Really Awful Movies: Ep 247 – Dead Ringers



On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast we tackle a Canadian classic, David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers.

Twin gynecologists, the Mantle brothers (based on the true-life demise of monozygote physicians, the Marcus brothers) share 100% of their genetic material. They also share scientific discoveries, and women.

In a tour de force performance by the incredible Jeremy Irons, we get a look inside the psyche of genius, and a concomitant look at their madness (as is often the case). The docs Elliot and Beverly are, of course, identical. However, Elliot is a bit taller, more outgoing, more comfortable in his own skin. And Beverly lives inside his own head. They comprise a drammaturgical dyad (thanks, Simpsons).

The Mantle bros’ practice is booming, they’re highly regarded in their field, and seem to have everything together. Of course, that’s just on the surface. Pull back the curtain and there’s tumult.

This is another instance of inside-out David Cronenberg body-horror. Dead Ringers is a difficult film to like, but is nonetheless fascinating. And it’s aged incredibly well. It’s a remarkable technical achievement, in addition to being a terrific showcase for Irons’ subtlety and mannerisms.

On the podcast, we examine the following:

  • The 80s horror scene
  • How we discovered the work of David Cronenberg while being ensconced in franchise horror flicks like Friday the 13th and Halloween
  • Canadian content regulations and the tax shelter era
  • Invasive medical procedures the hosts have experienced
  • Twin depictions in popular culture
  • Bloodletting in horror, and the use of restraint (or is that restraints?)
  • Medical horror

and much, much more.

This is our third discussion of a David Cronenberg film on the Really Awful Movies Podcast. Interested listeners can check out Videodrome and Rabid. Thanks for listening! And be sure to write reviews if you like what you’re hearing. And to support the show, pick up a copy of Death by Umbrella! The 100 Weirdest Horror Movie Weapons (foreword by our pal, Lloyd Kaufman of Troma).


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