HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Agent 505: Death Trap in Beirut
Lured
Jem and the Holograms
Burning of Red Lotus Monastery, The
Bag Boy Lover Boy
Sleepless Night
Willy McBean and His Magic Machine
Robbery
Tag
Never Back Down
Doraemon: Nobita's Little Star Wars
Kriminal
It Comes at Night
Strangled
Mojin - The Lost Legend
Poison Ivy
Celine and Julie Go Boating
Union Station
My Brother Talks to Horses
Storks
Big Sick, The
Phantom Creeps, The
Houseboat
White Dress for Mariale, A
Wall, The
Deadline at Dawn
Batman vs Two-Face
56, rue Pigalle
Mermaid, The
Fear No Evil
   
 
Newest Articles
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
Alpha Males and Females - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 1
Animated Anxieties: From the Era of the Creepiest Cartoons
Manor On Movies--Clegg (1970)
Plans for Nigel: The Crunch... and Other Stories on DVD
   
 
  Rabid You want to put a bandage on thatBuy this film here.
Year: 1977
Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Marilyn Chambers, Frank Moore, Joe Silver, Howard Ryshpan, Patricia Gage, Roxanne Keloid, Susan Roman, Roger Periard, Lynne Deragon
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: After she is badly hurt in a motorcycle crash, Rose (Marilyn Chambers) is rushed in a coma to the nearest medical facility, a plastic surgery clinic. The chief doctor decides to perform a skin graft to Rose’s side, treating the grafted flesh with a pioneering tissue-growth technique. Unfortunately, the treatment causes a parasitic barb to form in Rose’s armpit, creating an uncontrollable urge to draw blood from others. This in turn passes on a new, incredibly contagious form of rabies, transforming her victims – and their victims – into crazed, foaming killers.

David Cronenberg’s second full-length film continued the themes he explored in his 1976 debut Shivers – contagion, mutation – but widens its canvas. While that earlier film was set entirely in a high-rise luxury apartment block, Rabid is about the effects of it upon an entire populace. And while the claustrophobia of Shivers’ self-contained horror is reduced, the sense of increasing chaos as the virus spreads throughout Montreal and the city becomes a militarilised zone is well realised on a low budget.

Marilyn Chambers – at that time one of America’s best known porn stars – proves to be a pretty decent actress with her clothes (mostly) on, and while the acting elsewhere is of a variable quality, there are also decent performances from Joe Silver as Rose’s concerned doctor and Frank Moore as her boyfriend.

But it’s that strange bloodsucking organ that inexplicably develops in Rose’s armpit for which Rabid is best remembered, and the sight of her desperately clinging to her victims as the barb drinks from them is deeply unsettling. There is a drug analogy – in the sense that traditional vampirism can also be considered an addiction – but really Rose provides the human face to Cronenberg’s wider concern, namely the terrifying speed with which disease can spread throughout modern society. And the great irony is that Rose never suspects that she is the cause of the virus.

Rabid isn’t as sharply paced as much of the director’s later work, but the topicality of its themes and the skill with which Cronenberg combines the intellectual and the visceral always impresses.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 7921 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

David Cronenberg  (1943 - )

Highly regarded Canadian writer/director who frequently combines intellectual concerns with genre subjects. Began directing in the late-70s with a series of gruesome but socially aware horror thrillers, such as Shivers, Rabid and The Brood. 1981's Scanners was Cronenberg's commercial breakthrough, and if the hallucinatory Videodrome was box office flop, it remains one of the finest films of his career. The sombre Stephen King adaptation The Dead Zone and the hugely successful remake of The Fly followed.

The disturbing Dead Ringers (1988) was a watershed film, based for the first time entirely in reality and featuring a career-best performance from Jeremy Irons. The 1990s saw Cronenberg in uncompromising form, adapting a pair of "unfilmable" modern classics - Burrough's Naked Lunch and Ballard's Crash - in typically idiosyncratic style. M. Butterfly was something of a misfire, but eXistenZ surprised many by being fast-moving and funny, while 2002's powerful Spider saw Cronenberg at his most art-house.

His later films were the acclaimed, bloody comic book adaptation A History of Violence, London-set thriller Eastern Promises, an examination of the sources of psychotherapy in A Dangerous Method, drama in a day Cosmopolis and Tinseltown takedown Maps to the Stars. Never one to bow to critical or popular demands, Cronenberg remains one of modern cinema's finest filmmakers.

 
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
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: