After a successful career in softcore "maple syrup porn" with producer Cinepix (the Roger Corman of Canada), David Cronenberg took his first steps into mainstream filmmaking with the controversial 1975 sci-fi/ horror flick SHIVERS. The cult favorite tells the twisted story of an apartment complex being invaded by parasites that turn its inhabitants into sex-crazed maniacs.
Although it's not his best work, the movie is still an entertaining watch with some excellent body horror moments and a dark final scene that anticipates J.G. Ballard's High Rise. It's also an interesting example of the way Cronenberg uses science fiction as the perfect cover for exploitation fare that explores the basest elements of human behavior.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment brings back their Vestron Video line (many thought it had been put six feet under) with two pretty fun releases including this one which makes its American debut on Blu-ray and DVD. The new release features a quality transfer and a ton of cool extras that should make fans of the movie happy.
The BD-50 disc is housed in an eco-friendly case that opens to an animated menu screen which gives the option of selecting from several different chapters or going straight to the film. There's a good amount of fine grain present throughout and robust details are evident, even during fast-moving sequences. I didn't notice any notable speckling or other artifacts during my viewing sessions and the image is free of any noticeable dirt or debris. The soundtrack consists of an uncompressed PCM 2.0 channel and is clear and balanced with no distortion or hissing. Several previous releases from Arrow Video in the UK and Australia feature bonus material which is also included here including the interview/ commentary track with director David Cronenberg, the documentary Parasite Memories: The Making of Shivers, the film's trailer, and the video essay From Stereo to Video by the film scholar Caelum Vatnsdal.