HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
   
 
Newest Articles
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
   
 
  Rabid Dogs Are we there yet?Buy this film here.
Year: 1974
Director: Mario Bava
Stars: Riccardo Cucciola, Aldo Caponi, George Eastman, Lea Lander, Maurice Poli
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  9 (from 1 vote)
Review: It’s wages day at a pharmaceutical company’s offices, and true to movie form, a masked gang lies in wait intending to make off with the cash. The getaway driver and the petrol tank are riddled with bullets during the ensuing shoot-out, and surviving criminals ‘Doc’, ‘Blade’, and ‘32’ (as in ‘centimetres’ – work it out!) have some quick thinking to do. Grabbing a female hostage, they hold up an innocent motorist who, inconveniently, is driving a sick little boy to hospital, and force him to chauffeur them along a main toll highway and around rural back-roads in an attempt to evade the pursuing police.

At face value, this is Mario Bava’s least typical movie, set on a stifling, sweltering summer day, dealing with realistic themes, and featuring a central child character who, far from orchestrating the terrors around him, remains unconscious throughout. Following over 20 years of legal wrangles, Rabid Dogs finally attained a posthumous release on a now-scarce limited edition DVD and was revealed to be years ahead of its time, infused with a nihilistic, ruthless tone which made its eventual post-Tarantino appearance seem utterly contemporary. Despite the lack of obvious Bava touches, Rabid Dogs is immersed in greed and selfishness (as Troy Howarth’s study of the director has pointed out, themes common to most of his films) and almost stands as a flip-side riposte to his thrilling comic-strip adventure Danger: Diabolik. Compare the scene of Diabolik and Eva making love beneath a pile of banknotes to the depiction of ill-gotten riches here – the less-than-impressive haul is shown to us as being no more than a few bundles of cash in a battered old case, and various events during the getaway see much of the loot being frittered away on ephemera; an angry motorist requests payment over the odds for his broken tail-light, a wary garage owner initially refuses to fill the hijacked vehicle’s empty tank, and an irate farmer demands 50,000 lire for a bunch of grapes. Everyone’s a crook.

A la Stephen King’s later novel ‘Cujo’, and Eric Red’s superb, overlooked 1989 thriller Cohen And Tate, Rabid Dogs is ingeniously set within the claustrophobic confines of the car for virtually its entire length, with Bava’s skilled editing and clever use of close-ups and two-shots managing to keep the film lively. Stelvio Cipriani’s insistent, repetitive score, maintained almost non-stop throughout, helps to drive proceedings along, and the repellent, grotesque performances of the fine cast lend an amoral quality equally suited to a Leone western, say, or perhaps Wes Craven’s Last House On The Left which is echoed during one particularly unpleasant scene of psychological and physical humiliation. The majority of the film’s many killings are performed offscreen, yet edited with such punch and impact that you’d swear that you witnessed every knife-slash and bullet hit. As one last grim gag, the film fades out on a twist ending which leaves the despairing viewer gasping at the state of mankind and recalling the apparently baffling, seemingly unconnected opening shot which accompanied the credits some 96 minutes earlier and which all, suddenly, shudders into shocking focus.
Reviewer: Darrell Buxton

 

This review has been viewed 7856 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Mario Bava  (1914 - 1980)

Italian director/writer/cinematographer and one of the few Italian genre film-makers who influenced, rather than imitated. Worked as a cinematographer until the late 1950s, during which time he gained a reputation as a hugely talented director of photography, particularly in the use of optical effects.

Bava made his feature debut in 1960 with Black Sunday/The Mask of Satan, a richly-shot black and white Gothic gem. From then on Bava worked in various genres – spaghetti western, sci-fi, action, peplum, sex – but it was in the horror genre that Bava made his legacy. His sumptuously filmed, tightly plotted giallo thrillers (Blood and Black Lace, Hatchet for the Honeymoon, Bay of Blood) and supernatural horrors (Lisa and the Devil, Baron Blood, Kill, Baby...Kill!) influenced an entire generation of Italian film-makers (and beyond) – never had horror looked so good. Bava’s penultimate picture was the harrowing thriller Rabid Dogs, while his last film, Shock, was one his very scariest. Died of a heart attack in 1980.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: