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Shivers REVIEW


Shivers Blu-ray review .

Some artists develop their ideas over the course of decades; others arrive in the public arena fully formed. That’s the case with David Cronenberg, whose haunting, transgressive feature debut is a compendium of all that came to be considered Cronenbergian: bodily mutation, infection, aberrrant sexuality.

Like JG Ballard’s novel High Rise (published the same year), it sees civilisation breaking down in a modern apartment building. The cause: a revolting, slug-like parasite which eradicates inhibition, liberating unconscious drives to cause an epidemic of sexual assaults; imagine if George Romero’s zombies wanted to screw you rather than just eat you. Capable of being passed on by a kiss, leaping onto your face, or – in one shocking sequence – invading your bathtub, it looks like a cross between a penis and a turd.

Though technically somewhat crude – Cronenberg admits that he had no idea what he was doing to begin with – Shivers still packs a punch. As this controlled, bourgois environment descends into drooling polymorphous perversity, it’s not scenic or sexy. Featuring acres of flabby middle-aged flesh and glimpses of incest and paedophilia, it’s the sort of orgy that’d have you fishing your car keys out of the fruit bowl and running for the hills.

UPDATE: Since the release of this title it's come to light that several seconds are missing from the print this transfer was taken from: see this statement from Arrow Video .

Ian Berriman

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Ian Berriman

Ian Berriman has been working for SFX – the world's leading sci-fi, fantasy and horror magazine – since March 2002. He also writes for Total Film, Electronic Sound and Retro Pop; other publications he's contributed to include Horrorville, When Saturday Comes and What DVD. A life-long Doctor Who fan, he's also a supporter of Hull City, and live-tweets along to BBC Four's Top Of The Pops repeats from his @TOTPFacts account.