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Shivers Blu-ray Review

“Shivers” is a David Cronenberg classic.

In 1975’s “Shivers,” the story is set at the luxury Starliner Towers apartment complex located outside of Montreal. It seems to be an ideal home for the tenants, but lurking within this place is a man-made parasite that begins to spread throughout the complex. The parasite enters the human host and causes them to become more savage, violent, and sexual. Can the outbreak be stopped or is the entire building doomed?

Written and directed by David Cronenberg, “Shivers” is an early work for the beloved cult filmmaker and it does show just a bit with the choppy editing, suspect acting, and general low-budget look and feel. Despite all of that, however, Cronenberg’s talent still shines bright here as he creates a film that is part gross-out creature feature, part bloody slasher, and part body horror nightmare (an area Cronenberg excels in to be sure). The film is made even more horrifying when you’re watching it amidst an actual pandemic. It hits a little too close to home to say the least.

Structurally, “Shivers” is interesting in that it roams around from character to character. Granted, Roger and Nurse Forsythe are arguably the protagonists, but the film is frequently cutting to numerous characters such as the Tudors, Rollo, a newlywed couple, Betts, among others. The actual plot itself is pretty standard, but, in typical Cronenberg fashion, he does some very unconventional things with infected characters and the dark ending (which is a highlight to be sure). 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? The print maintains the grit and grain of the 70’s film while also providing a nice hi-def upgrade.

Audio Track: Mono DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Viewers can expect a nice clean Mono track.

Extras:
* Digital copy
* 2 theatrical trailers, TV spot and radio spots for “Shivers.”
* An archival 1988 David Cronenberg interview and a newly recorded interview with the filmmaker.
* New separate interviews with actress Lynn Lowry and special make-up effects creator Joe Blasco.
* A still gallery with an optional archival audio interview with producer John Dunning
* Another still gallery
* “Celebrating Cinepix: The Legacy of John Dunning”- An insightful extra devoted to the late producer that features an interview with his son.
* 2 commentary tracks- one by Chris Alexander and David Cronenberg and the other by Chris Alexander and producer Don Carmody. 

September 30, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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