David Cronenberg's follow up to
"Shivers" continues the 'body-horror' theme, but with a different kind of
contagion being spread this time.
A young couple involved in a
motorcycle accident on a remote country road, crash conveniently close to a
plastic surgery clinic, who being the only facility for miles, offer to treat
their injuries. Whilst the boyfriend is only bruised, the girl, Rose (played by
porn star Marilyn Chambers in what was to be her only mainstream role), has
suffered terrible burns. But there's an ulterior motive for them wanting to
treat her, rather than take her to the city hospital.
Seems they've developed a new skin reconstructive procedure and they've been
looking for a suitable test subject to try it out on. But whilst the operation
appears successful, seems their new regenerative process has some unforeseen
side effects, as she develops these strange stinger like appendages under her
arms, which come out and attack anyone she grabs hold of, and sucks their blood
out (you can tell this is a Cronenberg film).
Anyway, she promptly breaks out of the hospital and goes around randomly
attacking people, who go on to develop rabies like symptoms and start attacking
others. Pretty soon, there’s chaos on the streets of Montreal, as the epidemic
spreads and the police and national guard hit the streets with orders to shoot
to kill anyone displaying symptoms. Whilst the boyfriend and one of the doctors
from the hospital, Dr Cypher (Joe Silver), try to track down Rose and figure out
what has gone wrong with her.
Made just 2 years after “Shivers”, this is basically a twist on the old
vampire, or zombie,
film formula. However, due to the films low budget, tends to concentrate more on
the main characters, rather than the chaos going on in the city. Though it does
boast some interesting scenes of the infected randomly attacking others and the
authorities “clearing” them off the streets. The scenes of soldiers in hazmat
suits dumping bodies in specially adapted refuse lorries, certainly makes for
particularly grim viewing.
Overall marks : 6/10.
David Cronenberg had
wanted to cast Sissy Spacek in the lead role, but producer John
Dunning didn't like her Texas accent. So fellow producer Ivan
Reitman suggested Marilyn Chambers as he wanted someone with sex
appeal and he knew that she was interested in doing a mainstream
The films budget was
The Braziliian title
of the film was "Enraivecida na Fúria do Sexo" which
translates as "Enraged in the Sexual Fury".
exterior and reception of the Keloid clinic was in fact the head
offices of Lipton's tea.
Joe Silver, who
plays Dr Cypher, also played Dr Linsky in the "Shivers". he also had
a minor role in Cronenberg's "The Brood".
The National Film
Board of Canada, who had financed Cronenberg's previous movie
"Shivers" didn't want to get involved this time, as that film
had brought them a lot adverse publicity. But when it was pointed
out that "Shivers" was the only film that had made them any
money, they reluctantly agreed to provide funding, though they had
to do it indirectly through a 3rd party, to keep their name out of
The name Keloid
clinic was a joke by the film makers, as a Keloid is a type of scar
you get from an overgrowth of skin.
Previous UK DVDs
were missing some footage of a police officer talking to the main
characters in the hospital car park, due to print damage. This scene
was re-instated for its 2014 DVD and BD release from Arrow films.