Crash (1996) - full transcript
Since a road accident left him with serious facial and bodily scarring, a former TV scientist has become obsessed by the marriage of motor-car technology with what he sees as the raw sexuality of car-crash victims. The scientist, along with a crash victim he has recently befriended, sets about performing a series of sexual acts in a variety of motor vehicles, either with other crash victims or with prostitutes whom they contort into the shape of trapped corpses. Ultimately, the scientist craves a suicidal union of blood, semen, and engine coolant, a union with which he becomes dangerously obsessed.
I'm looking for James. Has anybody seen James Ballard?
- You know… the producer of this epic. - I think I saw him in the camera room.
Are you in there?
Could we please get your approval on our Steadicam shot?
Be there in a minute.
Where were you?
In a private aircraft hangar.
Anyone could have walked in.
Did you come?
What about your camera girl?
Did she come?
We were interrupted.
I had to get back to the set.
Maybe the next one.
Not a lot of action here.
They consider this to be the airport hospital.
This ward is reserved for air crash victims.
The beds are kept waiting.
Well, if I ground up during my flying lesson Saturday…
you might find me next to you.
You're getting out of bed soon.
They want you to walk.
The other man… the dead man…
his wife's a doctor.
Dr Helen Remington.
She's here somewhere, as a patient, of course.
Maybe you'll find her in the hallway during one of your walks.
What was her husband?
A chemical engineer for a food company.
Where's the car?
Outside, in the visitors car park.
- They brought the car here? - My car, not yours.
Yours is a complete wreck.
The police had to drag it to the pound.
It's behind the station.
After being bombarded endlessly by road safety propaganda…
I'm almost relieved to have…
found myself in an actual accident.
- James Ballard? - Yes.
- Crash victim? - Yes.
We'll deal with these later.
Both of the front wheels of their car and the engine…
were driven back into the driver's section.
Oh, and the floor.
Blood still marked the hood like little streamers of black lace…
running toward the windshield wiper cutters.
Tiny flecks were spattered across the seat and steering wheel…
and the instrument panel was…
cracking the clock and speedometer dials.
The cabin was deformed.
There was dust, glass…
plastic flakes everywhere inside.
It stank of blood and other body and machine fluids.
I should've gone to the funeral.
I wish I had.
They bury the dead so quickly.
They should leave them lying around for months.
What about his wife, the woman doctor? Have you been to visit her yet?
I feel too close to her.
I don't like the idea of you getting into a car so soon.
I can't sit on this balcony forever. I feel like a potted plant.
How can you drive, James?
You can barely walk.
Is traffic heavier now?
There seem to be three times as many cars as there were before the accident.
I have to leave for work.
After this sort of thing how can people even look at a car, let alone drive one?
I'm trying to find Charles' car.
It's not here.
Maybe the police are still holding it.
They said it was here this morning.
This is your car?
You might tear your glove.
I never should have come here.
I'm surprised the police don't make it more difficult.
Were you badly hurt? We saw each other at the hospital.
I don't want the car.
In fact, I was appalled to find I have to pay to have it scrapped.
Can I give you a lift?
I somehow find myself driving again.
You haven't told me where we're going.
- To the airport, if you don't mind. - The airport?
- Why? Are you leaving? - Not yet.
Though not soon enough for some people.
A death in the doctor's family makes the patients uneasy.
I take it you're not wearing white to reassure them.
I'll wear a fucking kimono if I want to.
So, why the airport?
I work in the immigration department.
- Do you want a cigarette? - No.
I started to smoke at the hospital.
Kind of stupid.
All this traffic…
- I'm not sure I can deal with it. - It's much worse now. Have you noticed?
The day I left the hospital…
I had the extraordinary feeling that all these cars…
were gathering for some special reason I didn't understand.
There seemed to be ten times as much traffic.
Are we imagining it?
You've bought yourself exactly the same car again.
It's the same shape and colour.
We're close to the airport garage.
It won't be busy this time of day.
"Don't worry. That guy's gotta see us."
"Don't worry. That guy's gotta see us."
These were the confident last words of the brilliant, young Hollywood star…
as he piloted his Porsche 550 Spyder race car…
toward a date with death…
along a lonely stretch of a California two-lane blacktop…
"Don't worry. That guy's gotta see us."
The year: 1955.
The day: September 30.
The time: Now.
The first star of our show…
is Little Bastard…
James Dean's racing Porsche.
He named it after himself and had his racing number 130…
painted on it.
Who is that, the announcer? Do I know him?
