Wednesday, September 26, 2018


I’m not saying I’m the only one who noticed the organ transplant subliminals in Shivers but when you’ve had a kidney transplant – like me – this movie takes on a whole ‘nother level of importance & relatability.

After my kidney transplant, that particular scene stood out to me and gave the movie a completely different meaning in my eyes. I feel like when most people analyze & break down Shivers, the order of talking points goes; sexually transmitted diseases first, Cronenberg finally finding his signature style second, and maybe organ transplantation last. Today we’re going to quickly look at Shivers through the eyes of an organ transplant recipient. Kidney transplant to be specific.

So…for those of you that don’t know, the kidneys you are born with are located in the side/lower back region. When you receive a kidney transplant, your dead/diseased/failed kidneys still stay in your body, and the transplanted kidney is put in to side stomach area. The reason your failed kidneys have to remain intact is because your body is used to the organs you’re born with. No matter what. Even when your kidneys fail, your body has been conditioned to filter everything through your original/birth kidneys. This is one of the many reasons you take anti-rejection meds. They essentially trick your body in to filtering everything in to your new/foreign/transplanted kidney. A kidney transplant is essentially an on-going fake-out on your body.

And because this is all about David Cronenberg (the king of body horror), I thought I’d go full body horror and show my actual kidney transplant scar. I mean, what’s more horrific & Cronenberg-esque than a giant organ transplant scar on my big belly?

Now…the location of the kidney transplant is very key to this presentation because all throughout Shivers we see a lot of the characters in the movie focusing & touching on the area of the body where a transplanted kidney would go. I highly doubt someone who didn’t have a kidney transplant would even notice this.

And of course one of the most famous scenes from the film kind of transitions in to the 2nd part of this piece…

The writer of Alien has definitely seen these movies, Dan O’Bannon. The idea of parasites that burst out of your body and uses a fluid and leaps on your face, that’s all in Shivers. - David Cronenberg

There’s no debate that David Cronenberg is one of the most influential (and influenced) modern filmmakers of all time. But it’s one thing to say it, and another thing to show it. So we’re going to take a look at some of my favorite visual comparisons (that I came up with) between David Cronenberg and the filmmakers that came before him and after him…


Shivers / Alien

Stereo / Under The Skin

Videodrome / Def By Temptation

The Brood / Total Recall

Videodrome / The Hidden

Shivers / Twin Peaks Season 3

Shivers / A Nightmare On Elm Street / Teeth

The Fly / Clean, Shaven

Scanners / Blade Runner / Mandy

Crash /

Shivers / Crash

Shivers /

Les Vampires /
The Brood

Repulsion /

The Night Of The Living Dead / Shivers

Wild Strawberries / Crash

Ghost / Naked Lunch

Un Chien Andalou / Rabid

Shivers / Salo
Le Lions De Moguls / A Clockwork Orange / Crash

Lost Highway /

Six Men Getting Sick /


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