Been digging deep into the Cronenberg back catalog and rediscovered Shivers, a film that could pretty much only be made by Cronenberg and only in the sexed up 70s.
A crazy doc develops a sexually transmitted parasite with the hopes that it will kickstart a free love ongoing orgy. The only problem is that it turns people into sex crazed maniacs hell bent on spreading their parasitic passengers with willing, or unwilling, partners. Of course it’s not long before the things start to spread through a remote and exclusive luxury apartment building and plump old ladies start jumping delivery men moaning “I’m hungry! I’m hungry for love!!”
Shivers is akin to many other 70s films exploring identity and the individual and generalized fears of the loss of self. If you’ve seen films like the Kaufman’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Romero’s zombie films or The Crazies, you’ll instantly recognize the existential angst pervasive in 70s sci-fi.
It’s a poster child for sick and twisted, but if you’re a Cronenberg fan and haven’t seen it, it’s a fascinating look at themes and visuals he would continue exploring in future films. But I will warn you up front, it is a really messed up, disturbing film.