Shivers (aka They Came from Within). 1975. Canada. Written and directed by David Cronenberg. With Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry. Barbara Steele. 87 min.
Shivers is the film that launched David Cronenberg’s career, a grotesque fantasy of the unfettered id whose power to shock and titillate has not abated. Cronenberg would later reminisce that “Shivers did start with a dream I had about a spider that emerged from a woman’s mouth at night while she slept. The dream was very casual…. [The spider] would come out at night, go round the house and go back into her mouth. Back into her body. During the day she knew nothing about it. Afterwards, on reflection, I thought, ‘My God, that image is really giving a physical presence to the idea that things go on within us which are strange and disturbing’.... That was really the crystal at the center of what became Shivers.” Digital preservation courtesy of TIFF.