Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Rabid "Collector's Edition" [Blu-ray]


(David Cronenberg, 1977)



Arrow (UK) has a Blu-ray:

and a Steelbook Blu-ray edition available in Region 'B':


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Canadian Film Development Corporation (CFDC)

Video: Shout! Factory



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:30:52.405

Disc Size: 46,116,115,337 bytes

Feature Size: 26,202,138,624 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 22nd, 2016



Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1806 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1806 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio Commentaries:
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1712 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1712 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1647 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1647 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Interview with Nelson and Leicht

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1566 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1566 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English, none



• 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 (58:01)
• NEW Young and Rabid – an interview with actress Susan Roman (33:06)
• 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 (20:36)
• Interview with executive producer Ivan Reitman (12:28)
• Interview with co-producer Don Carmody (15:37)
From Stereo to Video – A video essay by Caelum Vatnsdal, author of They Came from Within: A History of Canadian Horror Cinema (26:23)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:09) and TV Spot (0:32)
• Radio Spots (U.S. and U.K. - 1:38)
• Still Gallery (5:49)





Description: With Rabid, acclaimed director David Cronenberg (The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch) delivers a high-tension thriller filled with "zombified sluts and shock moments... an irresistible combination that Cronenberg handles well", (Almar Haflidason, BBC)!

After undergoing radical emergency surgery, Rose (former adult film star Marilyn Chambers in her first leading role in a mainstream film) develops an insatiable desire for blood. She searches out victims to satisfy her incurable craving, infecting them with an unknown disease which in turn swiftly drives them insane... and makes them equally bloodthirsty.

Follow the lovely but deadly Rose through her terrifying ordeal as victim by victim, the spreading circle of casualties grows... until no one can escape their grisly fate of becoming... Rabid.



The Film:

Between the dark sexual violence of Shivers and the cult horror success of Scanners and The Brood, Rabid is the film that really launched the career of David Cronenberg. Although the story it tells is nothing remarkable, the director's startling visual imagination emerges here at its finest, a low budget forcing inventive camerawork where he would later come to rely more of special effects. The effects here are crude but still work well, never pushing their limits too hard. The result is a film that may seem slight but will grab your attention and linger in your memory for a long time afterwards.

Porn star Marilyn Chambers, suitably fragile and distant-looking in her vacant way, is Rose, a young woman who barely survives a terrible accident. She is saved by 'experimental' plastic surgery (foreshadowing
Dead Ringers) which does the job but leaves her with a strange, secret mutation, a new organ with which she longs to penetrate the bodies of others, thirsting for their blood. Frightened and disorientated, she is at once desperately vulnerable (especially to the sexual predation of the men who meet her when she flees) and a newly formed predator herself; as the narrative unfolds she becomes a better survivor, new instincts taking over, but at the expense of her humanity.

Excerpt from EyeForFilm located HERE

As a maker of sci-fi/horror movies, Cronenberg seems obsessed with the links between sex and violence as well as the Body Snatchers theme of a possessed community. His earlier combination of the two strains in Shivers was too mechanically lurid and derivative to be very effective, but Rabid is far more successful. This time Cronenberg has opened up his story so that it literally portrays the panic and slow devastation of a whole Canadian city: a new strain of rabies reduces its victims to foaming murderous animals, and Cronenberg examines the mysterious sexual agency behind the plague with bewitching ambiguity. Rabid is also far better staged than its predecessor, and the best scenes, including one classic episode in a chicken takeaway, are pitched ingeniously between shock and parody, never quite succumbing to farce. None of the other recent apocalypse movies has shown so much political or cinematic sophistication.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Rabid looks solid on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory. It is described as a "NEW 2K scan from the negative at the Director David Cronenberg’s preferred aspect ratio" - which appears to be 1.66:1. The 1080P visuals have a very '70's' and 'Canadian' feel to them but the detail, colors and contrast really feel spot-on. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate. I see depth, noticeable grain texture, and no damage or digitization. A few scenes may lean teal-blue but I did not find it impinging on my viewing. There are no overtly complain-able flaws and the transfer produces what appears to be a very authentic video presentation. Thumbs up!

















Audio :

Shout! Factory use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1806 kbps (24-bit) and it sounds authentic - I would suppose the modest mixing to be akin to the original production with some depth present - it's the best I have ever heard the film sound, although imperfect by modern standards. There is score, described on MUBI; "Brian Bennett's piece of music used in Cronenberg's film is hypnotic, unnerving, minimal, and with just a whisper of cold, sterile futurism." An apt tribute to the subtleties of the music that push the eerie-ness and suspense to higher levels. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.


Extras :

In a word "stacked" with audio commentaries; writer-director David Cronenberg (found on previous digital editions), a second by William Beard, author of The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg, and he gives some intelligent comparisons to Cronenberg's other films. Not a complete commentary has Jill Nelson (Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema, 1968-1985) and Marilyn Chambers’ personal appearances manager Ken Leicht (producer at Cavetown Pictures) share an audio-only interview that plays for an hour of the film and they give a decent background with anecdotes for Chambers, although there could be much more. All good. There are news interviews with actress Susan Roman ('Mindy Kent' in the film) - for over 1/2 and hour - entitled Young and Rabid, a 20-minutes archival interview with David Cronenberg plus interviews with executive producer Ivan Reitman and a separate one with co-producer Don Carmody - both around 1/4 of an hour. From Stereo to Video is a video essay, produced by Arrow, by Caelum Vatnsdal, author of They Came from Within: A History of Canadian Horror Cinema and it runs a highly interesting 26-minutes. Lastly are an original theatrical trailer, TV and Radio Spots for the film, plus a 6-minute slideshow stills gallery.



This early Cronenberg work is pretty raw - which is part of its appeal. Although I always liked Rabid and found it curious, I appreciated it significantly more after the commentaries and visual essay. There are some adept signature touches in this less-polished work that definitely post-evoke his future efforts. I think he remains a fascinating filmmaker. The Shout! Factory Blu-ray produces a fine presentation - and extensive extras. There is a ton of value here for the price - even if you are only a middling Cronenberg fan. This may fully convert you. We give this a very strong recommendation! Great job Shout! Factory! 

Gary Tooze

January 6th, 2017


Arrow (UK) has a Blu-ray:

and a Steelbook Blu-ray edition available in Region 'B':


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






Hit Counter












DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!