He spoke to you at the hospital.
I thought he was a medical photographer…
doing some sort of accident research.
He wanted every conceivable detail about our crash.
When I first met Vaughan he was a specialist…
in international computerized traffic systems.
I don't know what he is now.
Which brings us to the second star.
The stuntman and former race driver Colin Seagrave.
He will drive our replica of James Dean's car.
You up for this?
I myself shall play the role of James Dean's racing mechanic Rolf Vudrich…
sent over from the Porsche factory in Germany.
This mechanic was himself fated to die in a car crash in Germany…
26 years later.
The third, and in some ways…
most important player…
the college student, Donald Turnipseed…
played by movie stuntman Brett Trask.
Turnipseed was on his way back home to Fresno for the weekend.
James Dean was on his way to an automobile race in Salinas.
Salinas was just a dusty town in Northern California.
The two would meet for one moment…
but it was a moment…
that would create a Hollywood legend.
You'll notice that we're not wearing helmets or safety padding of any kind.
Our cars are not equipped with roll cages or seat belts.
We rely solely on the skill of our drivers for our safety…
so that we can bring you the ultimate in authenticity.
Here we go. The fatal crash of James Dean.
Okay, let's wind it up.
Is this part of the act, or are they really hurt?
I don't know. You can never be sure with Vaughan.
This is his show.
was thrown from the Porsche…
and spent a year…
in the hospital…
recovering from his injuries.
Donald Turnipseed was found wandering around in a daze…
but basically unhurt.
James Dean died of a broken neck and became immortal.
What's the matter?
Help me up. I'm dizzy. I can't stand.
I know that man Seagrave.
I think he's genuinely hurt.
You're all liable for fines and possible arrest.
Disperse at once. Disperse at once.
- How you doin'? - I'm all right.
- What's the matter with Seagrave? - He hit his head, I think.
His balance is off.
Why are the police taking this so seriously?
It's not the police, it's the Department of Transport.
It's a big joke. They have no idea who we really are.
Was I glib?
"James Dean died of a broken neck and became immortal."
I couldn't resist.
Here. Lie down.
They did the James Dean crash.
It seemed to go perfectly, but then he was feeling nauseous on the way back.
I'm sure it's concussion.
We're familiar enough with that, aren't we?
Seagrave, I really would like…
to work out the details…
of the Jayne Mansfield crash with you.
We could do the decapitation.
The head embedded in the windshield.
And the dead dog thing, you know.
You know, the chihuahua in the back seat.
I got it all worked out.
I'll be ready, Vaughan.
I want really big tits.
Out to here.
So the audience can see 'em get all cut up and crushed on the dashboard.
Yeah, we'll do that.
Ballard, I need your help.
Do you live here with Seagrave?
No, I live in my car. This is my workshop.
This is my new project.
You recognize her?
She's right outside the door there.
I thought you might be missing these.
Here you are, at the nerve centre.
Vaughan makes everything look like a crime, doesn't he?
What exactly is your project, Vaughan?
A book of car crashes?
A medical study?
A sensational documentary?
we are all intimately involved in.
The reshaping of the human body by modern technology.
He must have fucked a lot of women in that huge car of his.
It's like a bed on wheels.
It must smell of semen.
Do you find him attractive?
He's very pale.
Covered with scars.
Would you like to fuck him, though, in that car?
But when he's in that car, he…
Have you seen his penis?
Looks like it's badly scarred…
from a motorcycle accident.
Is he circumcised?
Can you imagine what his anus looks like?
Describe it to me.
Would you like to sodomize him?
Would you like to put your penis right into his anus?
Just thrust it up his anus?
Tell me. Describe it to me.
Tell me what you would do.
How could you just kiss him in that car?
Describe how you'd reach over…
and unzip his greasy jeans…
take out his penis.
Would you kiss it or suck it right away?
Which hand would you hold it in?
Have you ever sucked a penis?
Do you know what semen tastes like?
Have you ever tasted semen?
Some semen is saltier than others.
Vaughan's semen must be very salty.
Have you come?
I'm all right.
Finish your story.
The junior pathologist at Ashford Hospital.
Then the husband of a colleague of mine.
a trainee radiologist.
Then the service manager at my garage.
You had sex with all those men in cars?
Only in cars?
Yes. I didn't plan it that way.
Did you fantasize that Vaughan was photographing all these sex acts…
as though they were traffic accidents?
They felt like traffic accidents.
We must accumulate all the paper we can, Ballard.
Some of the stuff that Helen brought back is terrific.
