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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
Cinematography René Verzier
Editing by Jean LaFleur
Distributed by Cinépix Film Properties Inc.,
New World Pictures
Release date(s) April 8, 1977
Running time 91 min.
Country Canada
Language English

Rabid is a 1977 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.



Cronenberg has 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.[1]

Plot summary

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 her every victim 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.


  1. ^ Cronenberg, David. (2004). Rabid. [DVD]. Somerville House.  

See also

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