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"If this picture doesn't make you scream and squirm, you should see a psychiatrist--quick!" shouts the film's trailer. This time the hyperbole is right. David Cronenberg's debut feature, and Canada's first domestic horror film, is an ingeniously engineered slasher of thoroughly modern horror that, like George Romero'sNight of the Living Dead, charts a social breakdown by tearing through our most intrinsic taboos. A genetically engineered designer parasite--part aphrodisiac, part venereal disease--created by a modern-day mad scientist escapes into a colorless, self-contained apartment complex and goes searching for hosts. This monstrous parasite multiplies and invades the alienated occupants, turning them into a pack of id-driven sex maniacs. Cronenberg's suffocating vision of modern life turns his budgetary limitations--dreary, bland sets, flat lighting, and numb performances--into a severe portrait of society out of touch with its physical and emotional existence. Cronenberg pushed the boundaries of gore in 1974, but more insidious is the way he pushes the boundaries of behavior: under the influence of this invasive disease, families turn to incest and murder, strangers sexually assault the helpless, and finally they band together as a pack of bloodthirsty, libido-driven animals. That taboo-breaking display still has the power to get under your skin. The film has also been released under the titlesThe Parasite MurdersandThey Came from Within. Cult horror icon Barbara Steele costars.--Sean Axmaker
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CastSusan Petrie, Joe Silver, Paul Hampton, Lynn Lowry, Allan Kolman
DirectorDavid Cronenberg
Screen WriterDavid Cronenberg
DVD Release Date:  September 30, 1998
Runtime:  87 minutes
Studio:  Image Entertainment
What's your opinion on Shivers (1976)?
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More Shivers (1976) reviews
review by . April 04, 2005
What I feel is one of the strongest points of this film is it's ambiguous use of fear and horror. Though it seems obvious that the parasites are to be feared in the film, what's even more terrifying is that the creatures are not the source of the "sex-plague", they only destroy our own inhibition, letting the hidden monster, that is in us all, free. Add to this, the parasite's conception and you have a great homage to Frankenstein, as well as an interesting spin on the modern Zombie movie. Being …
review by . April 20, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
There is no doubt in my mind, by watching/reading many interviews with David Cronenberg & viewing everything that he has created thus far that David is a "very special boy". Cronenberg has the kind of imagination, lunacy, & repression to really create the kind of visuals in films that once you view them, you never forget. Cronenberg's 1st feature film, "Shivers", does just that. Filmed on a shoestring budget during 15 hectic days of production in Canada, this film tells the story of a doctor/madman …
Shivers (1976)
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