Tolerances of the human face in crash impacts.
Where is the…
I'm sure we see this again in slow motion… closer, I mean.
We can watch another tape.
No. I know this tape.
That tape player's fucked.
That's what it is. It always does that.
It always does that.
I'm all right.
I'm all right now.
I've always wanted to drive a crash car.
You could get your wish at any moment.
I mean a crash car with a history.
Nathaniel West's station wagon…
Grace Kelly's Rover 3500.
Just fix it enough to get it rolling.
Don't clean it. Don't touch anything else.
Is that why you drive this car?
Do you see Kennedy's assassination as a special kind of car crash?
The case could be made.
Here. Take a look at this.
Tell me what you think of these.
Yeah, you recognize this one. This is James Dean.
This is the next one Seagrave and I are gonna do… Jayne Mansfield.
It's all very satisfying.
I'm not sure I understand why.
That's the future, Ballard…
and you're already a part of it.
You're beginning to see that for the first time…
there's benevolent psychopathology that beckons towards us.
For example, the car crash is a fertilizing…
rather than a destructive event…
a liberation of sexual energy…
mediating the sexuality of those who have died…
with an intensity that's impossible in any other form.
To experience that, to live that, that is…
that's my project.
What about the reshaping of the human body by modern technology?
I thought that was your project.
That's just a crude sci-fi concept.
It kind of floats on the surface and doesn't threaten anybody.
I use it to test the resilience of my potential partners in psychopathology.
- What's going on, baby? - What's going on with you?
- You wanna go for a ride? - You and your friend?
- Just me and my friend here. - All right, that's cool.
- Don't go away. - I'm not. What you got under there?
- I'm clean. - You got a place?
Just right back there, in the back seat of my car.
- In your car? - We'll drive. It'll be nice.
- You're a good driver? - Absolutely. Sixty dollars.
- Sixty dollars? - You'll get a nice, scenic ride.
- One-fifty for the two. - No, it's just me.
- Just you? - If he does get involved, 150.
- Maybe. - What do you mean?
I'm saying, is he all right?
Come here, sweetie.
- Open your mouth. - Yes, daddy.
There you go. Don't want you blowing it up my urethra.
James, you drive.
James, we're leaving now. You want a lift?
No, thank you.
Catherine's coming to pick me up.
What's going on?
They've been questioning Vaughan about an accident at the airport.
A pedestrian was killed.
They think he was run over intentionally.
Vaughan isn't interested in pedestrians.
Don't you think he looks a bit shaky?
- Maybe I should drive him. - Where's your car?
At home. I couldn't face the traffic.
Why don't I drive?
That's it. Yeah.
Let's record this.
This is a work of art.
Absolutely a work of art.
Oh, yes, yes.
Slow down. Not so fast.
Slow down. Stop.
You couldn't wait for me?
You did the Jayne Mansfield crash without me?
Oh, the dog. The dog is brilliant.
I must have driven through something.
There's some blood on the car.
Here on the handle, and on the wheel.
Also on the wheel well.
If the police stop you again, they may impound the car.
You're right, Ballard. You're right.
There's an all-night car wash by the airport service area.
Is there something here that interests you?
This interests me.
I'd like to see if I can fit into a car designed for a normal body.
Could you help me into it, please?
Are these safe cars?
Yes, of course. They're very safe.
Fuck! This is bad. This is really bad.
James, somebody named Vaughan. You want it?
I need to see you. I need to talk about the project.
Where are you?
I think you're making it too clean.
Medical tattoos are supposed to be clean.
This is not a medical tattoo. This is a prophetic tattoo.
And prophesies are ragged and dirty.
So, make it ragged and dirty.
Prophetic? Is this personal prophecy or global prophecy?
There's no difference.
Let me see here. Where is it?
There it is.
I want you to let her give you this one.
Where do you think that one should go?
I thought that was you up there.
My last lesson's next week.
James, my car is…
Could it have been deliberate?
One of your suitors.
It was Vaughan.
Where is everyone?
They've all gone away.
I'd like to go back.
I'd like to register a claim for the 1963 black Lincoln.
Is there a form I should fill out?
I can give you the forms now, but you'll have to come back…
between 7:30 and 4:30 to register a claim.
What's your attachment to that thing?
A close friend owned it.
It's gotta be a total write-off. I don't see what you could possibly do with it.
Are you all right?
I don't know.
Are you hurt?
I think I'm all right.
I think I'm all right.
Maybe the next one, darling.
Maybe the next one.