Notable Cast: Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry, Alan Migicovsky, Susan Petrie, Barbara Steele, Ronald Mlodzik
Also Known As: The Parasite Murders, They Came from Within, Frissons
The early films of David Cronenberg’s career are a fascinating look into a style and approach to the off center filmmaking that he would later make an art form. Most of them are more raw than expected, taking his oddly deep commentaries and character development approaches and slathering them in borderline exploitative material. Shivers, the first of a series of films with much of the same tone and approach from this era, might be the first time where the balance started to show itself in an aggressive manner. On the surface, it’s a kind of zombie film that uses its limited budget and setting to establish a great approach to creating tension, but really deep down it has a lot of commentary about the human desire to push forward so far that it ends up resetting us to our primitive instincts (a theme that will run through a lot of Cronenberg’s career.) The results can be a bit mixed as the execution of the film can be a tad scattered, but considering its limitations Shivers is one of those great gems to be found in the cult undercurrent for those looking for it.