This is the directoral debut of David Cronenberg’s son Brandon. In pre-release publicity I remember hearing an interview Brandon gave where he said something along the lines of he didn’t overly identify with his dad’s work as a filmmaker. Still somewhat today, but especially in the early part of his career, David Cronenberg carved out a reputation for himself as a master of quirky SF/horror/psychological dramas like Rabid, Videodrome and Dead Ringers.
I haven’t seen the movie yet, but Antiviral’s plot concerns a guy who works at a clinic where viruses from sick celebrities are harvested and sold to obsessed fans so they can further link themselves to their idol. That’s about as Cronenbergian as it gets, isn’t it? Yet in the interview Brandon seemed to be downplaying the possibility of an association or at least an influence.
The movie’s garnered so-so reviews. But if you do check it out, and Brandon progresses as a filmmaker as his dad did, you can say you were in on the ground floor. Antiviral screens tonight and Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. at the RPL Film Theatre, and Jan. 18-20 at 9 p.m. Here’s the trailer: