From 1981-1992 the name Vestron Video was synonymous with the home video market. Every one loved the Vestron Video releases. Countless horror titles came out that quickly became cult classics. Films like Chopping Mall, and Waxwork became VHS tapes that people waiting in line hoping to see returned so they could go home and watch them. Sadly Vestron went bankrupt, but the fine folks at Lionsgate have started remastering and re-releasing these films on Blu-ray as of late under their Vestron Video Collectors Series Line. Loaded with extras, and new artwork these releases became a collectors dream. Today is review is for the 19th release of this series, the David Cronenberg cult classic Shivers.
Dr. Emil Hobbes and his partner Rollo Linksy have been working on creating a parasite that when implanted into someone, can begin functioning as a human organ. In the beginning we see Hobbes slice open a woman’s stomach and dump some type of acid in her stomach. When he’s done he simply slits his throat. We soon meet Nick who goes to visit Annabelle (the murdered girl)and finds her dead body. That, complied with the fact Nick has stomach pains makes him leave the office to go home for the day. Unfortunately he throws up once he get to his apartment complex and pukes out a parasite that was living in his stomach. It slithers away and quickly attaches itself to a new host.
If this was not weird enough we cut to across town where we meet Roger St. Luc. Roger is a Doctor at a local clinic and just happens to be seeing one of Annabelle’s (the girl murdered by Hobbes in the beginning) lovers. He’s not only got stomach cramps like Nic, but he has a burning STD as well, in fact Roger has been seeing a lot of STD cases as of late. After a bit of good old fashioned detective work Rogers finds out that Annabelle was Dr. Hobbes guinea pig. She had been housing the parasite he was working on. Turns out said parasite was made up aphrodisiac’s and venereal disease. He knew Annabelle was essentially a tramp and by having her spread it around he could begin to turn the world into one big orgy. And seeing how Nick threw the parasite (it looks like a slimy penis) up and it found its way to the apartment buildings resident cleaning lady to live things pick up fast.
Our lovely cleaning woman attacks and rapes a delivery boy, who then goes after a mother and daughter, who them go after the complex’s security guard. One after another using their deadly tongue kisses to spread this evil Horney parasite. Eventually overtaking the apartment complex one by one. Can Roger, who is not in the heart of the sex epidemic stop the evil sex parasite? You will have to watch to find out.
This is one hell of a fun film, and clearly the original Alien did copies some aspects of this. From the great ending, to just the general insanity this is a must watch. Its definitely different, and I can honestly say, having seen it years ago that it is still a fun film. A nice amount of blood for the gore fans, and a great story for horror and exploitation fans as well. As I said Lionsgate has released this as part of the Vestron Collection, and it looks great. The picture looks the best it ever has. Everything is crisp and clear. All the colors look amazing and they are never done to blue during the darker scenes. The audio is fantastic as well. It bellows out of your surround sound and really brings the film to life. It’s even loaded with special features as well.
·*NEW*Audio Commentary with Writer-Director David Cronenbergand Co-Producer DonCarmody
·*NEW*“Mind Over Matter”–An Interview with Writer-Director David Cronenberg
·*NEW*“Good Night Nurse”–An Interview with Actress Lynn Lowry
·*NEW*“Outside and Within”–An Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Creator JoeBlasco
·*NEW*“Celebrating Cinépix”–An Interview with Greg Dunning
·Archival 1998 David Cronenberg Interview
·Still Gallery with Optional Archival Audio Interview with Executive Producer John Dunning
I highly recommend picking this one up and adding it to your collection. It’s a great film that’s sure to get a rise out of you, no pun intended. In fact Roger Ebert even said in his original review “It scares and shocks us because it’s so cleverly made.” Pick this one up today.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!