David Cronenberg’s Most Unforgettable Scenes – ‘Shivers’ Pool Orgy

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(Throughout the month of May, I will be posting Cronenberg’s best movie moments.)

Shivers (They Came from Within) (The Parasite Murders)

Directed by David Cronenberg

Screenplay by David Cronenberg

Canada, 1975

Originally released in the United States under the title They Came From Within, David Cronenberg’s debut feature proudly embraced his career long obsession with horrific body-conscious themes. Pre-dating Ridley Scott’s Alien, Shivers is an intoxicating sleazy and strange feature about parasites that turn humans into nymphomaniacal zombies as they move from host to host. Human sexuality has often provided a basis for some of the best horror films but no other director quite explores these themes like Cronenberg does. Cronenberg himself as said that Shivers is not an allegory about a sexually transmitted disease, but rather an anxiety-ridden fantasy about the consequences of the sexual revolution and a meditation on the power of lust. Shivers contains enough perversity and general craziness to recommend more than just a few scenes: Horror legend Barbara Steele appears in a small role in which she takes a warm bath only to have a slug slowly creep up between her legs (a scene later repeated in James Gunn’s Slither) – and future cult star Lynn Lowry plays a nurse who has no problem taking it all off. But the most memorable scene comes at the very end in a stretched out slow-motion baptism/pool orgy that will forever burn in your collective unconscious. Shivers is a gripping exercise in body horror and social paranoia, from a prolific Canadian director who always dares to do something different.

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