Rabid (1977)
Directed by David Cronenberg

Starring Frank Moore Joe Silver Marilyn Chambers Patricia Gage

Cronenberg was reportedly thrown out of his apartment when his landlady learned that he'd hired porno queen Chambers to star in his second horror movie.

Chambers actually does a pretty good job acting as a motorcycle accident victim who, after receiving a bizarre new form of plastic surgery, develops a penis-like penetrator under one of her arm pits, which she naturally uses to suck people's blood. The people she attacks become rabid maniacs, killing or infecting anyone in their path—hence the title "Rabid." "You can't trust your mother ... your best friend ... the neighbor next door," screamed the posters, over an image of a female corpse in a freezer.

Things get so out of hand that Canada is put under a state of marshall law! With plenty of action and violence (including a scene where a shopping mall Santa Claus is accidentally machine gunned by a police officer), this is the most entertaining of Cronenberg's early films. The other's in the bunch—"Shivers" and "The Brood"—are a little too plodding by today's standards. Watching "Rabid" today, it's easy to see some of the influence the film had on George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" and many of the other militaristic horror films that have followed. At the time it was produced, "Rabid" was in a class all its own.

A nice, low-budget horror film with all the black humor and twisted science ideas you'd expect from Cronenberg, "Rabid" kicks ass. The ending is particularly mesmerizing and disturbing. Cronenberg went on to make even more commercially accessible horror movies, among them "Scanners" and "The Fly," before degenerating into an art filmmaker

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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