David Cronenberg's Shivers Is Getting A Remake

Yet another horror remake will be coming soon to theaters near you. But obligatory eye-rolling aside, this one has some promise. Deadline reports producers Jeff Sackman and Michael Baker are spearheading a remake of David Cronenberg’s 1975 Shivers. The original film, which was alternately called Orgy of the Blood Parasites, The Parasite Murders, They Came From Within and Frissions, just played at special screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, honoring the Canadian filmmaker’s contribution to the nation’s cinematic reputation. Apparently, this proved the perfect venue to announce a redo.

The original Shivers was a science-gone-awry tale that played into sexual fears. One mad scientist Dr. Emil Hobbes develops a parasite that is one part aphrodisiac and one part venereal disease. Once these creepy critters latch on to a host, it essentially makes them a VD-ridden nymphomaniac hell-bent on sex and passing on the parasite. For obvious (and lascivious) reasons, his test subject for this experimental creature is his teenaged mistress, but soon the parasites take over, forcing the infected to spread the disease (and their legs) throughout Hobbes’ entire apartment complex with heinous results.

Check out a cryptic trailer for the original below.

Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter scribe Ian Driscoll has been brought on board to draft the remake, setting it in the modern day where worldwide awareness of such serious STDs like HIV has changed the nature of casual sex, and the easy access to the internet has given rise to various forms of cyber sex. In a move that I imagine will amuse body-horror mastermind Cronenberg, this new Shivers will make these parasites so powerful that touch is no longer needed to transmit them. Apparently, in this version even a wifi connection will do as the press release notes this parasite “breaks down digital barriers.” Basically, in this Shivers, computer viruses can become VD.

To helm Shivers, Sackman and Baker have selected Danish director Rie Rasmussen. The actress turned director might be most easily recognized for playing the gorgeous title character of Luc Besson’s Angel-A, but as a director she made her mark with the 2009 drama Human Zoo, which premiered at the opening night of the Berlin Film Festival Panorama. You can check out a trailer for the latter below, and see she clearly has a flare for flicks with sex and violence.

Rasmussen is confident she can handle helming Shivers, saying,

“I’m Scandinavian and am very comfortable with sexual expression as a part of a healthy, modern-day reality, and I’ve always loved the underlying social messages in a well-made horror film. The opportunity to reinterpret this film from today’s point of view, adding my own female intuition and life experience was a temptation I couldn’t resist.”

Notably, she’s got support from dedicated fan and mentor Quentin Tarantino, who offered, “Rie is a perfect choice to helm the remake of Shivers.”

Shivers will roll into production in February of 2014. Casting is now underway.

Kristy Puchko

Staff writer at CinemaBlend.