Rabid DVD Review
It's wonderful what David Cronenberg could achieve with antacid tablets, adult film actresses and enough blush to make a corpse, well, blush.
A girl (Marilyn Chambers) and her boyfriend are involved in a motorcycle accident. The girl is injured seriously enough to slip into a coma. She also needs a skin graft which turns out to cause more trouble than she had anticipated. She wakes up with a phallic underarm appendage that can drain cows, grown men and nubile girls who slip and fall into a jacuzzi of their blood. Talk about a Freudian slip. Suddenly, medical aid paying out is not her only concern.
But that's not all. After being sucked dry by Marilyn Chambers (not in the usual adult actress fun way but in the her underarm schlong attached itself to my neck and sucked my blood dry kind of way. Don't you hate it when that happens?), the victims start foaming antacid tablets at the mouth. They also become covered in blush. Lots of blush. The only logical conclusion for a film of this kind is to let nearly everyone turn into catatonic zombies who spew antacid tablet foam and try to cover everyone else in blush.
When one considers the budget, this film is simply incredible. All the practice Marilyn Chambers had with breathing heavily and contorting her face while faking orgasms in pornographic films proved to be quite suitable to horror films. She makes a fine lead actress and carries the film well.
Her boyfriend spends some guy time in his garage fixing his bike while listening to some of the most porno music I've ever heard. It sounds like French disco funk and it's nearly as unsettling as the contorting faces and the antacid tablet foam.
The murder/love scenes provide a flash-forward to Cronenberg's unnerving kind of erotica he would explore in more detail with Crash. This has to be the most unnerving kind of erotica this side of Asian tentacle porn. Cronenberg must be one sick puppy.
Campy, low budget in the B-grading way and with enough fake blood and gratuitous boob shots to keep any goremeister enthralled. Not quite as epic as Dagon, not quite as classy as The Addiction and thankfully not as silly as Devil's Nightmare. One of my top ten horror films made to date.