Friday, November 9, 2012
They Came From Within / Shivers
Dear Mr. David Cronenberg,
You are one sick puppy. I love that about you.
Cronenberg has this way of making films that make your skin crawl. They Came From Within - aka Shivers (...and originally written as The Parasite Murders. Whew) - is one of those films. A few scientists are trying to grow parasites that can do the work of human body organs. This will take organ transplants to the next level. Genius, right? Well, one of the scientists happens to be a bit of a madman and pervert. He thinks people do a bit too much thinking, so he tweaks the parasites so they make people randy and so that they can be transferred like a sexually transmitted disease. So, you have a bunch of horny crazy folks with parasites in their bellies chasing after people. And, how the parasites get into the bodies is a whole other matter. Any port in a storm comes to mind. In a word - awesome. Not bad for a first, feature film with a 15 day shooting schedule and "inexpensive" and often first time actors, Mr. Cronenberg!
There are some really nasty, Cronenberg body horror scenes in here. Nasty business all around. The creatures are gross and the visuals are nutty as usual. He handles the location well, too. It's this sort of lone apartment complex, so the parasites and crazies are all in one spot. It has the usual psycho-sexual element as well. The sexual component of the film can be a bit much for "shy" viewers. The parasite makes people go into fits of orgy madness. Be aware - it gets pretty....well...Cronenberg. Lot's of people being forced into bad situations - some involving children or young ladies acting as "teens".
Allan Kolman is are major "bad guy" in the film, but his menace was lost a bit due to the fact that he reminded me of David Schwimmer on Friends. Joe Silver is back from dealing with Rabid folks and now he's dealing with parasites with his great, New York accent and great character face. Barbara Steele graces us with some fantastic and odd screen time. Paul Hampton is our hero, but he's rather wooden and seems lost in thought most of the time. And Lynn Lowry.....:::sigh::::....Lynn Lowry.....uh...is in it, too as the heroine of the story. *ahem*. Ok...she's kinda beautiful. It's like watching an elf on screen. :::sigh::: :)
Unlike Rabid, the pace gets a little strange at the halfway mark. We're in the building and all madness is breaking loose. We move from scene to scene waiting for things to happen to people. We know the crazies are rapidly out numbering the sane, but it takes a while to build to the third act. Of course, it's a hell-of-a-third act and well worth slogging around the complex a bit. Just when you think you know what to expect from these creatures, things get ramped up to new levels of Cronenbergian madness. The numbed and parasited masses are hard to fight.
This is a great piece of 70s goodness that puts many of today's genre films to shame. They can't hold a candle to this film. If you like creepy horror, you need to check this out for sure! While the sexual stuff is rampant, it's not gratuitous. It's a definite statement being made here. STDs and human nature. Science gone wrong. It's great stuff.
Oh....and Lynn Lowry is in it. ;)