Movie Review: RABID (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

rabid

RABID was written and directed by David Cronenberg and stars Marilyn Chambers, Frank Moore, Joe Silver, Victor Désy, and Susan Roman.

After undergoing radical emergency surgery, Rose (former 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 makes them equally bloodthirsty. Follow the lovely but deadly Rose through her terrifying ordeal as victim by victim, the spreading circle of casualties grows… until no one can escape their grisly fate of becoming… Rabid.

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The story for Rabid was an interesting take on the outbreak subgenre. David Cronenberg captures the high-tension that this film has to offer as well as the human element that has to deal with this mysterious outbreak. I thought all of the acting was really good and this was the first film where Marilyn Chambers attempted to go mainstream and she did a great job with this lead character. Her character Rose is likable and innocent in what all happens to her and even when she starts going around infecting people, she isn’t really aware of what’s happening to them yet. She finally gets to witness first hand at what this infectious sting of hers does to these people and it sort of shocks her. Things go from bad to worse as the outbreak spreads and even poor Santa Claus isn’t safe here. No he doesn’t get bit but he does take a few bullets. Anyway, this story about Rose is a tragedy that ultimately comes full circle for the beautiful young woman.

The zombie subgenre is so oversaturated and its close cousin, the outbreak subgenre, doesn’t get as many movies and I guess that’s why I always like it when a new one arrives. Sure, I know this is a 1977 horror-thriller but it was new to me because I had never seen it before. David Cronenberg has his own unique style of storytelling and this one here follows a young woman who innocently contracts a mysterious disease after a lifesaving surgery that leaves her with a thirst for blood. She literally becomes this seductive armpit vampire who lures her potential victims in and then infects them with this virus that she’s carrying. The beautiful patient zero is a carrier and is immune to the terrifying symptons that everyone else is showing. They all start foaming at the mouth like dogs with rabies plus there’s this gross green stuff oozing from their eyes. All of the impressive practical/makeup effects used to create this mess looked great.

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The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, an image and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some creepy cool alternate artwork. The Blu-ray disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. This new high-def upgrade from Scream Factory is presented in the director’s preferred aspect ratio.

Bottom line is, Rabid was another first time watch for me and it’s also one of those movies that I would scan by during the video story days, even though I knew who David Cronenberg was. I confess, sometimes I might be a front cover snob and pick something up just because the cover looks good so maybe this was the case back then. I’m not sure why I passed on this one? One thing for certain is the fact that I really enjoyed this old school outbreak thriller that delivered a unique take on this infectious subgenre. To me, this second film from Cronenberg has this Italian giallo vibe to it because of the way it was shot. We’ll be getting a Rabid remake from Jen and Sylvia Soska so why not revisit this horror classic from Cronenberg one more time before the new one arrives. An armpit vampire? Now that’s orginal! This Rabid Collector’s Edition Blu-ray hits retail on November 22nd and is definitely worth checking out. I’d like to thank Scream Factory for sending this over for me to review!

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 91 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.66:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! Scream Factory has given the movie an all-new high-def upgrade along with a few new interviews. There’s also some impressive extras that have been imported over from previous home video releases.

  • NEW 2K Scan From The Negative At Director David Cronenberg’s Preferred Aspect Ratio (1.66:1)
  • NEW Audio Interview With Author Jill C. Nelson (Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women Of Classic Erotic Cinema, 1968-1985) And Marilyn Chambers’ Personal Appearances Manager Ken Leicht
  • NEW Young And Rabid – An Interview With Actress Susan Roman (33:05)
  • Audio Commentary With Writer/Director David Cronenberg
  • Audio Commentary With William Beard, Author Of The Artist As Monster: The Cinema Of David Cronenberg
  • Archival Interview With David Cronenberg (20:36)
  • Interview With Executive Producer Ivan Reitman (12:28)
  • Interview With Co-producer Don Carmody (15:37)
  • From Stereo To Video – A Video Essay By Caelum Vatnsdal, Author Of They Came From Within: A History Of Canadian Horror Cinema (26:23)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (02:09)
  • TV Spot (00:32)
  • Radio Spots (U.S. And U.K.) (01:38)
  • Still Gallery (05:49)

 

 

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