If you don’t know the work of Writer/Director David Cronenberg, stop reading this and watch at least one of his movies right now. I’ll give you an hour and a half. For the rest of you, we all know and love his movies from the mind-blowing Scanners to his incredible remake of the 1950’s B-movie The Fly to his erotic car-crash thriller Crash. His movies pre-Scanners are very fascinating to me. The Brood was super personal as he wrote it while going through a nasty divorce and Fast Company was his only movie in his early days that didn’t have to do with body horror, instead it’s a race car film. His first two movies, though, were the kickstart to his 4-decade career: Rabid and his feature debut SHIVERS.
SHIVERS, also known as They Came From Within, starts off when a scientist slaughters a teen girl and then kills himself. Shortly afterwards, investigators discover that the murderer had been carrying on experiments involving 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 the tenants in the building. Those who become hosts turn into erotically obsessed maniacs who pass the bugs on through violent sex. I had the privilege to watch a 35mm print at LA’s Beyond Fest as part of a David Cronenberg retrospective and it played like gangbusters. It was such a fun screening, but all in all, I dig the hell out of this movie. The make-up effects are nasty, courtesy of FX artist Joe Blasco (who also did the FX for Rabid), then there is the insanity of the last act, and finally, not a lot of people know this but future filmmaker Ivan Reitman produced and was the music supervisor for this, as well as Cronenberg’s second movie Rabid. I’d love to know his story on working with Cronenberg’s for those two movies.
Thanks to Lionsgate Home Entertainment for bringing back their Vestron Video line recently with Little Monsters and now SHIVERS. This movie has been graced with TONS of new bonus features including a new interview and commentary track with David Cronenberg himself, new interviews with actress Lynn Lowry, FX artist Joe Blasco, and Greg Dunning (son of SHIVERS producer, John Dunning).
SHIVERS is a fun and nasty body horror film that’s a great debut from David Cronenberg. Lionsgate/Vestron Video put out a stellar new Blu-ray with a quality transfer restored by TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) and fantastic new bonus features that’ll make any fan shiver with delight. To top it off, they even threw in a digital copy of the movie to be redeemed on Google Play, VUDU, or Fandango NOW. So please do yourself a favor and grab this release! SHIVER is available now on Blu-ray & Digital.