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File:Rabid theatrical poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by David Cronenberg
Produced by John Dunning
Ivan Reitman
Written by David Cronenberg
Starring Marilyn Chambers
Frank Moore
Joe Silver
Howard Ryshpan
Patricia Gage
Susan Roman
Ronald Mlodzik
Cinematography René Verzier
Edited by Jean LaFleur
Distributed by Cinépix Film Properties Inc.,
New World Pictures
Release dates
April 8, 1977
Running time
91 minutes
Country Canada
United States[1]
Language English

Rabid is a 1977 Canadian-American drama horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg. It features Marilyn Chambers in the lead role, supported by Howard Ryshpan, Joe Silver and Robert A. Silverman.

Chambers plays a woman who, after being injured in a motorcycle accident and undergoing a surgical operation, develops an orifice under one of her armpits. The orifice hides a phallic stinger that she uses to feed on people's blood. Those she feeds upon become infected, whose bite spreads the disease.


A critically injured woman, victim of a motorcycle accident, is taken to the plastic surgery clinic of Doctor Dan Keloid, where some of her intact tissue is treated to become morphogenetically neutral. The tissue is grafted to fire-damaged areas of her body in the hope that it will differentiate and replace the damaged skin and organs.

The woman's body unexpectedly accepts the transplants, developing an orifice under an armpit, within which hides a phallic stinger. She uses it to feed on the blood of other people and afterwards erasing their memories of the incident.

It soon is apparent that every victim whom she infects transforms into a rabid zombie whose bite spreads the disease. This eventually causes the city to fall into chaos.


Cronenberg stated that he wanted to cast Sissy Spacek in the film lead, but the studio vetoed his choice because of her accent. Spacek's film Carrie was released during this film's production and proved to be a massive hit (and a movie poster for the film appears when the main character walks by a movie theater).[2] The director says that the idea of casting Chambers came from producer Ivan Reitman, who had heard that Chambers was looking for a mainstream role. Reitman felt that it would be easier to market the film in different territories if the well-known porn star portrayed the main character. Cronenberg stated that Chambers put in a lot of hard work on the film and that he was impressed with her. Cronenberg further states he had not seen Chambers' most well-known film, Behind the Green Door, prior to casting her.[3]


Rabid was released theatrically in the United States by New World Pictures in 1977.[4] It was given a home video release on VHS cassette by Warner Home Video in 1983. The film was later re-released on DVD by New Concorde Home Entertainment in 2000.[5] The DVD itself was re-released again in a Special Edition version by E1 Entertainment in 2004.[6] All home video releases have since gone out of print. The film was released on dual format Blu-ray Disc/DVD by Arrow Video in the UK in February 16, 2015.[7]


It currently has a rating of 67% on film review website Rotten Tomatoes from a rating average of 6/10 based on 14 reviews.[8]


The Soska Sisters, the directing duo behind Dead Hooker In A Trunk, American Mary and See No Evil 2, came on board to direct a remake of the film with producers Paul Lalonde and Michael Walker along with John Vidette’s Somerville House Releasing to produce a feature film and television series to the film. The remake currently has a 2017 release planned.

See also


  1. "Rabid". American Film Institute. Retrieved 31 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Cronenberg, David (2004). "Rabid". Somerville House.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Cronenberg, David (2004). Rabid (DVD). Somerville House.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Company Credits for Rabid". imdb.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Rabid: The Director's Series". dvdempire.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Rabid: Special Edition". dvdempire.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Arrow Video's "RABID" Blu". dvdempire.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Rabid (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 10 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links