Friday, June 26, 2009
Shivers (1975, David Cronenberg)
For those of you (in the U.S.) interested in David Cronenberg's first film Shivers (aka They Came from Within), you may have noticed how hard it is to find. After some searching, I was finally able to see it. It's been out of print here for awhile but after seeing a good number of Cronenberg's little features and reading some good reviews, I had to find it. Actually I had two separate co-workers tell me that they saw it on a horror channel on cable and that it was my type of movie.
Shivers takes place in a modern high rise apartment complex, which is totally self sufficient. It has its own dentist, doctor's office, pharmacy, convenience store....and slug-like killer parasites. Created to be a substitute for a human organ, these parasites cause the host to become a sex crazed maniac, causing them to spread like wild fire. Soon the whole hotel is infested and it is up to the resident doctor (Paul Hampton) and his nurse (Lynn Lowry) to try to stop it.
This film was well worth the search. A little silly in parts, but overall an effectively slimey horror film. The special effects are amazing for the time (courtesy of Joe Blasco), including lots of "how the fuck did they do that" under the skin effects. The parasites themselves are also pretty nasty things and look great. The film moves along at a good pace and the acting is all pretty decent. Despite all of these great aspects of the film, the best part was definitely Barbara Steele's lesbian scene. Steele, the beauty from such classics as Black Sunday, 8 1/2 and Pit and the Pendulum, looks beautiful and has one of the most uncomfortable parasite scenes. Still makes me squirm...or should I say - SHIVER?