compare the picture quality - I have to say I've never been unhappy with the DVDs though. Blue Underground are arguably the world's best DVD/BD label in terms of showing massive tender loving care to their releases - it's only a shame that many of the films they release are average exploitation fare (though to be fare, they have produced great versions of works by Argento, Fulci and a lovely Bd of 'The Tenth Victim').
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Fast Company [DVD] [US Import]
Fast Company [DVD] [US Import] by David Cronenberg (DVD - 2004)
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