Rabid

"Very Good"

Rabid Review


David Cronenberg is infamous for keeping an audience uncomfortable. His creative knack generally focuses on the alien forces within a character that separate them from their environment, with said special qualities usually generated by some sort of naïve societal push towards technology. Such is the case with eXistenZ, with its reliance on creepy looking, pulsating pods to Seth Brundle accidentally turning himself into a half-human, half-insect.

It's a theme that runs as far back in his work as 1977 with Rabid. Rose (Marilyn Chambers) and her boyfriend Hart (Frank Moore) get into a motorcycle accident not far from a hospital that mostly functions as a plastic surgery ward. Though Dr. Dan Keloid (Howard Ryshpan) is seen refusing to become the "Colonel Sanders of plastic surgery" as his business partner would like to achieve, Rose's predicament does allow him to experiment with a new method of grafting skin, which he feels is the only way to save her life. He is enthused to advance medicine for the sake of humanity, and his intentions are honorable, but the result is that he creates a variation on rabies that becomes an epidemic.

As Rose is recuperating, the grafted skin has mutated within her body to produce a bloody sticker that emerges from her armpit. She rests in the hospital bed by day, seemingly in a coma while Hart waits for news, but by night she hugs a victim tight, the protrusion giving her access to the innocent's blood that now keeps her alive. Hours after passing out from the experience, the victim becomes a predator as well.

Despite the usage of horror techniques, Rabid thankfully never subscribes to a slasher style of storytelling. Though people are infected and the disease spreads at a rapid rate, Cronenberg stays intent on a larger community picture. The subplot of medical and political officials attempting to contain and eradicate the problem is just as important as Rose's predicament, and portrayed with intelligence instead of cheesy bureaucracy.

But Rose's journey of realizing that she is partially to blame takes a little too long to develop. It seems impossible, and therefore becomes a bit straining on attention, that after hearing all of the news coverage she never equates her habits as part of the problem because she acknowledges the situation enough not to touch people she knows and cares about.

Though some of the narrative structure drags in an effort to create more of an entire story than a simple horror flick, Rabid is able to sustain an entertaining tension throughout. It does not try to wrap up a quick happy ending because one couldn't possibly exist. Even given that a larger community response is in focus, there is no satirizing of characters, nor a sense that anyone is paying for their wrong doings. Rabid remains respectfully insistent on concern for the welfare of all in the face of an uncontrollable dilemma, which forces you to invest in wanting a solution for the crisis instead of just saving a few good souls.

Cronenberg had directed a bunch of television shows before this, but Rabid was only his fifth feature length film. It definitely shows the early signs of the talent of someone who has become renowned for creating thought-provoking material without any regard for pandering to viewers or following norms.



Rabid

Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Friday 8th April 1977

Budget: $513 thousand

Distributed by: New Concorde Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Canadian Film Development Corporation (CFDC)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Rose, as Hart Read, as Murray Cypher, as Dr. Dan Keloid, as Dr. Roxanne Keloid, as Mindy Kent, Roger Periard as Lloyd Walsh, Lynne Deragon as Nurse Louise, Terri Hanauer as Judy Glasberg, Victor Désy as Claude LaPointe, Miguel Fernandes as Man in Cinema, Robert O'Ree as Police Sergeant, as Cop at Clinic, Una Kay as Jackie, Robert A. Silverman as Man in Hospital, Riva Spier as Cecile

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.