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 <email@example.com>
The film was so low budget, after two days of shooting, Bava had to fire Cinematographer Emilio Varriano and take over that job himself in order to have enough money to complete the film. See more »
When Doc looks up from tinkering with a car's engine in his first scene, the camera crew is reflected in his sunglasses. See more »
Originally shot in 1974 under the title 'L'uomo e il bambino', this film was shelved when one of the film financial backers died and ownership of the picture became entangled in bankruptcy proceedings before post-production had been completed, which prevented its theatrical release. The film sat on a shelf for almost 25 years until actress Lea Lander rescued it from oblivion by helping finance a DVD release: a new short prologue was shot, according to Bava's original script, and editing and scoring were completed using existing available materials. In 2002 producer Alfredo Leone and director Lamberto Bava (Mario's son), allegedly dissatisfied with the DVD edit, produced a new restored version of the film. Lamberto Bava and his son Roy shot additional footage and original composer Stelvio Cipriani created a new complete musical score (though the DVD release employed some of Cipriani's cues and themes, the film was never properly scored in 1974). This restored version, produced by Kismet Entertainment Group and retitled "Kidnapped", premiered theatrically in the US on May 31, 2002 as part of a Mario Bava retrospective at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theater in Hollywood See more »
Remarkable film-making- Bava's darkest, most nihilistic film
Rabid Dogs is a heist film from director Mario Bava (Black Sabbath, Hatchet For The Honeymoon, Diabolik). It tells the story of a dangerous gang of criminals - Doc, Blade and Thirtytwo, who hijack a car in the aftermath of a heist to find themselves with three hostages: a woman, a child, and an innocent man. Much of the drama plays out within the claustrophobic setting of the car as its heads out of the city. The attention is focused on the child, who is sick and requires a hospital, as well as the tension within the gang, and the sexual abuse which one of the gang members subjects his female hostage to. It's truly a roller-coaster of a thriller- a pulpy little crime tale that deserves the attention of modern crime/horror audiences and critical acclaim.
The film exhibits Bava's skill for cinema aesthetics, with its stylized editing and artifice. His skill for pacing results in a thriller which keeps the audience on its toes throughout. The moral ambiguity of all of the characters that inhabit his world creates a story that continually catches us off guard, shocking us with lashing of visceral violence and nihilistic cruelty. Surprises too come from the remarkably modern vibe; from the Tarantino-esquire dialogue and graveyard wit, to the blacker than black final twist. These postmodern touches place Bava firmly ahead of his time- as if further proof was needed after his horror masterpieces Black Sabbath, The Mask Of The Demon and Bay Of Blood.
Until recently, Rabid Dogs was thought to be a 'lost film', likely to have been destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Luckily, actress Lea Lander who starred in the picture, raised the money to restore the print 20 years later, based upon Bava's written notes and work print. The film also has the addition of one newly shot opening, which was nicely done, and filmed in accordance with Bava's specifications. What results is the closest product to Bava's complete vision that cineastes have been able to see. The film was briefly available on DVD, but went out of print quickly. It is now available as a copy (with menus and a limited supply of extras) from eBay and various websites.
It's highly recommended for fans of Bava's work, as it shows us a darker side of his art in a new genre. Fans of edgy cinema everywhere will certainly enjoy this film, particularly those who enjoyed films such as The Hitcher, Reservoir Dogs, Hitch-Hike and The Taking Of Pelham 123. Bava is to my mind a cinematic genius- his controversially dark approach, his skill and confidence with the camera and his stylish aesthetic compensating for his film's lack of superficial 'Hollywood' sheen or budget.
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