Sep 262020

Shivers was a surprisingly entertaining parasite horror movie that is more or less akin to a zombie flick and works really well especially for being a low budget film. It also shows just the greatness of 1970s cinema.



— Vestron Video Collector’s Series —

Genre(s): Horror
Lionsgate | NR – 88 min. – $17.99 | September 15, 2020

Date Published: 09/26/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Director: David Cronenberg
Writer(s): David Cronenberg (written by)
Cast: Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry, Barbara Steele

Features: Audio Commentaries, Interviews, Gallery, Trailer, TV Spot, Radio Spots
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 34.16 GB
Total Bitrate: 30.01 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3¾/5

Plot Synopsis: After a scientist living in a posh apartment complex slaughters a teen girl and kills himself, investigators discover that the murderer had been carrying on experiments involving deadly parasites. Roger St. Luc (PAUL HAMPTON), a doctor living in the building, and his aide, Nurse Forsythe (LYNN LOWRY), then realize that the parasites are on the loose, attacking fellow tenants. And those who become hosts turn into erotically obsessed maniacs who pass the bugs on through violent sex.

Quick Hit Review: My history watching David Cronenberg movies is on the limited side. Outside of Rabid and, most recently, The Dead Zone, I haven’t had wide exposure to a filmmaker that has gone against the grain and avoided the Hollywood limelight.

With that out of the way, I thought Shivers was a surprisingly well done creepy crawler horror film, almost zombie like and felt a bit of a kinship with George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead with its singular location and plenty of “infected” on the loose hunting down our un-afflicted heroes. The performances from a mostly unknown cast were fine, with no particular standouts, though I did like Barbara Steele who reminded me of Adrienne King from Friday the 13th.

The biggest plus going for the film, though, as with a good many horror flicks, is some impressive gore effects, and being a film out of the 1970s, a certain independent streak, feeling like Hollywood’s cold hand was left out of the production (and yes I know this was Canadian financed), adding in David Cronenberg’s unique vision, even with this only being his second feature-length feature.



This marks the return of Lionsgate’s “Vestron Video Collector’s Series” (#18) after a bit of a hiatus. This comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and a new addition, a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentaries:

  • Writer/Director David Cronenberg
  • Co-Producer Don Carmody


  • Mind Over Matter (12:01) – Writer/Director David Cronenberg
  • Good Night Nurse (16:54) – Actress Lynn Lowry
  • Outside and Within (12:55) – Special Make-Up Effects Creator Joe Biasco
  • Celebrating Cinépix (10:05) – Greg Dunning, Son of Executive Producer John Dunning
  • Archival Interview (21:16) – 1998 Interview with Cronenberg

Also included is a Still Gallery (8:37) with an optional archival interview with Executive Producer John Dunning, 2 Theatrical Trailers (3:01), TV Spot (1:03) and Radio Spots (2:17).


VIDEO – 4/5

Shivers slithers its way onto Blu-ray courtesy of Lionsgate presented in its original 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and given a remastered 1080p high-definition transfer. Although I can’t say this was a pristine looking picture or anything, does have a somewhat of a washed-out look, I probably chalk that up to the low budget ($2 million I believe?). Still, detail is pretty impressive and there didn’t appear to be any major or significant issues with dust marks, scratches or aliasing, so the restoration work was commendable.

AUDIO – 4½/5

The accompanied DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track is rather impressive, dialogue comes through with good clarity and there is, at least for a singular track, some decent depth throughout, most notably towards the finale when things get chaotic with numerous infected taking over the complex.



Overall, Shivers was a surprisingly entertaining parasite horror movie that is more or less akin to a zombie flick and works really well especially for being a low budget film. It also shows just the greatness of 1970s cinema. This is a fun movie that would especially work watching on Halloween night especially since likely trick-or-treating will be cancelled in most places this year…

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