Shivers *1/2 (out of 5) (1975)

Cast: Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry, Allan Migicovsky, Susan Petrie

Directed by David Cronenberg

When a reputable scientist murders a young woman in his apartment by destroying her internal organs before taking his own life, it's liable to raise a few questions. Enter Dr. Roger St. Luc, who is called in to investigate and discovers that the scientist was performing experiments whereby he used mutated parasites. Now the parasite are on the loose in the apartment complex, and infesting humans who in turn spread the parasite through sexual activities.

David Cronenberg's first major release showcases the kind of material he would come to be known for, mainly the marriage of horror and sexuality. It also shows that Cronenberg was also much more preoccupied in being controversial than in genuine thrills and chills, as is his custom in his films today (CRASH comes to mind). SHIVERS is merely an excuse for some gross-out moments, and outrageous titllation in the form of lesbianism, incest, and orgies. Bad acting and poor screenwriting mars the entire production (which was filmed at under $200,000 Canadian), while the attempts at humor are severely anemic at best. Recommended strictly for Cronenberg fans and schlock-horror buffs (which are probably synonymous).

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