Rabid is Cronenberg’s second major feature length film and while it’s not terrible, I wouldn’t say it’s a must watch. It’s the type of film that takes a very serious approach to a silly premise. The best acting here is from our porn star lead actress. A lot of the supporting roles were over-acted and in the most emotional moments, actually had me laughing.
It’s a bit of a hybrid vampire/infection/zombie movie so in that sense, it’s semi original. Basically some shit happens during plastic surgery (I honestly don’t even know what it was) and our former porn actress starts sucking peoples blood for sustenance out of her…? The funniest thing about this movie is that I had no fucking clue how she was killing these people until the final scene where it’s revealed and in my opinion, pretty stupid.
I found a huge portion of the film to be very repetitive; hot zombie girl gets hungry and finds horny boy to drain. I’m totally fine with the system itself if you feed me some creative kills but everything felt stale.
There were parts I really loved about this film that I wish played a greater role, the main one being military aspect of dealing with an epidemic. It felt the most real to me and given that it broadened the scale of what Cronenberg was setting out to do, he either should have expanded on it or left it out.
The other part I enjoyed was the infection itself! It’s strange to say but I only felt like I got one great scene of a rabid person attacking someone and that was the train scene. Everything else was mostly quick glimpses of a foamy guy going in for a nice hickey played out with very quick camera cuts. I just expected more in-your-face scenes given Cronenberg’s affinity for body horror.
If this movie was making a statement about plastic surgery/body modification/messing with human anatomy it really just flew over my head. Give it a shot if it sounds like something you’d like, most people seem to really enjoy it so I’m probably missing something here.