shivers (1975)

What takes the film from promising to incoherent is that it’s never altogether clear what the effects of the parasites are. Cronenberg envisions a late-20th century paradise for the wealthy, a self-contained world buttoned-up away from the crime and poverty of the outside world,, climate-conteolled “everyday life like a luxury cruise”. Into this controlled world of docile plebians, Cronenberg injects a virus that will cause the seams to burst wide open and the whole place to come unhinged. Is Cronenberg trying to say that the parasites distort the human being into a monstrosity or that it reveals the truth of our nature, a bit more philosophy and bit less silent actors, wincing aghast at random carnage might help. The tone is a mess and all over the map, some of our performers seem to be told they’re in a Romero zombie film as they lurch through the scene covered in blood eating the flesh of the living, others seem entirely coherent with a mildly increased libido. Cronenberg gets to (what seems to be) his point about 10 minutes prior to the credits rolling, but the film falls apart before the halfway point.