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…
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…
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.
David Cronenberg made his commercial debut with this aggressively unpleasant 1975 horror film on the theme of sexual disgust. A swinging-singles apartment building is overrun by slimy little creatures who carry an exotic form of VD. Hard, if not impossible, to take, the film nevertheless represents a major turning point in the genre—the discovery of the body itself as a source of terror. Cronenberg's later films are superior in technique, though not necessarily in intensity. Also known as Shivers. R, 87 min.
Director: David Cronenberg (First Film)
Spending a small portion of the film filming decent scenes and then mashing repetitive sounding and looking moments of simply getting from one place to the next whilst avoiding rapist zombies. When they eventually catch up (they also have wicked sensory abilities so they know where you are at all times) (also, there's a penis looking disease which slides in and out of vaginas and throats - because those are the only places penises are allowed to go, obviously, fucking 'ell, wait, I'm pretty sure belly buttons were also involved) they sort of just jump all over the victim and wriggle around a bit.
That's not even the worst part, the worst part…
Classic Cronenberg, when he was defining his craft. Only he could present us such a tale of sex, disease and depravity.
Can't believe Cronenberg did this...
This is Cronenberg distilled to his base level, and for some reason it works really well here. Much like Rabid, Shivers is a blunt exploration of the usual Cronenberg themes and are merely there in order to get to the gory horror elements. I'd say they are better explored here however and make the film a much better exploration of the same themes of sex, disease and mental instinct that Cronenberg revisited in Rabid. The performances are as shaky as the production values, but the film offers a fuller look into the concepts, making it much more compelling and disturbing because of it. The residents of an apartment block are afflicted with a parasitic plague that infects them with animalistic…
A cool little early film for Cronenberg that, while being distractingly low-budget, has tons of personality. An interesting film about the dangers of animalistic sexual drive, it’s a completely insane, esoteric creature feature with tons to say…even if it isn’t always quite sure how to say it.
Also known under the titles "They Came From Within" and "The Parasite Murders", Cronenberg's first major film is a sort of zombie movie (if you like) about parasites which increase your libido and pervert your mind. While 28 Days/Weeks Later zombies represent the unthinking violence of rioters, Cronenberg's "Shivers" has zombies which represent the unthinking lust of an orgy... or something.
When I find myself mentioning the r-word, I feel it's normally time to bring out the trigger warnings. The film essentially involves rape, but the mind-control element means that victims are never non-consenting for long. (Then again, that's part of what makes it so horrific.) Yet for a movie about sex-crazed zombies, there's not really much actual sex depicted.…
Sexy slugs on Starliner Island.
The girl's have gone to bed, now for some Cronenberg madness; 'Shivers'. The more and more I watch from this director, the more I liken him to Salvador Dali; he is a surrealist with an overriding penchant for sexual imagery.
Shivers is certainly no exception to this rule. With a sexually transmitted, genetically modified slug invading a quiet suburban flat complex, the orgy soon starts to take over.
An absolute joy to watch, and Cronenberg at his over-the-top best, and inspiring a while new generation of creature feature directors.
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…