BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Shivers: Vestron Video Collector’s Series (1975) - Blu-ray Review

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Shivers (1975)

Release the blood parasites!

One of the images that has long haunted my dreams and nightmares is that of a shirtless man bent over a nude woman’s body - which is placed on a desk in an office - as he opens up her stomach, pours acid into her open chest cavity and then, taking the same instrument that he cut her open with, kills himself.  It’s a frightening series of images in its own right, but - seeing as how this is in the opening moments of David Cronenberg’s Shivers - this scene makes for startling horror

"Shivers is fascinatingly strange as blood parasites descend from mailboxes, human mouths, and inspire them to have orgies."


Parasites that can take over human organs?  Sign me up! I mean, all they want to do is have sex . . . well, violent sex, but . . . STILL.

Writer/Director David Cronenberg, even early on in his career, was definitely out there with his ideas of science fiction and body horror.  His films have long been dominated by body horror and strange science fiction, but each one - including Shivers - is marked with his unmistakable style and auteurship.  And, truly, it is fascinating to watch that theme develop, mature, and turn into the controversial Crash and, most recently, Maps to the Stars.

But here, in 1975, Cronenberg, with his third film, is all about the shock and awe of puking up blood parasites from a high rise onto an old woman’s clear umbrella down below.  The scene is both hilarious and revolting and, as the man who pukes up the parasite saw the murder depicted at the beginning of this review but didn’t inform the authorities, leaves viewers with the understanding that something seriously fucked up is happening on Nun’s Island in Montreal.  Shivers (1975)

Starring Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry, and Barbara Steele, Shivers is fascinatingly strange as blood parasites descend from mailboxes, human mouths, and inspire them to have orgies.  It is all by design as it is discovered that Dr. Emil Hobbes, the man who dumped the acid into the stomach of the woman, has created (yet can’t control) a parasite that can take over human organs and cause them to do all manner of things.

And it does not matter how they get into the body!  Just witness what happens to Steele while she’s bathing.  A parasite slithers in from the drain and inches closer and closer to her whoo haw.  Shot with Cronenberg style, the scene of the bathtub entry of this parasite is made complete by Steele getting out of the tub and walking across broken glass to drive the point home that she is no longer in control.  

Frightening and wicked smart; that’s the Cronenberg way.  Shivers is now on blu-ray as part of Lionsgate’s ongoing Vestron Video Collector’s Series.  Own this ode to sex-craved blood parasites today!

4/5 beers

Shivers (1975)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate Films
Available on Blu-ray
- September 15, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

After a scientist living in a posh apartment complex slaughters a teen girl and kills himself, investigators discover that the murderer had been carrying on experiments involving deadly parasites. Roger St. Luc (Paul Hampton), a doctor living in the building, and his aide, Nurse Forsythe (Lynn Lowry), then realize that the parasites are on the loose, attacking fellow tenants. And those who become hosts turn into erotically obsessed maniacs who pass the bugs on through violent sex.

Video:

Offered courtesy of Lionsgate Films and its new handling of the Vestron Video imprint in 1.78:1, the AVC-encoded 1080p transfer is a relative goldmine of previously unseen details and colors. This is EASILY the best the film has ever (and probably will) look. The clothing and some of the items in the apartments are a reason to appreciate the visual “pop” throughout the high definition transfer, too.  While this is a low budget shocker, there are some details that this transfer picks up on, especially in close-ups of the parasites.  The atmosphere is especially nice. The crisp image quality is the best you’re going to get with a film like this and, admittedly, even a bit better than expected. Colors are perfect. Blacks are solid. Skin tones are detailed and appropriate. 

Audio:

The original 2.0 Stereo Audio is included, as well as DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Audio.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • The NEW commentary from writer/director David Cronenbeg and co-producer Don Carmody is worth the price alone.

Special Features:

There are lots of NEW supplemental items which makes this title one to own.

  • Audio Commentary with Writer-Director David Cronenberg and Co-Producer Don Carmody
  • “Mind Over Matter” – An Interview with Writer-Director David Cronenberg
  • “Good Night Nurse” – An Interview with Actress Lynn Lowry
  • “Outside and Within” – An Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Creator Joe Blasco
  • “Celebrating Cinépix” – An Interview with Greg Dunning
  • Archival 1998 David Cronenberg Interview
  • Still Gallery with Optional Archival Audio Interview with Executive Producer John Dunning
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spot
  • Radio Spots

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

Shivers (1975)

MPAA Rating: Unrated
Runtime:
87 mins
Director
: David Cronenberg
Writer:
David Cronenberg
Cast:
Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry
Genre
: Horror | Sci-fi
Tagline:
BEING TERRIFIED IS JUST THE BEGINNING!
Memorable Movie Quote: "I had no idea how small time I was until I met you."
Theatrical Distributor:
Trans American Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 6, 1976
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 15, 2020.
Synopsis: Have you met my daughter, Erica? She's a very beautiful girl. Come here, Erica. I just know you'll like my daughter, Erica.

Shivers (1975)

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