Rabid (1977)

DailyView: Day 185, Movie 267

David Cronenberg wrote and directed this independent 1977 Canadian body horror film, Rabid, which I found on HBO Max to continue the October section of the DailyView.

After a terrible motorcycle accident, Rose (Marilyn Chambers) ended up in a coma at Keloid Clinic for Plastic Surgery. Unable to transport her to a more conventional hospital, Dr.  Dan Keloid (Howard Ryshpan) tried a radical procedure with skin graphs. Rose remained in a coma for a month, while her boyfriend Hart (Frank Moore) attempted to go back to his normal life.

When Rose comes out of her coma, she attacks a man and an orifice in her armpit sucks blood from him. He is infected with some kind of strain of virus that turned him into a mindless vicious creatures looking to bite others.

Marilyn Chambers is a well-known porn actress and was cast in the lead role, reportedly, when Cronenberg could not get Sissy Spacek to play the role. While she made an attractive lead and she was clearly comfortable moving around the film without any clothes on, Chambers was anything but an accomplished actress and brought the film down because of it. Her character was really nothing more than a blonde woman attacking people. There is little to no character development in any area of the film. That might be fine for a slasher film, but this has a feel as if it wants to be more.

Some of the scenes of the film that dealt with the spread of the disease and how the medical profession was struggling to deal with it seemed to strike close to home with the pandemic that we just went through. Of course, this was more shocking and cinematic, but it still had an uncomfortableness to it.

The ending is meant to try and bring some connection to Rose and the audience, but it does not work since there has been so little details provided to who Rose really is. It only serves to provide Frank Moore a chance to over act.

Basically, this is a apocalyptic zombie film that spends most of its time with shock moments and bloody imagery. There is not much of a story and less character development. Performances range from okay to poor and the film seems fine with that. If you are looking for a monster movie without any extra touches, Rabid is passable.

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