Kiss Me Deadly
Release Date: OUT NOW!
1975 | 18 | 88 minutes | £ 24.99 ( dual format Blu- ray/ DVD)/£ 29.99 ( Steelbook) Distributor: Arrow Video Director: David Cronenberg Cast: Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry, Alan Migicovsky,
Susan Petrie, Barbara Steele
develop their ideas over decades; others arrive fully formed. That’s the case with David Cronenberg, whose haunting feature debut is a compendium of all that came to be considered Cronenbergian: mutation, infection, aberrant sexuality.
Like JG Ballard’s High Rise, it sees civilisation breaking down in a modern apartment building. The cause: a slug- like parasite which eradicates inhibition, liberating unconscious drives.
Though technically crude – Cronenberg admits he had no idea what he was doing to begin with – Shivers still packs a punch. As this controlled, bourgeois environment descends into drooling polymorphous perversity, it’s not scenic or sexy. Featuring flabby middle- aged flesh and glimpses of incest, it’s the sort of orgy that’d have you fishing your car keys out of the fruit bowl.
Extras: Effects guy Joe Blasco is the highlight of a Making Of ( 43 minutes) featuring four cast and crew; he has some great anecdotes about ingenious use of washers and condoms – and produces one of the parasite props. A 2008 edition of Canadian show On Screen! ( 48 minutes) covers much of the same ground, making use of old interviews with the director. Plus: a “video essay” ( 26 minutes); trailer; gallery. Ian Berriman Cronenberg was inspired by a dream about a woman with a spider living in her mouth, which emerged to wander about at night.
Roger’s free hugs proved popular.