No idea if there is a list for this yet, but I think I will keep this as kind of…
Going MAD is just the beginning...
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.
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.
''Roger, I had a very disturbing dream last night. In this dream I found myself making love to a strange man. Only I'm having trouble you see, because he's old... and dying... and he smells bad, and I find him repulsive. But then he tells me that everything is erotic, that everything is sexual. You know what I mean? He tells me that even old flesh is erotic flesh. That disease is the love of two alien kinds of creatures for each other. That even dying is an act of eroticism. That talking is sexual. That breathing is sexual. That even to physically exist is sexual. And I believe him, and we make love beautifully.''
I must admit I had…
He tells me that everything is erotic, that everything is sexual... that even dying is an act of eroticism.
Fangoria editor Chris Alexander introduced Cronenberg's feature debut by describing the difference between horror and porn being only which fluids spurt from where and when. SHIVERS could almost be mistaken for a NIGHT OF LIVING DEAD porn parody, it's high camp but graphic and disturbing. Like Romero, Cronenberg's horror is more intellectual than it is frightening. He is using the tools of horror to share a radical opinion on sexual liberation and STDs. Message received, loud and clear.
By the way, this film was funded by Canadian tax dollars--easily the best thing our government has ever blown money on. I'll keep the potholes on the 401--let's have more body horror.
The closest Cronenberg will ever get to making a zombie movie, Shivers is actually a parable about the primal sexual desires within everybody that we pretend not possess. Cronenberg seems to be making the point that behind all our technology and societal constructs, we're still just animals.
The movie hasn't exactly aged well, and the characters aren't particularly well defined. Still, it has a lot of interesting ideas, gratuitous nudity, and it informs a lot of Cronenberg's later career (as well as the careers of other directors; I'm 99% sure that James Gunn's Slither is an unofficial remake of this). Plus it's free on YouTube. So why not check it out?
“He tells me that even old flesh is erotic flesh, that disease is the love of two alien kinds of creatures for each other, that even dying is an act of eroticism.”
-Nurse Forsythe (Lynn Lowry)
This is where it all began – the birth of a genre icon, The Baron of Blood, The King of Venereal Horror himself, David Cronenberg. Alright, so technically speaking it didn’t really start here as Cronenberg’s debut feature was from 1969 (Stereo) and he produced a good number of shorts prior to this. But Shivers, a horror film that focuses on an infectious sexual parasite in an apartment block, is the first film that…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I'll take this over a thousand A Dangerous Methods.
Come home, Cronenberg.
It's a film that plays host to his later, more well-defined trademarks. It's not an inherently bad concept. In fact, I like the concept itself a lot. It's just so horribly put-together that none of it really works. Sophomoric in basically every sense of the word: terrible acting, bad dialogue, non-existent characters, downright atrocious editing and a mood that's too serious for the laughable execution. There's sparks of things here and there and I enjoyed it purely for how terrible it was, but this is barely excusable. I laughed out-loud more than once, which isn't something you'd expect from a body horror film with a sexual undercurrent. It's blatant and thematically ham-handed in the worst sense. Some of the dialogue…
Ummmmm... I can describe what happened in this film, I can't really describe why or for what purpose.
A film of great promise; it lacks the sense of total aesthetic control that Cronenberg would really cement by Videodrome but it nonetheless showcases his facility with gruesome effects, creepy mood and a streak of black humor. I love that the story is set in motion by a character who could have had an acid vision forecasting Cronenberg's career of movies about people falling prey to overanalyzed, over-repressed sexual urges and bioengineering some kind of horny nuclear option to prevent it. The sheer guilelessness of the characters (usually men) who, even when warned to avoid people exhibiting unusual sexual behavior, throw themselves at any woman who speaks flatly of desire while disrobing is hilarious, and the film's iconic shot of a fleshy, phallic parasite honing in on a woman's spread legs in a tub, is pitched just right to be haunting and grimly funny without cheapening its loaded symbolism.
It's got all the Cronenbergian elements on full display with about half the intellectual integrity of this later films. Some of it gory splattery fun; some of it genuinely unsettling; all of it gross. A pretty outstanding exit from student art films into major motion pictures.
Wow. Sometimes you watch a movie and can just tell that the director was having a lot of fun making it, that they didn't really give a hoot whether it would be a great film or not, they just wanted to go with their concept and make the funnest film they could. That's what I get out of "Shivers," which has gotta be one of Cronenberg's top body horror films if not one of his overall best. It's absolutely gross and terrifying, which is exactly what you want from a body horror film, correct? I think so!
This is basically about parasites that enter into you and unleash your most primal carnal desires - sex and violence - and then…
looks a little grungy, but the story and the ideas it brings with it are fascinating...
Since I saw "The Brood", another Cronenberg horror yesterday (well, technically today), I thought I would watch another one of his films I've been meaning to cross off my watchlist: "Shivers"/"They Came from Within" (though "Shivers" is the official title, I love "They Came from Within" too much not to mention it). You could definitely say that the biggest fault of this film would be found within myself: my expectations for this film were way too high. After being blown away by "The Brood", I was expecting something more mysterious, ambitious, tense, and intriguing from this film, as was disappointed when it didn't deliver as much as I hoped it would.
Dr. Hobbs creates a parasite that could be transmitted…
- The Brood
- Winter Light
- The Changeling
- Whistle and I'll Come to You
- The Woman in Black
- The House of the 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…
- Night of the Living Dead
- Night of the Living Dead
- Dawn of the Dead
- Dawn of the Dead
- Day of the Dead
Horror movies are by far my favorite, so I've decided to make a list with all of them I remember…