Friday, October 2, 2015

Movie Review: "Shivers" (1975)

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Movie"Shivers" (also known as "They Came From Wtithin")
Director: David Cronenberg
Year: 1975
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 27 minutes

On an island located off the coast of Canada lies a luxury high-rise apartment complex called Starliner Towers. One afternoon, a resident named Dr. Hobbes (Fred Doderlein) attacks a young woman, murdering her and then killing himself. At first, people thought he had just gone crazy, but it turns, out the girl was infected with a parasite that transmits itself through any sexual contact. He was trying to stop the spread before it was too late. Unfortunately, this young woman was very promiscuous and had already spread the parasite. This parasite, one that is similar to a leech, takes over the host, turning it into sex-crazed maniac and tries to further the spread of the parasite. Dr. St. Luc (Paul Hampton) is warned of the parasite by Dr. Hobbes' partner and heads to Starliner Towers to examine the infected, but he may already be to late to do anything about it. 

"Shivers" is part "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," part "Night of the Living Dead," part Roger Corman sexploitation film. While the concept seems pretty cool, there really isn't a deep plot or a well thought out story. It is all more like a rough outline. Basically, a parasitic life form is trying to takeover mankind and it turns people into hordes of mindless zombies, but instead of eating people, these zombies simply want to have sex. All of the actions in this film fall along this same general scope and we can't say much else about what actually happens because there isn't much beyond that. It's all rinse, wash, repeat. There is no development to any of the characters whatsoever and no direction to the story. There are some decent and cool looking visual elements to the movie, as well as some that are little gross and others that are very disturbing, such as parasites crawling around under the skin, characters puking up blood, and the little slug-like creatures that crawl into whatever orifice or face they can latch onto. These scenes can be unnerving, which is good for a horror movie, but without any character development or depth to its plot, there is little more here than random scenes of sex and violence. Another thing that we noticed was the inclusion of some rather touchy scenes with what appears to be very young characters. This made us wholly uncomfortable at the suggestion of anything remotely related to pedophilia. As a whole, it was almost like watching a really bizarre, disturbing, crudely made sexploitation porno with tons of creepy crawlies and a lot of really dark, shadowy camera work. David Cronenberg is known for his weird films and this is no exception, and since this was his first movie, this was obviously a glimpse into things yet to come from the prolific director.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 86%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.
Two years ago, we were watching"The Legend of Hell House"

One year ago, we were watching: "Halloween II"

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