Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#67. Rabid (1977)

DVD Synopsis: After undergoing radical emergency surgery, Rose (adult film star Marilyn Chambers in her first leading role in a mainstream film) develops an insatiable desire for blood. She searches out victims to satisfy her incurable craving, infecting them with an unknown disease which in turn swiftly drives them insane and equally bloodthirsty.

A clever marriage of vampires and zombies, David Cronenberg's Rabid tackles several challenging issues, such as medical experimentation and the government's role in a time of crisis, and wraps them in a slick, stylish, often quite gory horror film. 

Marilyn Chambers stars as Rose, a woman whose emergency plastic surgery goes very wrong, leading to an epidemic that transforms normal people into mouth-foaming cannibals. The casting of one of the most famous porn stars of the day in a government-funded film was controversial, to say the least, but Chambers silences all critics by delivering a solid performance, walking a fine line between feminine allure and uncontrollable insanity.
Rabid is as thought-provoking as it is frightening, and stands as an early example of the genius of David Cronenberg.


Anonymous said...

Justine again Doctor I love this film, it is so unknown and not seen by many. Glad you have it here.

Dave Becker said...

@Justine: Thanks so much. I love it too (I'm a Cronenberg fan), and, like you, believe it's a movie definitely worth checking out.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Dr Shock.

I have been visiting your blog ever since I heard about it on Planet Macabre. I have even bought a few of the older horror movies you have suggested on the show and I even bought this one.

I just watched this last night and afraid to say I thought it was sincerely cheese. I little tweeter growing out of her arm. really?

The acting was bad too which I was surprised at since I know you think highly of acting. Frightening it is not, laughable and ridiculous it is.

I am just curious I couldn't find any mention on your blog here, are all the movies you cover recommendations, I am presuming they are but not sure. On this it is obvious you thought this was great with using words like clever, thought provoking, slick and the such.

This is definitely bottom of the barrel horror, just my 2 cents.

Dave Becker said...

Hello, and thank you for the comment.

With regards to RABID, I did very much enjoy this movie. I thought Marilyn Chambers did a fine job as a woman who was under the control of her "condition", acting as carrier for a disease that was quickly spreading throughout an entire city. I liked the social/political aspects of the story (how the government took control, at times making things worse, i.e. the mall shoot-up scene), and I'm a fan of David Cronenberg's films in general (as one critic described them, they are often stories of "Body Manipulation"), which I'm sure is also another reason I liked this movie.

Finally, I admit to having a special place in my heart for low-budget films, a category that RABID fits into nicely. I've covered, and even enjoyed, films that many others have found unwatchable (RATS: NIGHT OF TERROR, for example, a movie that I'd say is 10X cheesier than RABID), all going back to my love of these type of films.

To answer your question, I would say no, not all of the movies I cover are recommendations. For this challenge of mine, I'm watching many movies that I've never seen before, some of which I've enjoyed immensely, others I thought were OK (CENTURION, 2019: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK), and still others I didn't really like at all (a good recent example is SPECIAL EFFECTS).

On this blog, I steer away from star ratings, thumbs up or down, "Buy" or "Rent", and so forth. These sort of "final" ratings have their place (I think BUY, RENT or AVOID works perfectly for Planet Macabre), but I choose instead to simply present my opinions, and let the reader/visitor make the final decision for themselves (which is why I also include the DVD synopsis and trailer for each film).

I will say that, earlier on in the "life" of this blog, I took a different approach to my write-ups of each film (because I was planning to cover so many movies, I felt I had to limit my written opinions to between 150-250 words as an average). I've since changed this, and am now getting into more detail (on an average, about 500 words) than I previously had. RABID was obviously an early entry, and therefore not explored in as much detail as I've been doing as of late. Ar some point, I will go back and 'expand' on my thoughts of these early entries, but that's a project for another time.

Regardless, though, whether it's 150 words or 10,000 words, I think it's obvious that RABID is a movie I enjoyed.

If I were to state what my recommendation would be in general (and again, I don't like to do so because I really feel it's up to the individual to determine their best course of action), it would be to rent each of these films. That way, if it's one you didn't enjoy, then at least you can send it back (some would argue that, if the price is cheap enough, just buy it. That's fine, and not a bad strategy unless you end up owning a movie you don't like, in which case any money you may have saved is still money wasted, not to mention the fact that you now have a DVD in your collection you'll never watch again).

While we obviously don't see eye-to-eye, I do thank you for your frank, honest opinion of RABID. I also very much appreciate the questions you've raised, and the opportunity it presented to further explain my approach to this blog (making your opinion worth a lot more to me than $.02!).

Thanks again for the comment, and for listening to Planet Macabre.