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…
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…
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.
Cheap and nasty exploitation body-horror with a very 70s attitude to its female characters. Not really sure Cronenberg is saying anything especially interesting with this one.
Loved the look of the film from the commercial at the start to the turd life parasites, but I'm a sucker for this era.
such an enriching cronenberg experience.
you need no computer graphics to provide entertaining visuals.
Holy crap. Sex-crazed zombies. This. Shit. Is. Brilliant. #cronenberg
Cronenbergian visual style is introduced, occasionally to successfully unsettling effect, but this early gross-out picture from Canada's leading provocateur adds up to little more than reductive and empty horror. Lacking both the hypnotic tension and the political substance of many of his later works, this early experiment is an often laughable illustration of how silly Cronenberg's vision can be when it is only the body and never the brains that are the source of horror.
Unsubtle and problematic sexual politics aside, the film's structure and storytelling are as flawed as its content. Lengthy expositional sermons from misogynistic so-called scientists and doctors (including our dull two-dimensional protagonist) attempt to make sense of this absurd plot involving a medical experiment with parasites…
While David Cronenberg's first feature is rough around the edges, this mostly works to the movie's advantage. At first, the setting - an ultra-modern (at the time) high rise largely populated by singles - the low-budget production value and the slightly amateurish performances feel like this could be the setup for a porno about swinging singles. We know that's not the case when, about five minutes in, a character we've just met dispassionately carves up a young woman's body, and that's before the slug-like parasites that will turn the movie's characters into sexually ravenous zombies turn up. Still, it's amusing that Shivers retains the structure of a '70s porno throughout, jumping between characters and various sexual encounters where the appearance…
Nine Things About the Movie Shivers [aka They Came From Within]
1. Made in 1975, this was David Cronenberg's first film. As one of the godfathers of the "body horror" film genre, this film shows his first attempt at the topic of the human body as a frightening, strange, and grotesque process of destruction.
2. It's a strange little movie about rich, bland people living in an exclusive apartment complex on an island. A crazy doctor wants to get people to stop acting so boring and rationally. So he puts a creature in a girl that is designed to make her want to have sex, and then reproduce and spread to others like an STD. The parasite spreads to people…
well, I'm glad Cronenberg continued to make other films after this...
If you're going to make a horror movie about the sexual revolution, don't be such a fucking dude about it.
- 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…