MPAA Rated – NC-17
It’s 1:40 Long
A Review by:
Stu Gotz

Crash (1996)
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: James Spader, Rosanna Arquette, Holly Hunter, Deborah Kara Unger, Elias Koteas
MPAA Rated: NC-17
Released By: Fine Line Features
Release Date: 1996
Kiddie Movie: Definitely not.
Date Movie: Only if she’s kinky. This is definitely not a first date movie.
Gratuitous Sex: Did you read the review yet?
Gratuitous Violence: Again, there are a lot of car crashes and a sex scene that leaves James’ wife severely bruised.
Action: Lots of car crashes but not in the typical action movie sense. This is not intended to be an action movie.
Laughs: Not in a comedy movie sense
Memorable Scene: Actually . . . There are two scenes that were needed for the movie to work but I could have gone without seeing them. The first is when Vaughan and James’ wife (Deborah Kara Unger) are getting friendly in the back seat of a convertible while going through a car wash. I guess she decided to make a sandwich because she wiped the excess mayonnaise off her finger onto the upholstery of the car (read between the lines here people). The next scene is when James and Vaughan are getting close in the same car. I guess they too were hungry and Vaughan is a sloppy eater because James licks some Mayo off Vaughan’s face. Then he sodomizes him. Those sleezy movie director types.
Memorable Quote: Vaughan takes the gum out of a hooker’s mouth and tells her “I don’t want you blowing it up my urethra.”
Directed By: David Cronenberg

Any movie that a high profile newsstand magazine calls appalling, or something like that, has got to be a movie for me. Such is the case for the latest flick with James Spader, “Crash.” Personally I think that magazine criticism was a little too harsh. I don’t doubt that half of middle America and all of Blue Collar America would agree with them, but there is definitely a niche market for this movie. I’m talking about all those “Latte- Drinking-Artsy-Fucks”, the other half of Middle America, and all you perverts (I know you heard about the perverted side of this movie and a net search engine sent you here). I like to think that I fall somewhere between the happy perverts and the Middle America people who will somewhat be able to understand and appreciate this movie.

So what’s it about? In its simplest of séances it’s a movie about erotic fetishes. Specifically, it’s about people who find sexual gratification through sharing a common bond. That bond? They all get off on car crashes because they have all lived through them. From a “hyper-art” point of view the movie is much more and a very detailed study of the human psyche’. I’m an intelligent, deep, and profound person and I would agree there is a whole lot more going on in this movie, but I’m not pretentious enough to elaborate on such details. So sue me! I like to talk about things in their simplest of forms and this movie is simply soft-core porn with an interesting angle and good acting (something rare in porn, soft core or not).

This is not the first time James Spader has been in such a risqué film. Some of you will recall he was in “Sex, Lies, and Videotape.” That movie was also about sexual fetishes but plays like an episode of “Barney” when compared to “Crash’s” depth and sexuality. James has also been in some real cheesy movies too (I won’t mention them). The guy really has some balls in that he is willing to take chances in movies and I think that will pay off for him in the future (he won’t be type-cast). As far as his role in “Crash”, James plays James Ballard, a kinky movie producer who’s whole sexual life is changed when his car crashes into Dr. Helen Remington’s (Holly Hunter) injuring both and killing her husband. Holly is another gal who has taken some chances that have paid off. She’s been in the Academy Award winning “the Piano” and the cult classic “Raising Arizona.” Anyway, from there they are drawn into a weird sexual cult whose leader is a man named Vaughan (Elias Koteas). I say cult because all these people commune together, fuck together, and re-enact car crashes as if they were religious experiences. Vaughan himself is a veteran of several intentional crashes. Through Vaughan, James and Helen discover whole new sexual sides to themselves. Vaughan keeps around Gabrielle as his “handicapped by a car crash” trophy. Gabrielle is played by quirky actress Rosanna Arquette. Now here is a girl with a weird movie career. I don’t think she ever really recovered from Madonna stealing the spotlight in “Desperately Seeking Susan.” Her last role, that I can recall, was playing the part of the chick with all the shit in her face in “Pulp Fiction” and now she’s playing the kinky sex kitten with disfigured and crippled legs in “Crash.” I really don’t see her very small part in this movie doing anything for her career.

All of these characters not only get off on car crashes and making it in cars, but they also get off on each other. That’s right folks. . . Holly makes out with Rosanna and James does a little more than kiss Elias. This should get the preachers on a pulpit preaching about how mainstream society has gone wrong.

So have I given you the impression that there is a lot of sex going on in this movie? Well, there is from the very first scene, to the very last, and all in-between!!! But don’t be fooled by that. The scenes may be very hot, but they are shot with a lot of tact and taste so don’t be expecting to see any penetration, James’ weenie, or Holly’s bush.

In a simple and semi artistic/phyche sense I enjoyed this movie. I ain’t gonna be recommending it to my mother, though I probably would see it again with a close friend (as long as she’s wearing a skirt and no panties). This movie is not for everyone – if you’re a “blue-collar meat and taters” kind of person save your money for the next Van Damme movie due out soon. All of you intellectuals and perverts should find this movie appealing, and the rest of you just flip a coin. As for me I’ll go on record as saying I like this movie in it’s simplest of senses and give it 3 out of 5 stars, and I’m a happily perverted Stu Gotz.