An experience you can't download

Actor: Deborah Kara Unger

David Cronenberg’s Crash (2020 Restoration)

David Cronenberg’s Crash (2020 Restoration)

Based on the polarizing 1973 novel CRASH by English author J.G. Ballard, David Cronenberg‘s equally polarizing adaptation caused an uproar when it was released in 1996. Praised by (some) critics and widely admonished by others, the film has gained something of a cult audience in the nearly 25 years years since.

This fresh restoration (complete with that “new car smell”) screening at the Rio Theatre is the uncut 100-minute release, minted in 4K by Germany’s Turbine Media Group under the supervision of both Cronenberg and Director of Photography Peter Suschitzky.

In Cronenberg‘s distinctly austere, cold, and removed style, he tells the story of a TV director who survives a terrible car crash, (James Spader, in a standout performance) only to become immersed in a strange sub-culture of sexual fetishism, specifically having to do with those who become sexually aroused by both staging and participating in very real, and sometimes dangerous, car crashes. Things get interesting when he tries to replicate the raw, unusual charge of his new predilection in an attempt to jump-start his marital sex life.

Despite the passage of time, CRASH manages to land solidly among the director’s body of work: like most of his filmography, it is a story of a community overrun by infection.

Also starring Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Debroah Kara Unger, Rosanna Arquette.

“It’s a dark, disturbing, languorous movie, as ludicrous, hermetic and repetitive, perhaps, as Ballard’s original, but admirably assured and true to itself.” (Time Out)

“[A] necessarily disturbing and equally profound inquiry into human desire, however self-destructive.” (Slant Magazine)


Friday, August 14
Doors 10:00 pm | Movie 10:30 pm *Start time subject to change
Tickets $15 advance HERE | $15 at the door

Sunday, August 16
Doors 5:50 pm  Movie 6:20 pm *Start time subject to change
Tickets $15 advance HERE | $15 at the door

*Rio Theatre Groupons and passes OK! Please redeem at the door.
**Minors permitted. (Language warning.) Must be 19+ w/ID for bar service

PLEASE NOTE: All of the Rio Theatre’s screenings are operating at a sharply reduced capacity. We can’t guarantee availability of tickets at the door, so advance tickets for all screening events are strongly recommended. Our online box office can be found at www.riotheatretickets.ca. Online sales for every screening automatically end 1 hour before any given showtime.


CRASH (David Cronenberg, 1996 / 100 mins / 18A) | After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.