A young woman develops a taste for human blood after experimental plastic surgery, and her victims turn into blood-thirsty zombies, leading into a city-wide epidemic.


David Cronenberg
2 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Marilyn Chambers ... Rose
Frank Moore ... Hart Read
Joe Silver ... Murray Cypher
Howard Ryshpan ... Dr. Dan Keloid
Patricia Gage ... Dr. Roxanne Keloid
Susan Roman ... Mindy Kent
Roger Periard ... Lloyd Walsh (as J. Roger Periard)
Lynne Deragon Lynne Deragon ... Nurse Louise
Terry Schonblum ... Judy Glasberg
Victor Désy ... Claude LaPointe
Julie Anna Julie Anna ... Nurse Rita
Gary McKeehan ... Smooth Eddy
Terence G. Ross Terence G. Ross ... Farmer
Miguel Fernandes ... Man In Cinema
Robert O'Ree Robert O'Ree ... Police Sergeant


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One minute they're perfectly normal, THE NEXT...[Rabid] See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The film is one of the highest-grossing Canadian films of all-time. See more »


When Hart's car is attacked by a crazy, and a clean-up crew shoots and disposes of it, the cameraman who is shooting the "through the windshield" shots is clearly visible in the back seat of the car. See more »


Murray Cypher: Potato man loves ketchup man.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Japanese VHS is uncut, containing footage not seen on other releases of the film. See more »


Referenced in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) See more »


Music by Brian Bennett
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User Reviews

Good, ambitious low-budgeter.
20 June 2002 | by capkronosSee all my reviews

I really enjoy gritty, low-key horror films like this one. The story revolves around Hart (Frank Moore) and Rose (porn queen Marilyn Chambers), a young couple involved in a motorcycle accident. Rose undergoes an emergency experimental skin graft operation and emerges as a plague-spreading pseudo-vampire who extracts blood via a syringe-style growth that has developed on her body. It's an interesting, original take of vampirism, especially the aspect that her victims get sick and turn homicidal ("Rabid," I guess).

In my opinion, this is Cronenberg's best 70s movie (I enjoyed it more than THEY CAME FROM WITHIN/SHIVERS and THE BROOD, also good horror films). The story is intelligent, very well thought out and full of political and social context if you want it. The horror scenes are creepy and effective. Chambers is beautiful and has a killer body, for sure, but she also delivers a surprisingly good performance. You can tell she was savoring this non-hardcore role and probably hoped for more of the same after this, but it just wasn't in the cards for her. Too bad. The rest of the cast was acceptable.

I wish they made more films like this nowadays!

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Release Date:

8 April 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rabid See more »

Filming Locations:

Québec, Canada See more »


Box Office


CAD530,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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