The residents of a suburban high-rise apartment building are being infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into mindless, sex-crazed fiends out to infect others by the slightest sexual contact.
Directed by: David Cronenberg
Author: John Chard
Disease is the love of two creatures for one and other. Shivers is written and directed by David Cronenberg. It stars Fred Doederlin, Paul Hampton, Lynn Lowry and Barbara Steele. Music is by Ivan Reitman and cinematography by Robert Saad. Montreal's Starliner Island Complex suddenly becomes home to parasitic organisms that upon entering a human host, turns them into flesh-eating sexual predators. Cronenberg's first commercial feature film has become a little too over analysed over the years due to the Canadian auteur's subsequent career. Meanings and motives within Shivers have been searched and scrutinised so as to give it more resonance. It really isn't worthy of that sort of cranial thinking, but what Shivers is is a fun low-budget horror film, a movie that has dashes of Cronenberg magic that shows he started as he meant to go on. With its chaotic observation of mundane everyday people suddenly turned into sexually charged beings now devoid of inhibitions, it's not hard to see why it caused some controversy upon release. Yet that sort of controversy is gold publicity really, and ultimately when you look at it now, it's played out as being more tongue in cheek than any design to shock the audience out of their seats. That's not to say there isn't horror here of course, one only has to see the brilliant opening to know this, but there is an intentional airiness about the piece, and yes! This is even as the director pushes buttons by pushing taboo subjects into our visual event. The acting is generally poor, the sound mix is off and some of the dialogue is awfully cheesy, but Shivers still comes out in considerable credit. It's an important movie in the pantheon of horror because of its director, while it's enjoyable to tick off some of the traits that would dominate his work from this point on. It also makes you evaluate the state of horror as a genre today, with the ream of sequels, remakes and unsurprising slashers dominating the box offices, now more than ever we could do with a young up and coming Cronenberg type to announce himself to our cinematic world. We can but hope. 7.5/10
Fun horror movie that reminded me a bit of Dawn of the Dead (one location, people being "infected" and going after one another (hungry for flesh so to speak) and the few survivors fighting for their lives. Not great per se but still entertaining and a solid debut for David Cronenberg (well, feature length anyway). **3.75/5**
Canadian Film Development Corporation (CFDC)
1 hr 28 mins
$ 179,000.00 (Estimated)