Rabid title

Tag line : You cant trust your mother, your best friend, your neighbour... One minute they're normal, the next...

RabidDavid Cronenberg's follow up to "Shivers" continues the 'body-horror' theme, but with a different kind of contagion being spread this time.

A young couple involved in a motorcycle accident on a remote country road, crash conveniently close to a plastic surgery clinic, who being the only facility for miles, offer to treat their injuries. Whilst the boyfriend is only bruised, the girl, Rose (played by porn star Marilyn Chambers in what was to be her only mainstream role), has suffered terrible burns. But there's an ulterior motive for them wanting to treat her, rather than take her to the city hospital.

Seems they've developed a new skin reconstructive procedure and they've been looking for a suitable test subject to try it out on. But whilst the operation appears successful, seems their new regenerative process has some unforeseen side effects, as she develops these strange stinger like appendages under her arms, which come out and attack anyone she grabs hold of, and sucks their blood out (you can tell this is a Cronenberg film).

Anyway, she promptly breaks out of the hospital and goes around randomly attacking people, who go on to develop rabies like symptoms and start attacking others. Pretty soon, there’s chaos on the streets of Montreal, as the epidemic spreads and the police and national guard hit the streets with orders to shoot to kill anyone displaying symptoms. Whilst the boyfriend and one of the doctors from the hospital, Dr Cypher (Joe Silver), try to track down Rose and figure out what has gone wrong with her.

Made just 2 years after “Shivers”, this is basically a twist on the old vampire, or zombie, film formula. However, due to the films low budget, tends to concentrate more on the main characters, rather than the chaos going on in the city. Though it does boast some interesting scenes of the infected randomly attacking others and the authorities “clearing” them off the streets. The scenes of soldiers in hazmat suits dumping bodies in specially adapted refuse lorries, certainly makes for particularly grim viewing.

Overall marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • David Cronenberg had wanted to cast Sissy Spacek in the lead role, but producer John Dunning didn't like her Texas accent. So fellow producer Ivan Reitman suggested Marilyn Chambers as he wanted someone with sex appeal and he knew that she was interested in doing a mainstream movie.

  • The films budget was $530,000 (Canadian).

  • The Braziliian title of the film was "Enraivecida na Fúria do Sexo" which translates as "Enraged in the Sexual Fury".

  • The building exterior and reception of the Keloid clinic was in fact the head offices of Lipton's tea.

  • Joe Silver, who plays Dr Cypher, also played Dr Linsky in the "Shivers". he also had a minor role in Cronenberg's "The Brood".

  • The National Film Board of Canada, who had financed Cronenberg's previous movie "Shivers" didn't want to get involved this time, as that film had brought them a lot adverse publicity. But when it was pointed out that "Shivers" was the only film that had made them any money, they reluctantly agreed to provide funding, though they had to do it indirectly through a 3rd party, to keep their name out of it.

  • The name Keloid clinic was a joke by the film makers, as a Keloid is a type of scar you get from an overgrowth of skin.

  • Previous UK DVDs were missing some footage of a police officer talking to the main characters in the hospital car park, due to print damage. This scene was re-instated for its 2014 DVD and BD release from Arrow films.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

 

Video Clips.
MP4 format.

Theatrical trailer. (6.05MB)

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Other Cronenberg films.

 

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