Shivers (1975)


The movie Shivers (1975) is a Canadian science fiction body horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg. The film was released on October 10, 1975.

The plot revolves around a high-rise apartment building named Starliner Towers, located on an island in the Saint Lawrence River in Montreal. The building is inhabited by a self-contained community of people.

The movie Shivers (1975) begins with the murder of a young woman named Annabelle Brown by a middle-aged man, Dr. Emil Hobbes. Hobbes then cuts open her abdomen and pours acid into it before slitting his own throat. It is later revealed that Hobbes was a scientist who had been conducting experiments with parasites. He had implanted a parasite into Annabelle, with whom he was in a sexual relationship, in the hope that it would take over her body and enhance her sexual desire.

However, the parasite mutates and turns its hosts into sex-crazed fiends. The infected residents of the building begin to spread the parasite through sexual contact. The building’s resident physician, Dr. Roger St. Luc, uncovers Hobbes’ experiments and tries to stop the spread of the parasites.

As the infection spreads, the building descends into chaos, with the infected residents attacking the uninfected. St. Luc and his nurse, Forsythe, try to escape the building but are attacked by the infected residents. In the end, St. Luc manages to escape the building, but it is implied that the parasites have spread to the city.


  • Paul Hampton as Dr. Roger St. Luc
  • Joe Silver as Rollo Linsky
  • Lynn Lowry as Nurse Forsythe
  • Barbara Steele as Betts
  • Ronald Mlodzik as Merrick
  • Barry Baldaro as Det. Heller
  • Jonathan Welsh as Nicholas Tudor
  • Fred Doederlein as Dr. Emil Hobbes


Shivers was David Cronenberg’s first commercial feature film. The film was controversial upon its release and was heavily criticized for its explicit content. However, it was a commercial success and played a key role in the establishment of Canada’s commercial film industry.


According to a review on True Myth Media, “This is a pretty great early entry from Cronenberg. It might be simpler in plot than many of his films, and it might not be as gory as some of his more famous works, but it has a strong directorial voice, it has some seriously messed up stuff in it, and it’s a pretty quick watch at only an hour and twenty-seven minutes. ” [2]

3 Brothers Film states, “it is a rousing genre picture that weds Cronenberg’s cerebral obsessions with the thrills of a grindhouse B-movie. It explores the sorts of concepts you`d expect of a Cronenberg film while also satisfying the genre crowd with bloody violence and inventive thrills. In short, Shivers shows Cronenberg having his cake and eating it too, proving that he can conjure conventionally-appealing entertainment that still has the capacity to shock with its imagery and dazzle with its ideas.” [3]

Cinema Crazed mentions, “Going by a slew of alternate titles, “Shivers” is probably one of the most intense bits of dark horror comedy I’ve ever seen with Director David Cronenberg presenting a premise that is gutsier than most independent films I’ve ever seen. Cronenberg’s horror film is a study of sexual demonizing, and is a movie that only could have blossomed from the seventies.” [4]


[1] Wikipedia

[2] True Myth Media

[3] 3 Brothers Film

[4] Cinema Crazed


Last updated byCody Meirick on November 12, 2023