Friday, September 30, 2011


A Rundown of the 13 Best Horror Movies I’ve Seen in the Past Year
[1 of 13]


SHIVERS
(October 1975)


“If this picture doesn’t make you scream and squirm, you’d better see a psychiatrist. Quick.”

That’s some of the most awesome copy ever heard in a trailer. And yes, indeed, it’s from the trailer for Shivers, David Cronenberg’s first feature film in the wake of his self-described “underground” work, Stereo and Crimes of the Future.
It’s been a long quest, this, getting to see Shivers, and finally finding this particular Grail (thanx so much to Jeb for that) was certainly a rewarding experience.
For Cronenbergians out there, all of the themes and preoccupations that would subsequently recur throughout most of his body of work, they’re here, in this disturbing tale of a sexual parasite and the spread of its contagion throughout an apartment complex. Quite tellingly, Shivers is also an unsettling, prescient take on the horror of AIDS.

In this day and age where even Steven Soderbergh is up for making a movie like Contagion, it’s also worthwhile to take a look at a very early example of the form; Cronenberg would, of course, journey through similar narrative terrain with Rabid.
And, all those zombie movies that are all over the place these days? They may find their roots in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, but the influence of Cronenberg’s Shivers and Rabid are also undeniable.
Thirty-six years after it was made (filmed in just over two weeks on a very limited budget), Shivers still has a potent and disquieting impact.
I mean, how can it not? Copy that awesome can’t be wrong…

(Shivers UK quad courtesy of wrongsideoftheart.com.)

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