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Another Cronenberg flick that's more shock than it is commentary or social relevance.

  • Aug 17, 2011
** out of ****

David Cronenberg is pretty much the Canadian God of the horror genre. I've loved him, I've liked him, and at times, I've even disliked him. I don't know. Sometimes, I just have problems accepting his execution, but I am always - and I mean ALWAYS - intrigued by his fascination with gory "body-horror" scenes and effects. He's good at what he does, and who am I to say he doesn't always make a movie that I like? Few of his films are truly bad, and that's because he is, in fact, a very good filmmaker. And like a good filmmaker should, he knows what he's doing; whether he's making a horror movie or a taut drama. Sometimes, he can juggle both at the same time and still get a good result.

"Rabid", an earlier Cronenberg film, is the director's attempt at telling his own little vampire story. There's plenty of the man's style and bloody whimsy to be found here, and his ambitions are both impressive and admirable. However, it's the execution that matters, and here's a film that lacks the right amount of substance to match its style. This could have made for a pretty good film, and to some people, it still is good. I don't know. Maybe a film like this is your idea of a good time, but it's not necessarily mine.

A fatal motorcycle accident puts Rose (Marilyn Chambers) in the hospital, where she is properly nursed back to health. The doctors insist on giving her transplants through plastic surgery, and the results appear to be unexpectedly positive, especially for the kind of operation that was done.

However, it is soon revealed that the surgery created something new inside Rose. Under her armpit is a stinger, which can come in, come out as it pleases. She uses the stinger to get blood from anyone she encounters, as she has developed a sort of craving for it. After she's done feeding, the victims' memories are erased, and Rose can continue feeding until she isn't hungry anymore.

The problem with this is that the victims don't die. Once they regain consciousness, the victims turn into rabid zombies; and soon, it's implied that an outbreak may be soon to come. And not long after that, we're seeing police taking action (shooting at the infected, missing, and instead hitting an innocent mall Santa); zombies take action, and plenty more chaotic behavior. There will be blood; oh yes, there will.

And...if you happen to like blood, then maybe this film is for you. I can't say it WASN'T for me, but there was about as much that I agreed with as there was that I didn't. Chambers is mediocre at best in her role, the leading role, which isn't surprising given she's a porn star at heart and probably wasn't pitch perfect for this role, but look at the bright side; at least she looks beautiful. Sleaze-bags might get a kick out of the film just for her nude scenes, which are thankfully, not entirely gratuitous; but existent only to be "money shots" nonetheless.

I'm sure this film is trying to say something. David Cronenberg's films are always saying something. His film "The Brood", another which I just didn't like, was nasty and violent but was ultimately the result of Cronenberg's rage. Instead of making something that we truly cared about - and no offense to anyone who liked "The Brood", as I'm sure there are a few of you that did - he made something so personal, yet so distant, that it almost wasn't worth seeing. "Rabid" is the same way. If you have seen it and you enjoyed it, then that's great; well, for you, at least. This isn't a bad horror movie and it makes for a fairly entertaining thriller, but it lacks the ability to be anything more than it is; decent body-horror with admirable amounts of flesh shown (in more than one sense of the phrase). But derivative movies are derivative, and I can't get in to anything that I feel fits the word's best description; that is, unless it does something wild and creative. I don't feel that this film is creative. But it tries, and that might be enough for part of its audience.

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More Rabid reviews
review by . May 09, 2009
Rabid (1977) is a strange film about a parasitic virus that inhabit's the body of a young woman (Marilyn Chambers). She receives this strange mutation after a new experimental procedure is performed upon her after she and her boyfriend were involved in a motorcycle accident. The doctors at a plastic surgery clinic save her life but her body revolts and mutates against the new cellular structure. The staff at the clinic and it's patients must answer for trying to defy nature.     A …
review by . October 25, 2003
Pros: aw geez ..... the armpit, hands down     Cons: .......     The Bottom Line: ______________        Half way through the movie I felt like I was revisiting Night of the Living Dead but in a soft porn way since Marilyn Chambers took every opportunity to display her perky Ivory Snow breasts.      On the road again   Rose & Hart, a sweet but strange couple, zoom off on their motorcycle and unfortunately …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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