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Thursday, November 13, 2014

They Came From Within (1975) a.k.a. Shivers

Shivers is David Cronenberg’s first full feature film and it’s quite a doozy.  The opening credits begin with an eerily calm TV commercial for a suburban high rise complex.  Once the credits are finished rolling we are greeted with a brutal murder/suicide.  The audience knows from the very beginning to expect anything!

Cronenberg [Videodrome, The Brood] wrote and directed this creepy tale about a scientist who ends up infecting residents of the high rise with a parasite that begins spreading like wildfire. Those infected become sex-crazed fiends who attack the nearest warm body. [John Waters would approve!] Cronenberg jumps back and forth between scenes of ordinary life and moments of sheer terror.  It’s quite a roller coaster ride and is quite effective, leaving the viewer on the edge of their seat for the duration of the film.

Kudos to special effects creator Joe Blasco [The Addams Family] for bringing the parasites to life.  He does so in a way that is convincing, effective and squirm-worthy.

The acting is solid but no one performance stand out as great.  This is because the parasites are the star of this demented horror show!  There is, however, a wonderful cameo role for Italian scream queen Barbara Steele.  Her infection scene is a delightfully horrifying moment in the film.

Not much more needs to be said.  Cronenberg is not everyone’s cup of tea but no one can deny he is a unique and visionary filmmaker. 

RATING: Very Good.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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