Thursday, October 9, 2008

HORROR EPICS: Shivers

SHIVERS (1975)
The Swinging Seventies takes a bit of a beating in this biological nightmare, directed by David Cronenberg in his (mainstream, commercial, whatever) debut. There are some good ideas going on in this story, in which a quack doctor is working on a surgical procedure in which dying organs would be replaced by a parasite that would then take on the organs’ normal functions. Might be a cheap alternative to a transplant, if nothing else. The good doctor uses a teenage girl as his guinea pig, and the little whore goes and fucks just about every guy that lives in her building. Even the married men...hell, even the OLD men! After both doctor and patient die in bizarre fashion, it’s discovered in the doctor’s notes that replacing internal organs wasn’t on the agenda after all. No, instead this parasite is a lethal combination of an aphrodisiac and a sexually transmitted disease. All hell breaks loose when everyone in the building gets infected and goes on a sex-and-violence rampage. Men, women, and children alike fulfill their innermost desires for homosexuality, S&M, rape, and incest, and threaten to take over the world in a massive orgy. It’s hard to beat a story like that, but I must admit that Shivers sounds more entertaining than it actually is. Not a bad movie once it gets going, but you’re in for a LONG 90 minutes regardless. Lots of talking. Lots of killing time. Dare I say it gets boring waiting for the shit to hit the fan? No wonder I had this on tape for at least two years, and always managed to fall asleep before it even started. David Cronenberg would go on to revisit some of the themes explored in Shivers with more favorable results with movies like Rabid. Unless you’re filling a blank in the Cronenberg library or curious to see where he started out, I’d say you could pass this up and not regret it. Also known as They Came from Within, The Parasite Murders, and Frissons, although I’d add Attack of the Flying Mutated Cockturd since that’s more or less what the parasite resembles.

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