Shivers. 1975. Canada. Written and directed by David Cronenberg. With Paul Hampton, Lynn Lowry, Barbara Steele. DCP. 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.”