Monday, December 20, 2010

Rabid Dogs (1974)

Director: Mario Bava

Starring: Riccardo Cucciolla, Don Backy, Lea Lander, Maurice Poli, George Eastman

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Lock the doors, roll up the windows, and buckle up ... for the ride of your life!

Plot: Following a bungled robbery, three violent criminals take a young woman, a middle-aged man, and a child hostage and force them to drive them outside Rome to help them make a clean getaway.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah.

This film has an interesting history. During the final stages of production, the film was seized by courts when the producer went bankrupt. It stayed tied up in legalities until 1996 and the film was completed and released a year later. The director, Bava, died in 1980 having never seen the completed film or any audience reaction. Fortunately it was finished and released for the world to see. It's a very interesting, tight and brutal film. The robbers are ruthless and will stop at nothing to escape and by the time it's over you're exhausted.

Though there are a few stops along the journey, most of the film is confined to the interior of the car which means dialogue and performances are crucial. Stelvio Cipriani's tense score is very appropriate and effective. And the ending! WOW! HOLY FUCKING SHIT! KICK ME SQUARE IN THE NUTS! It's one of my favorite endings of all time. There's no way you're gonna see it coming. It's not a cheat, either, so don't think it's going to be like a typical Giallo picture. No. It's balls-out insanely awesome! But the key is investing yourself in these characters for 96 minutes with no breaks, no disturbances - just completely letting yourself get involved with these people will make the ending feel like a sucker punch to the guts.

It's on Netflix as KIDNAPPED. There are two versions. The one I saw (I have the R2 DVD of the original cut only) and one Bava's son re-cut, changed the ending and music. From what I understand the new cut is an abomination for anyone who has seen the original. You've been warned. Avoid all spoilers before seeing the original cut.

No comments:

Post a Comment