The residents of a suburban high-rise apartment building are being infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into mindless, sex-crazed fiends out to infect others by the slightest sexual contact.

Director:

David Cronenberg
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Hampton ... Roger St. Luc
Joe Silver ... Rollo Linsky
Lynn Lowry ... Nurse Forsythe
Allan Kolman ... Nicholas Tudor (as Alan Migicovsky)
Susan Petrie Susan Petrie ... Janine Tudor
Barbara Steele ... Betts
Ronald Mlodzik ... Merrick
Barry Baldaro Barry Baldaro ... Detective Heller (as Barry Boldero)
Camil Ducharme Camil Ducharme ... Mr. Guilbault (as Camille Ducharme)
Hanna Poznanska Hanna Poznanska ... Mrs. Guilbault (as Hanka Posnanska)
Wally Martin Wally Martin ... Doorman
Vlasta Vrana ... Kresimer Sviben
Silvie Debois Silvie Debois ... Benda Sviben
Charles Perley Charles Perley ... Delivery Boy
Al Rochman Al Rochman ... Parkins
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Storyline

A scientist living in an apartment complex kills a girl and uses acid to destroy her internal organs, and then kills himself. While investigating, a doctor discovers that the scientist was doing experiments on the use of genetically engineered parasites as organ transplants. Soon, other people in the complex begin showing signs of carrying the parasites, spreading the things through wanton orgiastic abandon, and the complex begins suffering an attrition problem. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Going MAD is just the beginning.... See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Cronenberg laments not having the benefit of CG to make the slug look better or at least erase the wires, but he's okay with it as a product of its time. "Unlike George Lucas I had no desire to go back and correct it with modern technology. Let it live in the time that it existed with all the flaws. That's where it belongs." See more »

Goofs

When the nurse escapes the French couple's flat and reaches the underground parking lot, blood is on her hands and leg. Soon after, her car crashes. When she climbs out of the front window with the doctor, there is no blood on her. See more »

Quotes

Rollo Linsky: Now, Hobbes believed that man is an animal that thinks too much. An over-rational animal that's lost touch with its body and its instincts. How do you like that? In other words, too much brains, not enough guts. So what he came up with to help our guts along was a parasite that's, "a combination of aphrodisiac and venereal disease that will hopefully turn the world into one beautiful, mindless orgy."
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Connections

Featured in SexTV: Dark Desires: Sexuality in the Horror Film (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Oscillating Fifths
(uncredited)
Music by Alan Langford
Published by Boosey & Hawkes
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User Reviews

Cronenberg's Impressive Feature Debut
20 July 2000 | by eibon09See all my reviews

Shivers(1975) is a fascinating first film especially for a person who was learning to direct professionly on the job. An interesting part about this movie is that Cronenberg did Shivers(1975) without having a clue of what people in the film crew does or containing knowledge of film terms. The fact that he made a cult classic is a testament to his potential at the time to be an excellent movie maker. Shivers is basically the first horror film made in Canada as far as I know and David Cronenberg was the first director to open the flood gates for the horror film in Canada.

This motion picture mixes together the erotic with the zombie genre made famous by George Romero in 1968. In fact, there are many references to the zombie classic Night of the Living Dead. The movie is about parasites who enters people's bodies and turn them into sex maniacs. It dares to break many sexual taboos that many film makers would be afraid to explore.

Shivers would provide a starting point for some themes that David Cronenberg would explore in later films like Rabid(1977), The Brood(1979), Scanners(1981), Videodrome(1983), The Fly(1986), Dead Ringers(1988), and Crash(1997). The two themes are disease as the transformation of the body into the next state of evolution for the human being and the other theme of the outsider who does not understand why they are so different from other people. Barbara Stelle provided the movie with many memorable moments especially the infamous "bath tub" scene. It is a groundbreaking movie because it would become a source of many movie directors for the next two decades.

One great scene is the "bath tub" scene which is a classic example of building up suspense until the final moment when the scene ends. Another excellent scene is when the protagonist tries to escape outside and he goes back in as swarms of Sex zombies go chasing after him. I consider this movie the beginning of a trilogy I call the 'sexual evolution' trilogy. The trilogy starts out with Shivers(1975), continues with Videodrome(1983), and finishes with Crash(1997).

Shivers(1975) would be a major influence for the scifi-action thriller The Hidden(1987), especially with the idea of a parasite entering a person's body and changing their entire personal behavior. Also influenced by Shivers were the Alien series(especially Alien(1979) which was made four years after Cronenberg's directioral debut) and there are a couple of examples of this influence. First, the two movies involve parasites who go in and put out of a person's body as well as having acid for blood. Second, They both take place in an isolated and high placed area with Alien(1979) taking place on a spaceship in the middle of nowhere and Shivers(1975) takes place on a apartment complex called the Skyliner Towers on the middle of an island that is isolated from the rest of Canada.


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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

6 July 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

They Came from Within See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD185,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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