Plotline: A woman and her boyfriend get in a terrible motorcycle accident right near a plastic-surgery hospital. The doctor there rushes her into his hospital in hopes of saving her, does so, and then uses her to test out a new way of grafting skin onto humans. When she awakens, she has an insatiable hunger for human blood, and a strange, vaginal hole under her arm through which she feeds it. She soon finds out that her hunger is spreading something akin to an untreatable form of rabies, that makes people raving mad and willing to kill without a second thought.
Scariness factor: It has its moments.
Gross-Out Factor: Mostly aftermath-shots, but a few of people getting throats ripped out and stuff.
Complaints: This movie was kind of a zombie rip-off, without being a zombie film. The folks who get infected are essentially zombies, but they foam at the mouth a bit as well. Not all that original, albeit a bit creepy.
High Points: I'm a sucker for early Cronenberg horror-flicks, what can I say (The Brood, The Fly, etc.). And Rabid was pretty atypical early-Cronenberg: horror with (apparently?) a touch of social commentary. At times though, I'm a bit lost as to what Cronenberg is trying to say with his social topics--in this case, he was clearly trying to say something about plastic surgery, but what? Other than "if it goes haywire, perhaps you'll develop an insatiable hunger for blood?" Maybe just that plastic surgery alters us in a way that's less than human? I dunno. Sometimes I think he tries too hard to put that bit of commentary in there. Either which way, this movie (like most of his early stuff) is entertaining. The acting is a bit hammy at times, but overall, it keeps your attention throughout. And it has a nice, dark ending, sort of a head-nod to, say, Soylent Green or Night of the Living Dead. And as always, I'm a total sucker for horror movies about infection (by way of zombies, rabies, etc.) on a world/country-type scale, so it had that going for it as well.
Overall: Rent it. It's 90 minutes of entertainment. And it's 1970's-ish. And it's Cronenberg.
Labels: B movies