Friends often ask me to recommend indie horror films on Netflix Instant. (American Netflix, sorry!) Now I can just send…
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…
Great sex Zombie film, if you replace zombie with parasite. Parasites > zombies.
I think Enemy took some of it's style from this film, at least the intial voice-over introduction part of the film...the yellow text, the coloring, the 70s shitty Canadian architecture.
Or, I Walked with a Sex Zombie.
At first I thought this was a prudish and reactionary movie re: casual sex in the 70s, but the more I think about it, the more I feel like it's satirizing public perceptions of same. As queasy and gross and shaky and charming and darkly funny as you would expect early Cronenberg to be.
Note: seen on a beautiful restored 35mm print at the Cinémathèque québecoise. This is probably the best this movie will ever look.
What if Sid James had scripted and directed Alien?
Not as timeless as his best. Cool intro.
Pretty crazy, but definitely the best cronenberg flick ive seen. It would definitely do for a good remake i bet. Corny acting sometimes, but the majority of the movie was good. It reminds me of the original crazies, which they remade a few years back. I enjoyed the remake more tyan the original there, if they were to remake this one i suspedt id like it more too. Anyways, fun flick, but kinda old.
How do you make a zombie film without zombies? David Cronenberg's early film has an answer: genetically modified slug creatures. They look like dog shit with red veins.
An apartment building is welcoming some new tenants. Meanwhile, a bearded brute is attacking a young woman. He rips off her clothing - exposing her breasts - and then chokes her to death. It is salacious B-horror filmmaking.
B-movies are not a bad thing. Often they can be fun. Shivers fails because no character seems to have a point to exist other than be fodder to the shit slug succubi. Cronenberg would grow into a filmmaker who crafted high concepts around characters we could sympathize or empathize with. That does not happen…
Before Cronenberg had a look, he had his ideas.
I SAW IT AT TERROR TUESDAY
The version we saw was an uncut version of the film. ONe of the scnes was entirely in french.
It has some problems; but you can see the promise of the things to come for Cronnenberg. I love the idea of this horny zombies that are trying to spread their venereal disease. This movie will make you squirm in certain scenes. It does not pull back in showing kids being put in great peril and being attacked by this sexual parasites.
"The roads of excess lead to the palace of wisdom."
-- a doctor's office sign
Moving into a furnished high-rise apartment would be easier without all of the latent fear of intimacy & domesticity one might bring along. Sauntering through a parade of sexual fury brought on by stomach-dwelling, burning mouth-slugs doesn't sound like my idea of a good time either. I'm tired of having sex.
- 13 Sins
- 100 Bloody Acres
- The ABCs of Death
- The Brood
- Winter Light
- The Changeling
No idea if there is a list for this yet, but I think I will keep this as kind of…
- Whistle and I'll Come to You
- The Woman in Black
- The House with Laughing Windows
- Who Can Kill a Child?
We're about half way through the Underrated Series and have finally reached one of the big genres. I'm expecting lots…