RABID (1977)Label: Scream Factory
Region Code: A
Duration: 91 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA Mono with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.66:1)
Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Susan Roman, Frank Moore, Howard Ryshpan, Joe Silver, Marilyn Chambers, Patricia Gage
Rabid feels like a next step movie for Cronenberg following Shivers, the canvas is larger, the story has a bit more depth and while the gore is somewhat minimal there is plenty of troubling imagery to keep your pulse rate up, including the police gunning down a rabid Santa at the local mall in front of the kids.. something which think Charles Band may have borrowed for his Trancers movie. There's a scene of Dr. Keloid who has becomes infected who goes rabid during a surgical procedure, slicing off the finger of his nurse before gnawing on his anesthetized surgical patient. Rabid is certainly gruesome, but is also has a lot going on beyond what the infected epidemic premise would seem to offer, even these early Cronenberg movies had more on their mind than simple body-horror, which it has plenty of, but they're also thought provoking and this has held remarkably well through the years.
Audio/Video: I now own three versions of David Cronenberg's Rabid (1977) on Blu-ray and I think i can accurately say without too much hyperbole that Scream Factory have knocked this one out of the park with a brand new 2K scan from straight from the original camera negative with a new color-timing. They've also gone and re framed it in director Cronenberg's preferred aspect ratio of 1.66 which along with the new transfer sets this apart from both the Arrow Video and Via Vision Blu-ray HD releases. The new color grading is solid, colors look richer and skin tones look natural, the black levels are improved and the image has a more pleasing clarity. Audio comes by way of an English DTS-HD MA Mono track with optional English subtitles about it with nicely managed grain. Levels are good and solid, the dialogue, score and special effects comes through with a nice clarity, everything is nicely balanced.
Scream Factory do not carry-over all the Arrow extras, notably absent is the fantastic Cinepix doc, an interview with makeup man Joe Blasco, and the 1998 do The Directors with David Cronenberg. This doc can also be found on the region-free Via Vision release along with the archival Cronenberg interview, and the David Cronenberg commentary.
Scream Factory have also put their own stamp on Rabid with the inclusion of two new and exclusive extras, beginning with an audio interview with author Jill C. Nelson (Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema, 1968-1985) and Marilyn Chambers’ personal appearances manager Ken Leicht which can be found on the audio set-up menu and can be played much like a commentary while watching the film. The track is very informative and covers a lot of ground. I did not have a real understanding of the scope of her career, so this was a great track for someone like myself.
- NEW 2K scan from the negative at the director David Cronenberg’s preferred aspect ratio (1.66:1)
-NEW audio interview with author Jill C. Nelson (Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema, 1968-1985) and Marilyn Chambers’ personal appearances manager Ken Leicht
- NEW Young and Rabid – an interview with actress Susan Roman (33 mins)
- Audio Commentary with writer-director David Cronenberg
- Audio Commentary with William Beard, author of The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg
-Archival interview with David Cronenberg (21 mins)
- Interview with executive producer Ivan Reitman (13 mins)
- Interview with co-producer Don Carmody (16 mins)
- From Stereo to Video – A video essay by Caelum Vatnsdal, author of They Came from Within: A History of Canadian Horror Cinema (26 mins)
- Theatrical Trailer (2 mins)
- TV Spot (1 min)
- Radio Spots (U.S. and U.K.) (2 mins)
- Still Gallery (6 mins)
Scream Factory's Blu-ray of David Cronenberg's Rabid is wonderful, the new 2K transfer from the original negative is the best looking version of the movie I have seen and if you're region-locked or just want the one release with the best A/V presentation then this is the one to own. Compared to the Arrow Video release this might be marginally light on extras but Scream Factory offer a nice selection of extras and what I consider to be the definitive transfer.