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Rabid Dogs (1974)

Cani arrabbiati (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 25 February 1998 (USA)
Following a bungled robbery, three violent criminals take a young woman, a middle-aged man, and a child hostage and force them to drive them outside Rome to help them make a clean escape.


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John and Tina meet in a park one day. They immediately hit it off, go out on a date later that evening. The late that night, Tina's returns to her apartment with her expensive new dress ... See full summary »

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Complete credited cast:
Don Backy ...
Bisturi (Blade) (as Aldo Caponi/Riccardo Rovatti)
Maurice Poli ...
Dottore (as Renato Cecchetto)
Trentadue (Thirtytwo) (as Luigi Montefiori/Gabriele Duma)
Maria Sbravati
Erika Dario ...
Luigi Antonio Guerra ...
Employee (as Luigi Guerra)
Francesco Ferrini ...
Gas Station Attendant
Emilio Bonucci ...
Taxi Driver
Pino Manzari ...
Toll Collector
Bank President


A gang of thieves hijack a man's car after botching their getaway from a robbery. They take a woman prisoner and command the man to drive them to safety. The man must try to cope with the bad situation he is in as well as trying to get help for a sick child that he is caring for. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Lock the doors, rollup the windows, and buckle up ... for the ride of your life!


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 February 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kidnapped  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Producer Alfredo Leone and the director's son, Lamberto Bava, shot new scenes, changed the ending, and changed the music in 1996, releasing the film under the title of Kidnapped. Both versions are available on DVD. See more »


References Grand Hotel (1932) See more »


Hold on to Me
Sung by Simona Patitucci
See more »

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User Reviews

Breathtaking Bava!

The great Mario Bava is mainly known as the supreme master of Gothic Horror Tales as well as the inventor of the Giallo. With the two aforementioned sub-genres being my favorites in the Horror genre, it is not surprising that Bava ranks among my favorite directors ever in motion picture history. Out of all Horror directors, Bava is arguably the one responsible for the most masterpieces - the man simply directed so many ingenious films that it is hard to pick out favorites. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be "La Maschera Del Demonio" aka. "Black Sunday" (1960), but there are various other flawless masterpieces in this brilliant man's repertoire that no Horror fan, no, no lover of film in general, could possibly consider missing, such as "Blood And Black Lace", "Kill Baby... Kill", "Black Sabbath", "The Girl Who Knew Too Much", "The Whip And The Body, or "A Bay Of Blood", just to name a few. Or this ingenious film. Even when dabbling outside of his most familiar Horror genre, Mario Bava outshines the rest, as "Cani Arrabbiati" proves. Bava obviously was in for something different with "Cani Arrabbiati" aka "Rabid Dogs" of 1974, and the outcome was an incomparably breathtaking mixture of stunning Crime/Heist flick and sadistic thriller. Even though violent crime flicks were immensely popular (and many of them immensely brilliant) in Italy of the mid 70s, "Rabid Dogs" is somewhat unique. Without exaggeration, the film, which runs by several aka. titles, such as "Semaforo Rosso", "Wild Dogs" and "Kidnapped" must be one of the most uncompromising, breathtaking and purely adrenaline-driven masterpieces ever brought to screen. Sadly, this ingenious film remained unreleased to the public for over 20 years. Due to the producer's bankruptcy, the completed film was withheld by courts until it was finally released in the late 90s, years after Bava's death.

After a robbery, three criminals, their leader being a cold thinker called The Doctor (Maurice Poli), the other two sadistic psychopaths named Thirtytwo (none other than exploitation-cult-actor Greorge Eastman) and Balde (Don Backy), brutally murder a woman and take another woman hostage, in order to escape from the police. In order to obtain a new car they also kidnap a man named Riccardo (Riccardo Cucciolla), and the sick child that he was about to bring to hospital... I am not going to give away more, but I can assure that the film is absolutely stunning. The tension and constantly menacing atmosphere never pauses for even a minute, and, at times the film gets quite shockingly sadistic. While Bava's goriest film is doubtlessly "A Bay Of Blood", this "Cani Arrabbiati" is easily his most disturbing one. All three of the gangsters are despicable characters, but while the leader is merely interested in getting away, Blade and especially Thirtytwo are mainly psychopathic. The acting performances are entirely great. Riccardo Cucciolla is excellent in the lead (if one can call it that, as the film is mainly set in a car, and all the characters have almost equal screen time). All three gangsters are brilliantly displayed as despicable as possibly imaginable. Maurice Poli, who plays the leader, had already worked with Bava in "5 Dolls For An August Moon" as well as in a small role in "Baron Blood". George Eastman enjoys a deserved cult status for starring in and co-writing various exploitation classics (most memorably Joe D'Amato's gruesome "Antropophagus" and the equally shocking follow-up "Absurd"), "Cani Arrabiati" is arguably the greatest film he was ever involved in. Don Backy is equally sadistic as the knife-specialist Blade, and Lea Leander is just great as the female hostage Maria. Leander does an outstanding job with her very realistic portrayal of the fear and distress of a hostage. The camera-work is ingenious, and Stelvio Cipriani's brilliant score holds the tense atmosphere up for every second.

I could go on praising "Cani Arrabbiati" for a long time, but I will just finish with the statement that it is a true must-see for everyone even remotely interested in 70s genre-cinema. This masterpiece was lost for many years, and while it is unfortunate that it never got released in Mario Bava's lifetime, it is more than great that it is available now. This may not be a typical example for Mario Bava's great repertoire, but it ranges among his most brilliant films. A true must! 10/10

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