Thursday, December 29, 2016


Director - David Cronenberg (VideomDrome, Dead Ringers)
Starring - Marilyn Chambers (Breakfast in Bed, Behind the Green Door), Frank Moore (Orphan Black, The Devil in Me), and Joe Silver (Shivers, Deathtrap)
Release Date - 1977
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Pray it doesn't happen to you!"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     David Cronenberg is a director that does not get the credit he truly deserves.  He is known the world over as the innovator of body horror with films like Shivers and VideoDrome but when people start naming off the kings of horror he is often left off the list.  VideoDrome and his remake of The Fly are outstanding films that have earned their own place in horror history but Cronenberg has done more that that.  Way back in 1977 he made the horror film Rabid which was quickly compared to his earlier film Shivers.  I had never seen either film so when Scream Factory announced that they would be releasing it on blu I reached out to them.  They were kind enough to send a review copy my way.  Thank you Scream Factory!
     The film begins with a horrible motorcycle accident and Rose (Chambers) is the only survivor.  A nearby cosmetic surgery clinic takes her back to their facility to do reconstructive surgery and a radical form of skin grafting.  This procedure has an unsuspecting side effect.  She develops a proboscis in her armpit and a strong desire for blood.  She uses her proboscis to feed on people turning them into rabid humans who attack and infect those around them turning Quebec into a state of emergency.  When Rose can't control her thirst any longer she attacks a friend revealing she is the cause of the outbreak.
     A lot of horror fans quickly compare Rabid to Shivers and the 1973 George A. Romero film The Crazies.  After watching Rabid for the first time I can quickly see the comparison but for me the film is definitely a stand alone piece.  The film may follow the crumbling of society and the rapid spreading of disease but it still has a very unique take on it all that only Cronenberg can tell.  The acting in this one is great which is something of a trademark of Cronenberg.  He has a very keen eye and only casts that that would bring the characters to life.  My biggest surprise is Marilyn Chambers who does an exceptionally good job in her performance.  Before her appearance in this film, Chambers was known for her pornographic films so it was shocking to see how well she can act and stay in character.  Her character never comes across as deadly, only attractive and seductive which only adds to the story.  The story for this one is not that original but Cronenberg does add his trademark style and body horror to it to make it stand out.  As I said earlier, the story is very similar to Shivers and The Crazies but neither follow a woman with a proboscis in her armpit who infect people.  This may be a minor change bu it makes the film feel miles apart.  With that being said, the story is a very slow burn.  It takes it's sweet time to get rolling and does a horrible time building up suspense and tension.  Finally, the film does have some blood but nothing that stands out.  However, the film does have some solid practical effects.  One that stands out is the armpit proboscis.  It was a fun effect that was disgusting for the most part.  Cronenberg and company handles that one very well.  Overall, Rabid is a very underrated film from a mostly underrated director.  The film does skip a few beats but the overall film is fantastic.

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