Shivers (1975) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: David Cronenberg
Starring: Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry
Rated: UR/Region A/1.78/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Vestron Video/Lionsgate Films
After a scientist living in a posh apartment complex slaughters a teen girl and kills himself, investigators discover that the murderer had been carrying on experiments involving deadly parasites. Roger St. Luc (Paul Hampton), a doctor living in the building, and his aide, Nurse Forsythe (Lynn Lowry), then realize that the parasites are on the loose, attacking fellow tenants. And those who become hosts turn into erotically obsessed maniacs who pass the bugs on through violent sex.
I’ve seen Night of the Creeps, I’ve also seen Slither. But I had a lot of interest in seeing a film that was just about in the same boat at those, only directed by the great David Cronenberg. And we do have a few things in this film that make your skin crawl. You just know from the start that things are not well. And when you have a character start playing with some THING inside of him that people are calling a cyst, you just know your ideas are confirmed. And in typical Cronenberg style, things get interesting and very creepy. However, being one of his first films, things are not on a very polished level at the time of him making this. Things do drag a bit, but the typical weirdness you get from a David Cronenberg movie is here in full effect. As a matter of fact, we even get one scene here that would be repeated in the more current film, Slither.
Still, it makes you squirm here just the same. But one of the more bizarre things about this is the fact that these slugs aren’t really turning people into zombies, they are turning people into sex-crazed maniacs! So, welcome to 1975, my friends! And welcome to your doom in the fashion of having a mob of hot women (for lack of a more PG term) “screw” you to death. Oh, it’s a hard way to go I’m sure. The things going against this film is the slower pace and lack of a strong lead. By the time the film reaches its climax, we have a guy (not the most exciting chap in the world) running from mobs of infected people trying to do dirty things with him. Guys, girls, old people, ect. are all in on this hippie activity that is brought on by some type of slug-looking thing. It’s probably more humorous than anything else, but it’s a nice start for what would lead to better things for a very talented director. This one is still a lot of fun and comes to us from Vestron Video! It packs a whole group of new extras even if the transfer seems to be the same used on the old Australian version. All in all, it’s well worth seeing and worth grabbing.
- NEW Audio Commentary with Writer-Director David Cronenberg and Co-Producer Don Carmody
- NEW “Mind Over Matter” – An Interview with Writer-Director David Cronenberg
- NEW “Good Night Nurse” – An Interview with Actress Lynn Lowry
- NEW “Outside and Within” – An Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Creator Joe Blasco
- NEW “Celebrating Cinépix” – An Interview with Greg Dunning
- Archival 1998 David Cronenberg Interview
- Still Gallery with Optional Archival Audio Interview with Executive Producer John Dunning
- Theatrical Trailers
- TV Spot
- Radio Spots
Quality of Transfer: 94%