Dr. Emil Hobbes (Fred Doederlin) is conducting unorthodox experiments with parasites for use in transplants, however, he believes that humanity has become over-rational and lost contact with its flesh and its instincts, so the effects of the organism he actually develops is a combination aphrodisiac and venereal disease. Once implanted, it causes uncontrollable sexual desire in the host. Hobbes implants the parasites in his teen-aged mistress, who promiscuously spreads them throughout the ultra-modern apartment building, outside Montreal, where they live. The community’s resident physician, Roger St. Luc (Paul Hampton), and his assistant, Nurse Forsythe (Lynn Lowry) attempt to stop the parasite infestation before it overwhelms the city’s population. —wikipedia
David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father was a journalist, and his mother was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early age (he wrote and published eerie short stories, thus following his father’s path) and for music (playing classical guitar until he was 12), Cronenberg graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Literature after switching from the science department. He reached the cult status of horror-meister with the gore-filled, modern-vampire variations of Shivers (1975) and Rabid (1977), following an experimental apprenticeship in independent filmmaking and in Canadian television programs.
Cronenberg gained popularity with the head-exploding, telepathy-based Scanners (1981) after the release of the much underrated, controversial, and autobiographical The Brood (1979). Cronenberg become a sort… read more
Forgivably clumsy and unpolished, but still capable of achieving a certain visceral impact. Think of Shivers as a dry run for some of the pet themes that would later dominate Cronenberg's career. Even the rough-hewn, DIY aesthetics lend a squirming palpability to its images of corporeal decay, diseased erotics, and social entropy. Like Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents, but with a wriggling phallus monster.
"He tells me that even old flesh is erotic flesh. That disease is the love of two alien kinds of creatures for each other. That even dying is an act of eroticism. That talking is sexual. That breathing is sexual. That even to physically exist is sexual. And I believe him, and we make love beautifully."
Shivers is above all an updating of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers for the age of Deep Throat. Cronenberg inverts the ur-'70s illusion of liberation through unfettered sexuality by providing a grue-drunk reductio of post-Reichian bromides in an acid bath of rancid perversion. The high rise is a cracked test tube in the laboratory of the city, and the road of excess leads to the ugliest of all possible worlds.
“You got men, you got parasites that live in, on, and around men. Now. Why not breed a parasite that does something useful? Eh? Why not breed a parasite capable of taking over the function of any one… read review