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Shivers [VHS]

Paul Hampton , Joe Silver , Julie Wildman    Suitable for 18 years and over   VHS Tape
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Actors: Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry, Alan Migicovsky, Barbara Steele
  • Directors: Julie Wildman
  • Producers: David Cronenberg
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Metrodome
  • VHS Release Date: 19 Nov 2001
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B00005NCZG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 369,269 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

David Cronenberg's first major feature film. The residents of Starliner Island seem to have an idyllic lifestyle - they live in a remote high-rise tower block with its own shopping complex, recreation facilities and even a private clinic. However, when a mysterious disease takes hold of the Starliner, random acts of sexual violence begin to occur. At the clinic, Dr St Luc struggles to discover a remedy to the encroaching virus before the entire island is consumed in a wave of violence.

Review

It scares and shocks us because it's so cleverly made --Roger Ebert

Cronenberg shows his stuff as an inventive auteur and the result is a superior horror film --Ozus World Movie Reviews

Horror movies don't come any cooler than Shivers --SFGate

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic lo-budget nastiness. 14 Nov 2002
By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME
Format:VHS Tape
Shivers was the first feature that the world would get to see after Cronenberg's initial Canadian works (Stereo, Crimes of the Future & Secret Weapons); it was retitled and marketed towards the cult horror market- which has given Cronenberg such a strange reputation (Scorsese worked in the exploitation market also!). So, Shivers is sometimes known as They Came from Within or The Parasite Murders- which are silly titles and don't suit a film about parasitical vampires working their way though the occupants of a housing block...
The parasite is created by Dr Emil Hobbes, who we see killing a schoolgirl in a graphic manner (minus explanation) at the start- the parasite is a sexual transmitted bug that moves from orifice to orifice. It passes between kissing people or into them in the bath (particularly vile, in a lovely way this). I s'pose lots of essays on it mention AIDS, though this was made in 1975!
The parasite feels like something out of Burroughs, while the housing block recalls JG Ballard's High Rise- or that found in Cronenberg's adaptation of Crash (the imagery in Crash is not unlike that found here or in Scanners- that anonymous Canadian city thing Douglas Coupland mentions in Girlfriend in a Coma). The future in present tense; though as film-maker Alex Cox noted when this was shown on BBC2 in 1997 (the last time they transmitted a season of works by a particular director?)- this imagery is shared with George Romero's classic Dawn of the Dead. That collective consciousness thing.
You can also detect Repulsion as well as Romero's earlier Night of the Living Dead in images towards the end. There is also some black comedy, involving umbrellas and top Goblins-style music from Ivan Reitman (better known as director of GhostBusters now).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  44 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CREEPY CRONENBERG CATASTROPHE-David's 1st Feature Film 20 April 2004
By Sheila Chilcote-Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
There is no doubt in my mind, by watching/reading many interviews with David Cronenberg & viewing everything that he has created thus far that David is a "very special boy". Cronenberg has the kind of imagination, lunacy, & repression to really create the kind of visuals in films that once you view them, you never forget. Cronenberg's 1st feature film, "Shivers", does just that. Filmed on a shoestring budget during 15 hectic days of production in Canada, this film tells the story of a doctor/madman that develops a parasite to live in human beings, take over their intelligence, morals (social & spiritual) & of course, their physical body, & transforms them into oversexed, libertine, bi-sexual cretin beings.
The film is set in and on an exclusive & elite island compound in Canada. The compound has everything one would ever need. A grocery, a drugstore, tennis courts, olympic sized swimming pool, doctor's & dentist offices, room service. The compound includes everything that your little heart desires, plus an extra surprise of parasites roaming in air vents, plumbing, & elevators that resemble a strange cross between a giant,slimy garden slug, a small phallic symbol and a smokey-link breakfast sausage.
This is definitely a catastrophic/end of the world type movie because as the film and the parasites progress to all the inhabitants of the island, there really is only one conclusion...
Of course, I won't give away the ending, but for anyone who enjoys films like Night Of The Living Dead, Outbreak, Dawn Of The Dead, 28 Days, or genre films that feature zombies/animals/mutants/disease taking over the entire world, you will enjoy this movie. Happy Watching!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They're in the Mood for Love... 18 July 2005
By Dark Mechanicus JSG - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Like all ultra-luxury urban high-rises, and every single square inch of Manhattan real estate, the Starliner Towers has a problem: a Bug problem.

Shot on a shoestring budget and in a whirlwind 15 days in Montreal, "Shivers" (also known as "They Came from Within") is Canadian horror visionary and all-around Creepy Guy David Cronenberg's astounding, jaw-dropping little gem about the end of the world, in which humanity doesn't go out with a Bang or a Whimper, but more of a Moan.

But let's get something out of the way right now: David Cronenberg is a genius and, for my money, one of the top 3 horror film directors *ever*. And while it's certainly useful to view "Shivers" as a preview of coming attractions---without a doubt, it's amazing what the young Cronenberg was able to pull off under severe budgetary, time, and talent limitations---the movie stands on its own as a ground-breaking little nugget of unflinching grue that burrows under your skin and truly disturbs.

