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.
It's pretty much Night of the Living Dead with a LOT more sex.
Malgré le côté "cheap" et la version française bancale sur laquelle j'ai du me rabattre, j'ai passé un très bon moment devant ce "Frissons". Enfin, passer un bon moment devant un film de Cronenberg, c'est relatif, ce que j'entends par là, c'est que le film est réussi est provoque un véritable sentiment de malaise. Je ne sais pas si c'est l'aspect sale de l'image et du son qui a fait ça, le cîté huis clos du film, l'action ne se déroulant que dans un unique lieu ou la perversité du mal qui régit l'hôtel, il en reste que c'est un sacré film d'horreur comme on les aime. Je n'ai pas vu le temps passer, et j'ai trouvé la musique superbe, elle m'a beaucoup fait penser au travail de Howard Shore sur "Le Silence des Agneaux" qui a sans doute du s'en inspirer !
Bref, un très bon film, malsain au possible, mais génial ! A voir !
That Arrow Blu-Ray. Low rent AND gorgeous directing at the same time.
I love the comical notes in this, played straight. After watching a handful of Cronenberg works before 1975, this seems to be a logical conclusion. Cheap but effective. Shocking, but it fits with the narrative. Sure, kids on leashes don't have to be in the movie... but whatever. Staring at your erected stomach bump, egging it on to get some friends, makes a clearer indicator of all the going-ons. Sexual revolution! The line about breathing and living being sexual followed by a smack was hilarious given the context this time.
Barbara Steele's apartment is more European than the rest too. Funny. Enjoyed this more than on the first watch 4 years ago.
Questionable acting aside, Shivers is a mildly interesting film.
It's a quite disturbing and perverse film about the existential reaches of the human body and how it can be easily violated by something that seems so foreign and unknown.
I think what easily saves this film is Cronenberg's screenplay, which is not the most subtle one ever when it comes to asking questions left to interpretation, but it's damn well interesting and does leave a lot to think about after watching the film.
What's also interesting about the film is how it links eroticism with the joining of diseases. Hell, I always found interest at how Cronenberg's films saw eroticism. Throughout his films, it seems that Cronenberg likes to link…
The ‘Genre’ Auteurs - Film #8
"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."
Words which seem to reverberate throughout Cronenberg's entire filmography; a monologue which feels like a mission statement.
Cronenberg's cold atmosphere's and psychosexual themes are already at play here, Shivers - his first feature film - dealing with them as violently and explicitly as possible. Not yet the restrained filmmaker of later years, Cronenberg's penchant for bodily harm and brutal eroticism is…
Worst David Cronenberg movie ever. The only even hypothetically interesting scene was the opening, and Davey botched that too. Utter crap; his Piranha II: the Spawning.
Has machinations of what would eventually become Cronenberg's forte; horror movies with a message, but is admirably bleak for a film about the virtues of non-promiscuity, if little else.
The Stuff (1985) Directed by: Larry Cohen
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.
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…