The Brood (1979)

Canada, 1978
91m (USA), 93m (UK)colour
mono, English

A Canadian horror film directed by David Cronenberg. Production took place between 14 and 21 December 1978 and it was released on 25 May in 400 cinemas in the USA.

Plot Summary

Frank and Nola Carveth are undergoing a traumatic divorce. She's in the care of the controversial psychiatrist Dr Hal Raglan who is exploring a new technique encouraging his patients to ‘externalise' their rage. When their daughter, Candice, returns from a visit to her mother covered in bruises, Frank is understandably concerned. When Nola's mother and father are murdered by a pack of sinister children, Frank begins to suspect that there's more going on at Carveth's clinic than meets the eye…


Directed by: David Cronenberg
© Montreal Trust Company of Canada 1979
This film has been produced in Canada with the assistance of Canadian Film Development Corporation. Pierre David and Victor Solnicki present
Executive Producers: Victor Solnicki and Pierre David for Mutual Productions and Elgin International
Produced by: Claude Heroux
Written by: David Cronenberg
Director of Photography: Mark Irwin
Editor: Alan Collins
Music: Howard Shore
Sound Recordist: Bryan Day
Wardrobe Mistress: Delphine White
Makeup: Shonagh Jabour
Hairstylist: James Brown
Special Makeup: Jack Young, Dennis Pike
Special Effects: Allan Cotter
Art Director: Carol Spier

Oliver Reed (Dr Hal Raglan)
Samantha Eggar (Nola Carveth)
Art Hindle (Frank Carveth)
Nuala Fitzgerald (Juliana Kelly)
Susan Hogan (Ruth Mayer)
Gary McKeehan (Mike Trellan)
Cindy Hinds as Candice [Carveth]
Henry Beckman as Barton Kelly
Michael Magee (inspector)
Robert Silverman (Jan Hartog)
Joseph Shaw (coroner)
Larry Solway (lawyer)
Rainer Schwartz (Dr Birkin)
Felix Silla, John Ferguson (creatures)
Nicholas Campbell (Chris)
Mary Swinton (Wendy)
Jerry Kostur (construction worker)
Christopher Britton (man in auditorium)

Alternative Titles

Brood, la covata malefica – Italy
Brood – vihan jälkeläiset – Finland
Die Brut – Germany
La Clinique de la terreur – Canada (French)
Cromosoma tres – Spain
Cromosoma3 – Spain
Chromosome 3 – France
Chromosoom 3 – Belgium (Flemish)
A Ninhada – Portugal
Potomstwo – Poland

See also
Don't Look Now (1973)

Extracts included in
The American Nightmare (2000)
Long Live the New Flesh: The Films of David Cronenberg (1987)
Terror in the Aisles (1984)


New Musical Express 22 March 1980 pp.25-26
Cronenberg's talent is as forceful as it's unusual, but The Brood is ultimately disappointing. The film even flirts with utter orthodoxy (cf its ending). […] Cronenberg's decision to present his material within a more conventional (ie psychological) framework may well, I feel, have blunted the impact of the delicate – but often explosively revelatory – brinkmanship he plays in the uncharted cerebral corridors that connect compulsive fascination with appalled repulsion. – from an illustrated review (Not brooding but brewing) by Angus MacKinnon



  • Films in Review vol.30 no.8 (November 1979) p.569 – review (by Dean Billanti)
  • New Musical Express 22 March 1980 pp.25-26; 26 – illustrated interview (David Cronenberg: only here for the fear by Monty Smith); illustrated review (Not brooding but brewing by Angus MacKinnon)
  • Samhain no.62 p.32 – review
  • Screen International 7 July 1979 p.7 – credits
  • Screen International no.224 (19-26 January 1980) p.4 – note (Films for registration)
  • Screen International no.227 (9-16 February 1980) p.2 – note (West End openings)
  • Screen International no.228 (16-23 February 1980) p.2 – note (West End openings)
  • Screen International no.229 (23 February-1 March 1980) pp.2; 15 – illustrated note (London box office: ‘Rose' is in full bloom by Chris Brown); note (West End openings); credits, review (The new films by Marjorie Bilbow)
  • Screen International no.230 (1-8 March 1980) p.2 – note (West End openings)
  • Screen International no.231 (8-15 March 1980) p.2 – note (West end openings)
  • Screen International no.232 (15-22 March 1980) p.15 – illustrated note (Cronenberg in ‘Brood' blitz on London)
  • Screen International no.233 (22-29 March 1980) p.15 – illustrated article (Cronenberg horrifies the parts other films… by Adrian Hodges)
  • Screen International no.251 (26 July-2 August 1980) p.16 – note (UK provincial box office: A taste of horror by Chris Brown)
  • Screen International no.253 (9-16 August 1980) p.24 – note (UK provincial box office: Sluggish holidays by Chris Brown)
  • Shivers no.56 p.46 – review


  • 100 Cult Films by Ernest Mathijs & Xavier Mendik pp.38-39 – illustrated review by EM [Ernest Mathijs]
  • 500 Essential Cult Movies: The Ultimate Guide by Jennifer Eiss with J.P. Rutter and Steve White p.234 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.346-347
  • The Cinema of David Cronenberg: From Baron of Blood to Cultural Hero by Ernest Mathijs pp.2-3, 5-6, 49-50, 69-97, 100-101, 104, 126, 154-155, 188, 204, 223, 236, 250, 256; 278
  • Cronenberg on Cronenberg by Chris Rodley (ed.) pp.29, 62, 73, 76-79, 84-85, 87-88, 103, 115; 212 – illustrated notes; credits
  • David Cronenberg: Interviews with Serge Grünberg by Serge Grünberg pp.46-53, 56-58; 191 – illustrated interview; credits
  • Educational Institutions in Horror Film: A History of Mad Professors, Student Bodies, and Final Exams by Andrew L. Grunzke p.91
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.328, 340
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.389, 395
  • The Films of Oliver Reed by Susan D. Cowie and Tom Johnson pp.192-195 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.57 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.46 – credits
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.589-590 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.40-41 – illustrated credits, review
  • The Modern Fantastic: The Films of David Cronenberg by Michael Grant (ed.) pp.2, 3, 7, 23, 35-40, 43, 45, 51, 55, 56, 61, 65, 66, 85, 176
  • The Pocket Essential David Cronenberg by John Costello pp.38-42 – credits, review
  • The Politics of Insects: David Cronenberg's Cinema of Confrontation by Scott Wilson pp.135-136, 149, 150, 151-161, 163, 166, 169, 186, 217
  • The Shape of Rage: The Films of David Cronenberg by Piers Handling (ed.) pp.1-79 (illustrated article (The visceral mind: The major films of David Cronenberg by William Beard); pp.80-86 – illustrated article (The comedy of David Cronenberg by Maurice Yaowar); pp.87-97 illustrated article (The word, the flesh and David Cronenberg); 98-114 illustrated article (A Canadian Cronenberg by Piers Handling); 115-135 illustrated article (Cronenberg: A Dissenting View by Robin Wood); p.206 – credits
  • Top 100 Horror Movies by Gary Gerani p.82 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • What Fresh Lunacy Is This? The Authorized Biography of Oliver Reed by Robert Sellers pp.327, 328-329; 487 – notes; credits
  • The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.79