This DVD won't drive you mad, but the movie still chills.
Chadwick H. Saxelid | Concord, CA United States | 02/09/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Rabid was Cronenberg's second feature film and a more conventional "horror movie" than his first feature Shivers (aka They Came from Within). Despite Rabid's weak script and low budget restrictions it clearly showed that Cronenberg was a writer/director with a strong vision and someone to watch for.Rose (played unevenly by Marilyn Chambers) suffers severe wounds in a motorcycle accident. Experimental surgery turns her into a vampire of sorts that infects her victims with a incurable and fatal case of mania that resembles rabies. Rose, either fearing for her own safety or forced by a new and barely understood predatory nature (Cronenberg never explores this in any real depth), escapes from the clinic where she has been recovering from her surgery and unleashes a terrifying plague. Although it may sound silly Cronenberg treats the subject with such an icy documentary like detachment that the results are quite chilling.Sadly the part of Rose (originally intended for Sissy Spacek) is underwritten, she has almost no dialogue and Chambers could not communicate any real emotional conflict in her performance. She becomes simply an object to move the plot forward, the secondary characters getting more development. This was a serious flaw in the movie and the primary reasons I gave it three stars and not four.The DVD itself is pretty sad. The movie is not letterboxed, but the image is not injured too badly by this. There is a trailer that produces a chuckle when, after an impressive car wreck, the camera zooms into Rose's first victim and the narrator solemnly says "Don't worry about him he's DEAD." There is no commentary, and the biographies are pretty so so, with Corman (founder and CEO of the companies that both released Rabid back in 1976 and this re-issue) getting the most lauditory and in depth biography, despite having really nothing to do with making this movie at all.Cronenberg fans will want this movie in their collections regardless of the movie and DVDs flaws. Fans of the genre might want to check this out to see the boundless possibilites the vampire tale does have to offer."
Rabid- disease horror from the apocalyptic seventies
Bob B Wray | Indiana | 07/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cronenberg's tale of a viral driven apocalypse pulls the viewer into a world of death and contagion. RABID, along with other early Cronenberg films, deals with the horror from within our own bodies. The story centers on the birth of a disease, which eventually spreads to a large city and causes social breakdown. With its odd storyline, dreary landscapes and creepy music, RABID stands out from other horror films of the 70's in that it has Cronenberg's "body conscious horror" philosophy behind it. Originally released on Warner home video in the 80's and on a hard to find import laserdisc from Japan, this DVD of RABID is the best the film has ever looked. The image exhibits little grain, the colors are strong (for early Cronenberg), and the sound is clear. It is presented here in full screen (1:33:1), which is possibly what the film was shot in. Also included on the disc is the full-length theatrical trailer. If you're a fan of 70's horror, Rabid is required viewing."
Bindy Sue Frřnkünschtein | under the rubble | 10/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rose (Marilyn Chambers) and her boyfriend Hart Read (Frank Moore) are two young motorcycle enthusiasts rolling down the open road. Little do they know, a family in a van is blocking the road around the next curve. BAM! An inevitible accident ensues. Luckily, the Kreloid plastic surgery clinic is nearby, where the doctors have been experimenting with a revolutionary new skin-graft! Rose's badly mangled body is taken there for emergency reconstructive surgery. She wakes from a coma one month later, not knowing where she is. When a male patient tries to comfort her, Rose pulls him close and skewers him with the spike under her arm! It seems that a parasite has grown there, giving Rose an undying thirst for human blood. Worse yet, her victims catch Rose's virus and within 8 hours begin foaming at the mouth, weeping yellow goo from their eyes, and attacking others to infect them with this hideous condition as well! Rose leaves the clinic after infecting her doctor, who in turn goes berserk in the operating room! Rose hunts for men to seduce, jab, drain, and abandon. She murders her way to Montreal, where the disease she carries reaches epidemic proportions. Staying with a friend, Rose slips out at night, trolling for victims to puncture. She even kills a guy in an adult theater! Instead of pleasure, his wandering hand finds a piercing death under Rose's coat! She is a virulant serial killer with an inhuman hunger. David Cronenberg (Scanners, The Brood, The Fly) has put together quite a twisted little tale of terror with RABID. Marilyn Chambers is excellent as Rose. I believe she could have been a successful horror actress. I wish she'd done more like this. If you enjoy the bizarre, the different, or the disturbing, then RABID will bubble up your flesh..."
Mr. David N. Alcock | gillingham, kent United Kingdom | 05/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the low angle motorcycle shot to the final,apocalyptic shot of the inevitable,RABID draws you into its cold chilling world of vicious horror completely.Some of the acting is a bit shaky and some of the characterization a bit one-dimensional but the direction is never less than masterful.The two combined,make the film realistically unnerving.The film's basic premise is that a virus transmitted by humans,once virulent,is incapable of being contained.Unchecked it results in primal,brutal and wanton behaviour,a theme prevalent in many Cronenberg films.The film even succeeds in gaining sympathy for the main victim and cause of the disease,via of her disposal of several unlikeable characters and an appealing performance by Marilyn Chambers.RABID is almost totally bleak,totally downbeat in portraying a city out of control......Totally classic."
M. Wilson | Los Angeles, CA | 09/06/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"At last Rabid comes to DVD, (and VHS again) but without any seeming extras. At least the current VHS copy has the theatrical trailer and a 1995 interview with Cronenberg. A minor Cronenberg in comparison to Shivers, but still an interesting and provocative film, Rabid deserves better treatment than this. I can understand the disc not containing the Cronenberg Interview as it is probably copyrighted by the previous holders of Rabid, the rights of which were not purchased along with the film by the new distributors, but where is the theatrical trailer? If even these minor extras are not included, then my old VHS copy will have proven a better investment than this DVD or tape. And as for the packaging design..."