Things break down quickly in "Shivers", which is about a medical experiment gone horribly wrong, and the terrible toll it takes on the residents of a luxury island apartment complex outside Montreal---and from there the world.

The film's mad scientist (a nice turn by Fred Doederlein, who pops up again as the yoga master in "Scanners") wants to produce designer parasites that can be introduced into a body, devour a failing organ, and 'become' that organ, thus helping its host at the cost of a little blood.

But wouldn't ya know it, his first experiment Annabelle(a fetching Kathy Graham) refuses to play along with the Doc's good intentions, chiefly because the parasite has two complications: 1)within a few hours it turns its victim's mind to mush, and 2)it also has the unfortunate side-effect of making the subject a ravening sexual psychopath.

In the fim's shocking opening sequences, the Good Doctor brutally tries to abort his little extracurricular activity, but Annabelle has been a popular girl around the Starliner apartments, and faster than you can say "sick building syndrome" the little parasites, which look like a phallic combination of extra-large garden slug and Jimmy Dean sausage, are going a-roving through the apartment building in search of victims.

And faster than the tenants can say "the check's in the mail", they've been converted into a legion of slug-infested serial rapists looking for love in all the wrong places.

It may very well have been that Cronenberg's limitations forced him to adopt a style that was so sterile, brutal, and overlit that the film couldn't help being brutal and startling: from an infected old woman groaning from behind her door to a startled delivery man "I'm hungry...for LOVE", to an avid slug crawling up an elderly lady's walker, to the horrible death of Dr. Lenski, to the wicked elevator infection scene, to the part where screen goddess Barbara Steele is infected by one of the nasty parasites *in her bathtub* (ewww!), Cronenberg keeps up the pressure and ratchets the horror level up so high you feel your brain will pop. You haven't seen ghoulishly creepy until you've watched Allan Colman pleading and talking with a nest of parasites that have been setting up shop in his stomach. Grisly stuff.

Technically this is an average DVD. It could very well be that the movie was shot in a 1:33:1 aspect ratio, in which case the full-screen format is appropriate, but the sound here is atrocious. The extras here, including a theatrical trailer and an illuminating, goofy interview with Cronenberg, are pretty spare, so let's hope someone gets around to releasing this creepshow with the quality treatment it deserves.

Yes, "Shivers" foreshadows a deliciously cringe-inducing career---but for sheer skin-crawling nastiness, it has yet to be surpassed.

JSG
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DVD version has problems 21 Nov 1999
By frankenberry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
One of my favorite Cronenberg films...raw, low-budget fun. HOWEVER, the DVD has pixelization and artifacting. It's not the worst I've seen, but it is annoying. I suggest buying the VHS version from Anchor Bay instead...clear, crisp and perfect. IMAGE ENT should take more care in their DVD releases if they want to compete with the majors. Disappointing.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slugs and sex 2 Oct 1999
By J. Maniscalco - Published on Amazon.com
For those of you that like Cronenberg movies, you won't be disappointed. This is an earlier film by this director. It has the usuals that you would expect from this director: lots of sexually oriented material and wierdness. I did enjoy this movie, but mostly because it was silly and easy to laugh at. The acting is poor, and the plot is your usual Cronenberg wierdness. It has the feel of many of the zombie movies, altough with sex instead of explicit gore (ie. Zombie, Day of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, etc). If you like Cronenberg movies, this is a must see. If you don't know how you feel about him, move on to something else.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NIGHT OF THE LOVING DEAD 24 April 2000
By Daniel S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
SHIVERS is the first movie of canadian director David Cronenberg. This director is one of the rare today filmmakers who has got a coherent filmography. In short, David Cronenberg's peculiar concern is the human corpse. And its hidden secrets. So no wonder if the hero of SHIVERS is already a doctor. In fact, the man responsible for the horrors depicted in this movie is also a doctor. Good and Evil, Pain and Pleasure, SHIVERS is a study of these dualities which make the world turn round.
During the interesting interview of David Cronenberg that you can see as bonus feature, the director presents SHIVERS as a truly original horror movie. Well, I don't quite agree with him. It's impossible not to think of George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and Don Siegel's INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS as you watch this movie. But, let's be fair, it could be considered as an homage to these two classics.
SHIVERS has its moments of pure horror and very comic moments (specially when children are involved, congratulations for your good taste, David) considering the subject of the movie. I must admit that just the simple idea to have living parasites in my body makes me uneasy, but to imagine that they could grow and take control of my mind is terrifying. Happily enough, David Cronenberg is a Hitchcock's pupil and often let's the audience imagine the worse by suggesting rather than by showing it.
In the first part of the movie, parasites are very aggressive until they've taken control of a sufficient number of bodies. Then, and THAT is genuinely original, they will try to win by using the sexual pulsions of the building's inhabitants. See at least once SHIVERS for the dionysiac orgies that follow.
Average audio and video. A featurette and a trailer.
A DVD to swallow.
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