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Rabid (1977)

Good to know. Thank you, movie.

We start out with a woman and a man riding a motorcycle - rather fast - through some nice scenery of wood and fields.

Cut to a medical corporation - a bunch of high-ups are discussing a new kind of plastic surgery.

Cut back to the couple on the motorcycle - and there's a big car trying to turn around their SUV, stuck on the road.






turning into

This (Yes, there's a person inside)

Luckily, someone sees the accident happen, and the ambulance is called quickly. The guy only has a broken hand and some other minor injuries, but the woman... she burned, and needs to have major surgery. She's rushed to a hospital where the medical corporation guys were discussing earlier - about a new kind of plastic surgery...

As the woman is badly injured, they use the new, radical plastical surgery technique. Taking skin from her upper leg, they created grafts from that skin, going back to something akin to stem-cell-research.

2 Months later... the woman is still not conscious.

One night thought, she wakes up screaming and flailing around. A guy comes to check for her, and she insists he stays as he wants to call the doctor... and complains that she is so cold and he is so warm. She hugs him... and he starts to scream, and blood starts to flow from under his arm. And she... she seems... excited.

Our female protagonist escapes from the hospital one night and chances upon a stable with lifestock in it. She hugs one of the animals, and ...something appears to happen. She seems to receive ...something, but it makes her sick and she throws up. Blood.

The story rolls on from that point - a typical Cronenberg movie. His visual style is arresting, as usual, the changes of focus, the simple, crisp pictures, the lingering shots... everything we know to expect from the Master. Yes, I adore Cronenberg far too much, just like Stuart Gordon and a few other directors.

Basically, Rabid is a movie about blood, changes in blood and changes in people. Physical and mental changes. Rose (our protagonist) is undergoing changes of a definitely weird nature - the skin graft on her arm grew into a penis-like feeding spike. It basically works like a vampiric feeding-device, like fangs or a sort of short tentacle to tear into people and suck their blood.
In turn, people who get... uhm... fed off by Rose turn into bloodthirsty, living vampire-beings. As the incidents spread, the media and police suspect rabies infecting the people involved. They have no idea that what they are facing is people changing into blood-feeding creatures, and that the cause is nothing but a young woman... that has changed in a grotesque, vampiric way (but without all the modern, 21st century vampire-"coolness" attached to it). Rose is a rather plain woman, has no special powers.

The "infected", on the other hand, degenerate more and more the longer they live, especially without nourishment. Some look like zombies.

Rose continues her spree through the US, feeding and infecting people with whatever it is that changed her into what she is now.

The pain of our protagonist is palpable in several scenes, as Need consumes her and she can't/doesn't feed on the human blood she needs.

Soon, the epidemic of infected people is getting out of hand. Martial Law is established, as it has turned out that the victims of the "rabies" are immune to medical intervention. Shooting them is as good as capturing them, because they will fall into a coma shortly after arrest (and being kept from feeding) and die soon. Surely it's more humane to shoot them before they reach this state?

It's amazingly brutal for a Cronenberg movie - compared to his other movies, there are lots of kills, some just for the sake of shedding more artificial blood (which looks remarkably realistic at times, and at times like pink goo). Kudos for that.

Te camera is outstanding, as is the editing. The use of body language and lighting and shadow are also professional - Cronenberg shows what he can do once again.

An atmospheric movie I can only recommend. Earns my stamp of approval.

8/10 ways of suffering because of something one doesn't understand

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