Shivers

Shivers

Director: David Cronenberg

Cast: David Cronenberg, Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry

     
 

David Cronenberg wrote and directed this disturbing film, which dwells on the horrors of sexual intimacy (a recurring theme in his work). In a fancy high-rise apartment complex, the residents find themselves exposed to parasites that slither their way into their bodies. As the parasites make their way into their hosts, they cause a contagion that turns the victims… See more details below

Overview

David Cronenberg wrote and directed this disturbing film, which dwells on the horrors of sexual intimacy (a recurring theme in his work). In a fancy high-rise apartment complex, the residents find themselves exposed to parasites that slither their way into their bodies. As the parasites make their way into their hosts, they cause a contagion that turns the victims into uncontrollable sex maniacs. Incest, pedophilia, rape, homosexuality, heterosexuality -- nothing matters as long as the residents' sexual lusts are fulfilled (and, in the process, the parasites are passed along to new bodies). But the disease spread by the parasites is lethal, with the sexual act both ecstasy and a death sentence. In a startling climax, the residents of the housing project are transformed into ravenous sexual creatures, screaming in both pain and pleasure in a strange orgy in a swimming pool. They Came From Within was Cronenberg's first "commercial" film, after directing two experimental features, Stereo and Crimes of the Future. They Came From Within was revived in 1997 under the title Shivers. This DVD release contains a never-before-seen on-camera interview with Cronenberg.A gripping exercise in body horror and social paranoia, prolific Canadian director David Cronenberg's debut feature offers a startling look at modern isolationist society with a parasitic twist. When a scientist experimenting with a new form of organ transplants kills a young female resident of a fortress-like apartment complex before subsequently committing suicide, the investigation into her death leads to a frightening discovery. Originally conceived by the misguided scientist in a bid to aid organ transplant, an overzealous parasite quickly escapes into the complex in search of a host. One by one, the unsuspecting residents fall prey to the parasite, and the result is an aggressive horde of sex maniacs who will stop at nothing to satisfy their primal lust and pass the infection on through sexual contact. When the resident doctor learns the sinister truth behind the malevolent creation, only one man stands between an apartment complex overflowing with id-driven zombies and the outside world. Will he be able to stop the rapidly spreading parasite before it escapes into society, or is it only a matter of time until he, too, falls prey to its rapturous effects and gives in to the temptations of the flesh?

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Like George Romero, on whose Night of the Living Dead this film so successfully riffs, David Cronenberg knew early on how to parlay low production values and genre conventions into artistic strengths. After turning out just two previous shorts, both of them experimental, the young Canadian writer/director released this smart, creepy feature in 1975. The typical arc of any sci-fi or creature feature is usually an initial shocker followed by slowly escalating suspense and climactic violence. They Came From Within follows that profile, but here, the horror isn't some threat from outer space or Transylvania, but the privileged characters' own postmodern isolation. At about the same time John Waters was churning out grotesquely amusing caricatures of the haute bourgeoisie, Cronenberg was attacking them here with tastefulness. The slowly paced, almost affectless early scenes depict the high-tech skyscraper as an urban environment divorced from all passion and nature, which makes the queasy special effects and sex-crazed chase sequences all the more delicious. Scream queen Barbara Steele and Canadian TV actress Susan Petrie were but the first in Cronenberg's long string of stellar leading ladies, but the spotlight here is on the ideas and the action, not the actors. Rarely has a horror film portrayed the ugliness of an era as subtly and unrelentingly as They Came From Within does in its clinical dissection of the empty, high-rise '70s.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/30/1998
UPC:
0014381460223
Original Release:
1975
Rating:
NR
Source:
Image Entertainment
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
1:50:00

Special Features

Exclusive interview: Never-before-seen on-camera interview with David Cronenberg

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Hampton Roger St. Luc
Joe Silver Rollo Linsky
Lynn Lowry Forsythe
Alan Migicovsky Nicholas Tudor
Susan Petrie Janine Tudor
Barbara Steele Betts
Ronald Mlodzik Merrick
Joan Blackman Elevator Mother
Joy Coghill Mona Wheally
Dorothy Davis Vi
Sonny Forbes Garbage Room Man
Arthur Grosser Mr. Wolfe
Edith Johnson Olive
Wally Martin Doorman
Vlasta Vrana Kresimer Sviben
Fred Doederlein Emil Hobbes

Technical Credits
David Cronenberg Director,Screenwriter
Joe Blasco Makeup Special Effects
Don Carmody Production Manager
Patrick Dodd Editor
John Dunning Producer
Erla Gliserman Art Director
Paul Gravel Camera Operator
Andre Link Producer
Alfred Pariser Executive Producer
Ivan Reitman Musical Direction/Supervision,Producer
Suzanne Riou-Garand Makeup
Robert Saad Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Main
Play Movie
   Menu Group #1 with 20 chapter(s) covering 01:50:19
Theatrical Trailer
David Cronenberg Interview

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