When beautiful Rose (adult film star Marilyn Chambers) is badly injured in a motorcycle crash, Dr Keloid, who is in the process of developing a revolutionary new type of skin graft, seizes the opportunity to test out his as yet unproven methods. The surgery appears successful and Rose seems restored to full health. But all is not as it should be – Rose has been transformed into a contagious blood-sucker, endowed with a bizarre, needle-like protrusion in her armpit with which she drains the blood from those unfortunate enough to be in her vicinity…
An important landmark in the early career of Canadian director David Cronenberg, 1977’s Rabid sees the director returning to the viral theme of his earlier work, Shivers (1975), but on a much larger (and more assured) scale – where the infection has shifted from the confines of a single apartment block to the expansive shopping centres and motorways of Canada’s second largest city.
The Arrow Films & Video Release
Rabid has been digitally restored in HD by Lionsgate using materials supplied by the Toronto International Festival group, and appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 with mono 1.0 sound. The restoration was undertaken by Technicolor in Toronto and included colour grading; picture clean-up, new sound elements and credits. Available on dual format (Blu-ray and DVD) from Arrow Video, and in a SteelBook format. This new edition marks the Blu-ray world premiere for Rabid.
The extra features include audio commentaries with director David Cronenberg and author William Beard; interviews with director Ivan Reitman and producer Don Carmody; two featurettes – Make-up Memories, with make-up artist Joe Blasco, and Raw, Rough and Rabid: The Lacerating Legacy of Cinépix, on the Canadian production company, as well as the 1999 documentary episode The Directors on Cronenberg.
The collector’s booklet features Kier-La Janisse’s cultural studies essay Plastic Surgery Disaster: Rabid, the October Crisis and the Pathological Body Politic, reprinted excerpts of A Biologically Correct Vampiress from 1992’s Cronenberg on Cronenberg, and a 2005 interview with Marilyn Chambers by Callum Waddell. The reversible sleeve features new cover art by Nat Marsh.