After directing two experimental films (Stereo and Crimes of the Future) David Cronenberg realized that if making movies would be his vocation he would need to do something "commercial." And at the time commercial, more often than not, meant exploitation. Inspired in part by a nightmare he'd had Cronenberg set about to write a screenplay for the Canuxploitation Pioneers at Cinepix. What emerged was Shivers, which introduced audiences and critics to a new kind of horror film and courted controversy not only for its subject matter but also for its manner of funding. In Shivers Cronenberg's secular world view and body, or venereal, horror is present from the start.Shivers stars Paul Hampton as Dr. Roger St. Luc, Lynn Lowry as Nurse Forsythe, Susan Petrie as Janine Tudor, Allan Kolman as Nick Tudor, and Barbara Steele as Betts, all residents of the luxury apartment complex Starliner Tower. The film also features the inimitable Joe Silver as Rollo Linsky. Dr. Emil Hobbes’ experiment with "helpful" parasites has gone awry and now the tenants of the Starliner are under attack by the polyamorous creatures. Can the residents of the Starliner stop the infection from spreading to nearby Montreal and beyond? Or do they even want to?
This episode also features an interview with Luke Aspell, author of the Shivers monograph from Auteur Publishing. Purchase your copy here.
Music: "Shivers"-Boys Next Door
COMING SOON: My second appearance on The Projection Booth Podcast to discuss Cronenberg's The Brood (1979) with Mike White and Samm Deighan. You can listen to it early on the WUH Patreon Page.