a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…
Going mad is just the beginning of the terror...
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.
I tend to give horror movies a pass when it comes to certain issues including the portrayal of women. I don't know why I do this. It probably has to do with the fact that I am quite unfamiliar with the genre, and I expect women to be portrayed as stupid yellers who can't walk or run without falling, dial a telephone number because they are so shaken, or get the hell out of a house because they are too busy running up the stairs where they will be trapped. So yeah, I don't expect much from the genre.
But this... this one, oh boy. This one made me question Cronenberg as a human being. This one made me dislike…
Reading a description of David Cronernberg's "Shivers," one might think the horror film is a parody. The story of apartment dwellers infected by a parasite that turns them into sex fiends could easily and humorously be labeled "Orgy of the Living Dead" or "Night of the Canadian Sex Zombies" if the film were not played so straight and earnestly. "Shivers" is no parody, and, though it may have a sly sense of humor, the film is a stark, haunting debut from a renowned director.
Revolving around a Montreal high-rise where a parasite infects its inhabitants, "Shivers" is a gory, gets-under-your-skin piece of horror that exhibits early versions of the signatures marking Cronenberg's career. Flesh literally crawls and the residents of…
Part of Lise and Jonnie’s Horror-o-thon 2014
Let me make it clear right off the top that while not generally a horror fan, I am a David Cronenberg fan. He’s a director who always has something interesting to say, and an interesting way of saying it. Ok, that out of the way, I have to say that Shivers, his debut feature film, was dreadful.
I hadn’t seen it since way way back, and I kind of lumped it in with Rabid, which I love. What a difference a year can make. While Rabid had the meagre-budget Canadian look and similar ligneous performances, it was crisply paced and narratively sound. Shivers, on the other hand, flops around like a beached halibut…
Oh yeah! Now that's what I'm talking about! Oh yeah! I mean sure, it's trashy, disgusting, weird, the characters are unrealistic and stupid and the quality of the acting and overall film making is quite rough around the edges, with some unnecessarily gratuitous material. But! It's a lot of fun in a twisted, no holds barred, fucked up way. So there's a doctor who thinks humans have removed themselves too much from their basic, instinctual-driven behaviors. He doesn't like that and decides to create a parasite that acts as part aphrodisiac, part venereal disease, that he implants inside a resident of a modern apartment building. From there, chaos ensues, as the parasite can be easily transmitted to multiple…
A sickening, raw early film from Cronenberg that really managed to get under my skin and make me feel a bit sick. It's quite brilliant though, featuring what would become his usual themes in his body of work. The energy and ambition is palpable, even if the budget couldn't match. Still truly enjoyable and completely fucked up.
Not Quite Hoop-Tober: Day 30
One thing I can say for certain about David Cronenberg is that he's definitely the king of the high concept horror film. Whatever reservations I might have about Shivers, it's certainly never afraid to be exactly as creative, crazy, and controversial as it wants to be.
The story is about a luxury apartment complex which finds itself slowly overrun by parasitic grafting organs. Yes, you read that right. A doctor makes organs for transplantation which are parasitic in nature, and these demonic biological creations escape and go on a killing spree. For reasons that aren't entirely clear, they roam the building taking over its inhabitants and making them incredibly horny. Just another day in the…
35mm. The New Beverly.
AKA Dr. Hair and the Orgy Zombies
Tonight at the New Beverly Cinema, we watched the British X-rated version, entitled (unfortunately) THE PARASITE MURDERS. It was a rough, moldy-looking print, but we nonetheless "gave ourselves over to absolute pleasure."
Personally, I think I would rather walk down the halls of the Overlook than those of the Starliner. Behind every door and in every stairwell is a slug-inspired perversion. Mainly, this film computes as a partially successful rehearsal for films to come; namely, Woodsy's chest vagina in VIDEODROME. The slow-motion half-submerged kiss is its seal - the deed has been done. All hope is lost.
I have some questions, though:
- Where can I buy used pickles (and are they only available in Montreal)?
- Do most Canadians shake with rage when you mention contact lenses?
- Why was Hobbes' partner suddenly speaking French in the Tudor scene?
A director's gotta start somewhere.... Man what a start!
A somewhat interesting bit of social commentary hampered by bad acting, lazy writing, and a complete lack of energy and urgency. The big takeaway is Forsythe's speech about how "dying is an act of eroticism, [...] even to exist is sexual," which is essentially the thesis statement for all of Cronenberg's movies.
film #1 of my hoop-tober 2.0 challenge
"everything is erotic... everything is sexual. you know what i mean?"
oddly enough, this strikes me as a 70's psychosexual predecessor to soderbergh's contagion -- one that feels far less clinical and far more personal and invasive. cronenberg is truly most successful and assured within the realm of horror and thrillers, and this early work is no different
Great date movie!
Film #3 of Hooptober 2.0
"I'm ready for love!"
Horny rape zombies go a-rapin' around a flashy Montreal tower block in David Cronenberg's debut feature, a fantastically repulsive body-horror that gives a flawed but undiluted essence of what is to come further down the line from the Canadian schlockmeister. Although it portrays women horribly (horribly!), there's a lot to enjoy as Cronenberg successfully navigates his way around a very low budget and a whole lot of controversy, with the understated prosthetics taking as much prominence as the nihilistic and startlingly sexual synecdoche of modern society.
The cast are uniformly clunky, but it's all part of the nasty, grotty, filthy charm that Cronenberg possessed from the outset. Also displaying a natural talent for skin-crawling mayhem as a fledgling director, Cronenberg might not have a decent handle on gender in his first film, but by goodness does he have the guts to explore the darker side of human desire.
Canadian fuck-zombies take over an ultra-modern apartment tower in suburban Montreal. I haven't seen all of the early Cronenberg "body-horror" movies, but for me, this is far and away the best iteration of that genre. While movies like Scanners and Videodrome feature some astounding visual effects and are conduits for startlingly prescient ideas about man's encroaching dependency on, and combination with, technological devices, both of those films suffer from pacing issues. I still love and revere those movies, but they often feel too much like media studies lectures. But Shivers is tightly paced, full of wicked and disgusting visual effects and does not sacrifice any of the aforementioned films' intellectual heft (maybe a bit, actually). Man has become an over-rational…
Wild. Not particularly well acted, but no one does psycho-sexual body horror like Cronenberg.
No sure what I was expecting, but it was considerably more wiggy, naked, and violent than I was prepared for.
It was a kind of great
No idea if there is a list for this yet, but I think I will keep this as kind of…
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…