Dr. Emil Hobbs thinks that humans have become too civilized and we need to embrace our inner brutality. I’m not sure, but this might be a reference to the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who thought that deep down, humans were all ruthless animals.
Dr. Hobbs is conducting some medical experiments to make his philosophy a reality that some might consider unethical; he gets naked, strangles people, cuts them open vertically, and dumps potions on their guts. The potions make cool smoke like dry ice. Also, the potions make these slug-looking parasites grow in the dead bodies. These parasites leave the host body when they are big enough, moving on to infect the living. The infected become zombies who, instead of biting people, hug, kiss, and rape people. If you get raped by a raper-zombie, you become a raper-zombie too. And those are the bad guys in the movie: some sex-slugs and some raper-zombies. I’m not sure, but this could be a commentary on the residue of sexual paranoia left behind from generations of North American Puritanism. Could be.
Anyway, about those slugs. Here’s a breakdown of the holes they can/cannot get into:
- Eye socket: No.
- Ear: No.
- Mouth: Yes!
- Butthole: Yes!
- Vagina: Yes!
- Penis hole: Implied!
- Belly button: No.
Maybe I’m looking into this a little too closely, but I think these sex slugs might be allegorical symbols for sexually transmitted diseases. Who knows.
Being a raper-zombie looks even worse than being a biter-zombie. Biter-zombies don’t bite other biter-zombies, but raper-zombies do rape other raper-zombies. How exhausting! Biter-zombies get to relax most of the time, only getting excited when there is a non-zombie around, but raper-zombies are constantly raping. I want you to think about that when you see all these good looking women in the movie who have sex-slugs in them. You might think “Oh, well, she can do her raper-zombie thing to me. I’m okay with that!” but just remember, that means you are signing up for a lifetime of grueling rape. I’m starting to think that this might be a thinly-veiled metaphor satirizing the temptation associated with the “Free Love” movement. I dunno. Just a thought.
In the movie, a bunch of people turn into raper-zombies and rape a bunch of other people into their zombie orgy. There is some trademark Cronenberg gore/terror and, this is just a theory, but I think there is also some social commentary in there somewhere.