Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Mike O'Donnell's #97: Shivers

Cronenberg is beyond a doubt one of the greats, his flicks are always uniquely his own especially in his earlier films. Something about the B level brilliance in its presentation counter by the A+ originality and execution of the subject matter. I chose  Shivers over his other of my favorites to start since it's fresh after a fairly recent watch.

Shivers opens as a commercial, pitching Skyliner terrace, an elites the high rise on an island in Montreal. This commercial acts as the title screen and opening credits, personally hooking me instantly. Shivers isolates itself immediately in this way, keeping everything and everyone involved, including you the viewer, isolated and contained in one space. From here we see a happy couple inquiring and admiring the facility as an old man strangles a young woman to death than dumps acid inside her gut before slitting his own throat.


As it turns out this old man has created a parasite that turns its victims into violent sexual deviants, awesome? Totally awesome. This is what I mean owhen talking about Cronenbergs early work, his execution and ideas are always perfectly sci fi with a strong ting of horror and early 80's gore. As a horny fucking dude admittedly I got fairly horny through most of this while feeling equally uncomfortable and slightly terrified. I realized what a piece of shit I was the further along I got. Cronenberg crafts this idea of sex zombies, forced intimacy, aka rape. Shivers  is loaded with twisted imagery of naked men and women forcing resisting parties to the ground, a man devouring a cherry turnover while assaulting a woman in an elevator as her child watches. Cronenberg showes basic human impulse for exactly what it is without any restraint, true horror. And the last 5 minutes rule


  1. I don't think I'll have a Cronenberg on this list. He belongs to a good number of directors who consistently make my yearly top tens tho. I need to revisit Shivers. I always confused it with Rabid.

  2. I've been meaning to get to rabid. Anything he touches I love, there's potential to see more of him on my list

  3. Haven't seen a lot of Cronenberg's early work. I have some hang-ups about the body horror genre, but I'm adding this to my list of things to watch. Getting a lot of recommendations from ya, Mike. Good stuff.

  4. Ashamed I haven't seen this one either. Will definitely rectify that.