Rabid (1977)

Here’s a David Cronenberg movie that I have never seen, but I believe it is getting a remake by the Sisters of Hellevator fame, so I wanted to see the original first.  I love a lot of Cronenberg’s films, so I am hopeful that with a young Marilyn Chambers, we may get something fun out of this.  I don’t really know people from the cast, but I see Joe Silver was also in Shivers, so that’s a plus.  I understand that we get zombies in this, so let’s have a go at it.  I will be writing down some spoilers moving forward, so if you wish to avoid those, skip to the bottom where my final thoughts and rating are.



Oh my, this definitely looks like the 70’s immediately.  Awesome.  The opening credits is just a man and a woman on a motorcycle while I sing the Sons of Anarchy song.  Ridin through this world……  The motorcycle gets in an accident avoiding a van that is stuck.  That was a great piece of stunt work.  The woman got pinned under the flaming bike and was in bad shape, while the guy got flung and hurt his hand, shoulder and has a concussion.  Rose is the injured lady’s name.  They are going to put skin grafts on her abdomen and her breasts.  A month later, she’s still in a state of shock, but they got new skin growing.  They can’t transfer her to the city hospital.  Hart Read is Rose’s boyfriend’s name.  Great name.  15 minutes in and we get our first look at Rose’s tits.  Sweet.  Oh yeah, she just woke up screaming and is very cold and is hugging the male nurse who checks in on her, and she just did something to him.  He’s bleeding from his right side.   I think she may have scratched his armpit area.  He is one hairy dude and has no memory of what happened, and he can’t feel a thing in his right side.  The doctor wants him to go general, but also wants to draw blood from the wound first.  They are surmising that the nurse tried molesting Rose, and another boob shot.  Rose escapes the hospital, and I assume this is where the movie really takes off.  

Rose goes to a barn and finds a sleeping cow.  She pukes while petting it and the farmer comes in, very inebriated.  This fucking guy is great, and lewd as hell.  She liked had 2 handfuls of hair and like ripped at them, she seriously hurt him.  Rose returns to the hospital.  The male nurse who was bit, Lloyd decides that he’s had enough and is leaving.  Rose joins this chick, Judy,  in the hot tub at the hospital and attacks her while wearing her dress.  She just drowned Judy.  Lloyd is in a cab and looks feverish and attacks the driver.  His causes an absurd accident.  Rose calls Hart and asks him to come get her.  The nurse stops the call and gets the doctor.  She explains to her that she is crazy and a monster.  Rose has this weird pulsating would by her left armpit.  She hasn’t been on the IV’s and reveals how she has been feeding.  She has this thing come out of her that feeds on whatever she is hugging.  So that clears that up….as much as it can.  The farmer comes in to a diner, he is fucking starving and we see that his wound is in his left eye, and he bites the waitress, so this shit spreading nicely.  The doctor is performing a surgery, cuts a nurse’s finger and is attacking the people in the operating room.  Ohhh, rabies is expected in the diner incident.

Rose is hitchhiking and a poor trucker stopped to pick her up.  Murray, who is the Doc’s business partner, bring Hart to the hospital and all these cops are there.  Hart can’t find Rose.  An officer shows Hart the body of Judy, but it’s not who he is looking for.  The trucker gives Rose a steak sandwich, so she starts puking.  I think she realizes that she can’t eat anything other than humans now.  Yup, she has bit him, and a cop checks in on him.  Rose is just going to hitchhike from person to person, this time a lady picks her up.  She ends up going to Montreal to stay with her friend, Mindy Kent.  I’ll update you when something different happens that may prove to not be a bite spread repeat story.  Rose is going to a porno theater, I felt this warranted my and your attention.  She sit right around the middle and a creepy guy walks behind and brushes up against her, and then asks for popcorn.  I like this guy!  She is way too attractive for him, but props for him going for it.  He goes from popcorn to boob and her needle thing was poking.  His hand got pricked.    Ohh a movie poster for Carrie.  

Shit is breaking down into pure chaos.  Subway attacks, attacks at the loading docks for truckers, and there may be martial law as they have determined is that it’s not rabies.  Now people are getting vaccines cards to carry with them.  Shooting the infected does seem to put them down at least.  More of Rose’s tits.  Good for you Cronenberg!    Woah, who is this Santa’s helper?  I can’t find her real name, but she was attractive.  I also love how everybody just smokes anywhere and everywhere.  Well a mall cop just opened fire, didn’t kill the helper, but killed Santa.  Geez.  Awww, poor Murray got got by his daughter I think.  Finally makes it to Rose and sees that she has just ate Mindy.  Hart finally puts it all together, that she is patient zero.  They start screaming at each other, blaming each other.  They tussle and he ends up falling down some stairs.  She kisses him goodbye and runs off. Rose eventually calls Hart and has a plan to test if she was in fact the original but couldn’t be around him.  Well she got attacked and he plan failed. Hart broke the telephone.  We see Rose getting put in a dump truck at the end.

End Film

Final Thoughts – This was a very different way of doing a zombie film, and it worked incredibly well, especially considering the time.  I can see how this would work really well in the remake.  Cronenberg is one of a kind, but the sisters are very good at what they do.  I think I would have enjoyed more focus on the story, perhaps fewer characters, and less random people turning into zombies, but that may be for the worse.  I absolutely would/will watch it again.  Marilyn is beautiful and was a good actress.  She should have had more big roles.  She really was talented.  This doesn’t get enough love or attention when discussing 70’s horror, but it deserves more praise.  

Rating: 6.6 It’s currently available on Shudder through Amazon and well worth the $5 a month to watch this plus many other great films.

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