Rabid [1977]

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Marilyn Chambers, Frank Moore, Joe Silver, Howard Ryshpan, Patricia Gage
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 91 minutes

Kidnapped (aka Rabid Dogs), unreleased for over twenty years except in limited quantities during the '90s, clearly inspired Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs among other American gangster films. Three thugs hijack a car following their robbery, as the viewer discovers that the car's original drivers, Riccardo (Riccardo Cucciolla) and Maria (Lea Leander), have also just kidnapped a baby, held hostage in the backseat. While the nervous couple fights for the child's life, the thugs feud violently about how to handle upcoming run-ins with the law. Set entirely in the car, the film exudes claustrophobic anxiety. On the tail of the renowned Italian director's major boxset re-release, The Mario Bava Collection: Volume 1, Kidnapped) offers a filmic digression into reality from the Bava's beloved forays into fantasy and horror. Though not as cinematically imaginative, the suspense-building close-ups in Kidnapped) rival chiaroscuro moments in Black Sunday for amped up tension. As an experiment, Kidnapped feels like what has come to be known as classic Bava, though his vintage horror and fantasy films are more visually engaging. —Trinie Dalton

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