The residents of a suburban high-rise apartment building are being infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into mindless, sex-crazed fiends out to infect others by the slightest sexual contact.
The famous drag racer Lonnie 'Lucky Man' Johnson is the star of the Fast Company, managed by the corrupt Phil Adamson Lonnie is the mentor of the promising funny car racer Billy 'The Kid' ... See full summary »
After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally kills his wife, and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa.
After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.
In Camelford, while swinging his van across a narrow road to make a u-turn, a driver stalls the vehicle that does not restart. Hart Read is driving his motorcycle with his girlfriend Rose and he drives off the road to avoid the collision. Hart suffers minor injuries while Rosie is injured and burned by the flames when the motorcycle explodes. The ambulance from the nearby Keloid Clinic for Plastic Surgery brings the couple and Rose, who is in coma, is submitted to an emergency surgery and to an experimental plastic-surgery technique by Dr. Dan Keloid to retrieve her skin in the chest and abdomen. Hart is discharged but Rose stays in coma in the intensive care unit (ICU) to recover. Out of the blue, Rose awakens from her coma one month later and screams. A nurse helps her but is wounded by her and then he cannot remember what has happened. He is sent to a hospital in Montreal while Rose realizes that she needs to feed with blood. However her victims become zombie-like creatures. Rose ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A keloid is a type of scar tissue formed from collagen, hence Dr. Keloid's name is a sort of pun. See more »
Numerous signs are seen written in English, including government buildings and vehicles. In the Canadian province of Quebec, where the film is set, by law all of these signs would be in French. See more »
All UK DVD versions are missing around 20 secs of footage from a conversation between the 2 male leads and a policeman in a parking lot. The edits were not made by the BBFC and appear to have been a result of print damage. See more »
good exploitation flick that acts as a precursor to many modern horror films
David Cronenberg perhaps maybe didn't get too ambitious as he forged ahead in the 70s as a low-budget director of bloody, outrageous horror films in Canada, but it was probably a good chance to learn tricks of the trade he'd know for the rest of his career. And somehow, while watching it, despite the fact that it is not masterpiece, it has all the makings of being a real influential work. Like another film that it's obviously been inspired by, Night of the Living Dead (albeit the Crazies might be in there too), Rabid seems to have given rise (no pun intended) to films like Species (hot woman out on the prowl for beings to fulfill her), 28 Days Later (obvious), and even Planet Terror (outbreak in a hospital). It's rough and with a terribly bleak ending, and it's got a certain pizazz that should keep it humming on genre fans shelves in the years to come.
Marilyn Chambers is one of the reasons the film got made- Ivan Reitman chose her over Cronenberg's (more interesting) choice of Sissy Spacek- though it is and isn't her exactly that makes Rabid a little sleazier for some reason that it might be without her. To be sure, she's the catalyst for the outbreak of the not-quite-rabies that spreads out in Montreal after a freak skin-grafting operation following a motorcycle accident (very well filmed that is, by the way). But seeing her after she gets out of the hospital and for the bulk of the picture until she reunites with Hart is a little predictable, and adds an air to the film of being too exploitive of expectations as opposed to exploiting the primitive tools of storytelling Cronenberg has. A scene like when Chambers goes into the movie theater should be freaky, but it's just sort of ho-hum.
It's not even that she lacks a certain screen presence, though at the same time, as the protagonist, she's not even really all that interesting in context with what else is going on around her. The best parts of Rabid are the side scenes, the little moments like when Joe Silver watches TV with the baby, or when the mall cop accidentally shoots the Santa Claus and mutters "Christ!", or when we see the sudden moments of the characters like the truck driver out for BBQ chicken or the random dude at night jumping on Hart's car. Those are when Cronenberg strikes it best as a pure genre director, not going too deep into theme (aside from that of the unawareness of disease and infection, a theme that would grow stronger in the 80s to be sure), plus in the shock value of the actual creature that sprouts out of Chambers mouth, which is probably even *better* concealed and revealed than with the parasites in Shivers.
At the end of it all, Rabid only really gets profound towards the very end, as a tragic scene occurs, but by then it doesn't amount to a whole lot. Rabid is a warped little blood-soaked flesh-eater flick, and it's happy with being simple and dark in its low budget.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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