Skipped a few days here for work and weddings and such things. I think that’s what was going on. I can’t keep track anymore…
It wouldn’t be 31 days of horror without some Cronenberg in there. This year I went back to the beginning and finally watched Shivers. It’s not my favorite film of his but sometimes it’s just super fun to see where a filmmaker started, the things that change over the course of a career, and the things that stay the same.
Shivers, 1975. Dir. & Written by David Cronenberg. Starring Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry, and Barbara Steele.
You all know I’m a big David Cronenberg fan. I included The Fly in my very first year of this 31 days of horror movie marathoning and I watch at least one of his movies at some point every year. His films are known for defining “body horror” and it’s fascinating to look at the different shifts in theme that emerge throughout his body of work.
If you’re not familiar, Shivers is about an apartment building overrun by parasites that enter a body through any available orifice and then cause their host to turn into a sex crazed maniac. Yup. There are phallic little goobers sliming their way around, crawling all up into people, and making them all super horny. Awesome. Disturbing. Sometimes supremely disgusting.
Shivers comes early in his career but it’s still familiar Cronenberg. The body horror, the Freudian imagery, the dark humor, the social commentary. It’s all there. Shivers is maybe sometimes a little less fun than some of his later movies but it is certainly gross. The production value isn’t particularly high but that’s okay. This movie is what it is, I don’t think it needs to be anything else. It’s certainly been influential enough, it’s inspired everything from the chest burster in Alien to the the work of James Gunn.
I think watching this as a Cronenberg fan helped a lot. Just being familiar with his style and storytelling makes this a really interesting watch, beyond the simple joys of watching a gross horror movie. I recommend this one, especially for the die hard Cronenberg fans out there. I think you’ll dig it. Trigger warning though, it’s not particularly lady friendly in a number of ways. If that’s a thing you don’t like, you might want to give this one a pass.
On a sort of related note, my friend has a Kickstarter going for his short film Eggs. Which, coincidentally, will be starring the lovely Lynn Lowery. Check it out and if you’re a fan of horror consider giving it some support. If anyone knows his horror movies, it’s my buddy Ryan. This is going to be a fun one.