After the success of his debut feature Shivers, Canadian director David Cronenberg went on to release Rabid, with legendary porn star Marilyn Chambers in the leading role.

Not far removed from its predecessor, Rabid centers around a medical procedure gone horribly awry and everyone pays the price. Chambers stars as Rose, the victim of a horrible motorcycle accident.

Disfigured and unconscious, Rose undergoes an experimental skin graft to wake up (naked) with an extra anus-like orifice. Even weirder (because this is Cronenberg we’re talking about), a phallic-like stinger protrudes from the opening– and it wants blood.

Her vampire-like thirst for blood results in a chain reaction and trail of violently rabid victims all over Montreal, while Rose continues to walk around the city undetected. Soon, hordes of infected overrun the city, martial law is declared, and still no one knows the cause and– even more upsetting– if there’s a cure.

If you were a fan of Shivers but wished there was just more of everything, then Rabid is a perfect follow-up. Rabid has a very similar take on medical experimentation but on a grander scale as Rose isn’t confined to a single building like the characters in Shivers.

Instead, the results of the failed experiment wreak havoc all over the city of Montreal, and we’re not quite sure if it even ends there.

Annette DiGiovanni

Director: David Cronenberg
Country: Canada / USA
Runtime: 91 min.
Year: 1977


 Part of “The Shaping of Rage”: One ticket price for the full, four-film marathon!

September 29
12:00 pm (8h)

Egyptian Theatre

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