|Directed by||David Cronenberg|
|Produced by||John Dunning
|Written by||David Cronenberg|
|Editing by||Jean LaFleur|
|Distributed by||Cinépix Film Properties Inc.,
New World Pictures
|Release dates||April 8, 1977|
|Running time||91 minutes|
Rabid is a 1977 Canadian horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg. It features Marilyn Chambers in the lead role, supported by Frank Moore, 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 rabid zombies, whose bite spreads the disease.
The film has had mostly mixed reviews and received a rating of 65% on Rotten Tomatoes.
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 before the outbreak can be contained.
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). 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.
The film was released theatrically in the United States by New World Pictures in 1977. 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. The DVD itself was re-released again in a Special Edition version by E1 Entertainment in 2004. All home video releases have since gone out of print.