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Customer Review

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic lo-budget nastiness., 14 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Shivers [VHS] (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). I think this is superior to the later Rabid, though films like The Brood, Scanners & Videodrome are the great films that he made in this period.
Shivers is vile, intellectual stuff and a classic from a distinctive voice in cinema...
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Jul 2014 06:14:13 BDT
Adrian Drew says:
How your intelligent review attracted three negative votes is beyond me and just reinforces my very firm belief in the need to remove negative voting altogether.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jul 2014 01:04:16 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Jul 2014 01:11:34 BDT
You are right that intelligent reviews should not recieve downvotes at all. However there are also the one-liners which definitely should recieve nothing else - going for all of them and invariably. ("Best movie ever" or "I bought this for my son, and it arrived quickly" - such people should be entirely banned from writing on public sites. Or voting. On anything, actually. At least until such time as their IQ gets higher than 85 points.)

But I think the problem here is people being righteously annoyed with the review being for the VHS tape edition - and then wrongfully letting the blame for irrelevance in respect of the Blu-Ray edition go to this old but good review.

(I love) Amazon (but they) really shouldn't place reviews for other editions under any product. It is quite misleading.

- - -

BTW I personally disagree with four stars, I would go for five. For the movie that is, and then maybe detract a couple again for missing subtitles on the product itself (it seems). But disagreeing is not a good reason to downvote any review, where the reviewer actually took time and trouble to share valid thoughts. Some people seem to think that reviewing is some sort of Facebook popularity contest though. Shame on them - but I think that is a different story from what is the case here.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Sep 2014 12:43:02 BDT
Annoymous says:
Yes great review, and yes i get negative response for reasonable reviews that do nothing but seek to inform prospective buyers, but hey that's people for you.
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Location: Worcester, UK

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