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Rabid

Year: 1977
Production Co: Famous Players Film Company
Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: David Cronenberg
Cast: Marilyn Chambers

Early Cronenberg that looks and moves like early Romero. The cheesy action, the telegraphed motivations, the seventies fashions and the windswept, wintry Midwest location were all very familiar. Unfortunately little of the distinctiveness of Dawn of the Dead rubs off on this fuzzy vampire/zombie hybrid from the king of body horror.

Porn starlet gone mainstream Marilyn Chambers and her overacting, dewey eyed boyfriend (who looks eerily like a very young Christopher Walken) are in a motorcycle crash not far from a cutting edge plastic surgery clinic. The doctors bring them in and perform miraculous skin grafting surgery to minise her injuries, but she remains in a coma. The boyfriend wakes up and eventually goes home after they promise him they'll call him if she ever wakes up.

When she does, she's suddenly unable to stomach normal food but finds herself craving blood. When the hunger gets too much she seeks out and turns on her cohabitants at the hospital, stabbing them with an appendage that emerges from a sphincter in her armpit (you think I'm joking) and drinking their blood through it.

After doing so, they rise again to become mindless, angry zombies who drool green slime and attack anyone they come across, spreading whatever virus they carry and turning Montreal into a locked down demilitarised zone as they multiply.

It's never clear where the blood sucking appendage comes from, or whether we're dealing with vampires, zombies or rabies, and because the story has a hard time struggling to stand up amid all-too-obvious dating, it needed a clearer mission statement to stand out. It's little more than a chase thriller with ill-defined monsters.

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