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29 June 2011

Rabid (1977)

Everybody must have heard of Mary Mallon aka "Typhoid Mary". She was the woman who wandered around America at the turn of the 20th Century infecting people with Typhoid. She was a carrier, but for some reason the disease never affected her. Eventually the New York Local Authorities got wise to what was happening and she was put into quarantine, which save one ill-advised and quickly aborted attempt to reintegrate her back into society, was where she ultimately died some 30 years later.

Rose gets chatted up again in Rabid, New World Pictures 1977
Rose gets chatted up again in Rabid, New World Pictures 1977


Tonight I watched Rabid, the 1977 horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg. Can you tell where I'm going with this? Well let's see...

I knew that this film was ancient, so there were no surprises for me on that front. It's a David Cronenberg film so I also knew that it would be a bit odd. The question was: would it be odd in a good way?

Santa gets it in Rabid, New World Pictures 1977
Santa gets it in Rabid, New World Pictures 1977


Rabid is set up in cold and snowy Canadia. It opens with Rose (played by Marilyn Chambers) and her boyfriend Hart (played by Frank Moore) involved in a motorbike accident. Lucky-boy Hart encounters only minor denting. Poor old Rose on the other hand is left in a coma with only hours to live. Not good! Fortunately for Rose, the crash is only a short ambulance drive away from the exclusive clinics of the Keloid Corporation. After some last ditched pioneering plastic surgery Rose finally recovers, but not everything is as it should be...

Infected man attacks in Rabid, New World Pictures 1977
Infected man attacks in Rabid, New World Pictures 1977


Yep. Rose is our Typhoid Mary, but this isn't Typhoid... It's some sort of Rabies-like disease that drives her victims mad and desperate for a drink of blood. I've heard the word 'zombie' being used in relation to this film, but don't believe it. These are not zombies. And either is Rose.

Man smokes in hospital in Rabid, New World Pictures 1977
Man smokes in hospital in Rabid, New World Pictures 1977


The film is a product of the times; We've got smoking at every opportunity, cool cars and crazy outfits. As always, the retro feel is fun. However, the story falls kind of flat. It has it's moments, but not many.

The acting is so-so. Marilyn Chambers is probably the best of a bad bunch. She was more famous at the time for her porn exploits than 'serious' cinema, but actually she's not as bad an actress as you might expect. And for those of you with a short attention span, dirty old Dave takes every opportunity he can to show off her assets throughout the film. Keep an eye out for some strange arm-pit sh*t she's got going on! I'll say no more...

Rose's stylish best friend in Rabid, New World Pictures 1977
Rose's stylish best friend Mindy Kent in Rabid, New World Pictures 1977


I'm keeping a level head... I'll just tell it like it is...This film isn't worth the effort. You're not going to want to hunt this one down any time soon. On the Triple-B I'm going sneak a peak at 2 chicks writhing in a jacuzzi. I wonder what they're up to?



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