Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 8/13/98
1974 (1998) - Spera
Cinematografica (Lucertola Media)
review by Todd Doogan,
special to The Digital Bits
This is a tight and enjoyable road trip into the deepest, darkest
side of the human condition, and the ending will just blow you away.
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras):
The sound is mono, but nice. The video isn't as free of noise as
I'd like, but these extras -- they'll knock your socks off. Well
written and even more well researched, this is the work of some
people that respected Mario Bava as an artist.
Overall Rating: B-
It's a movie saved from obscurity and backed up with brilliant
extras. The print isn't all that, but we still get to see this
unbelievable film. Bravo.
96 mins, unrated, letterboxed widescreen (1.66:1), single-sided,
single layered, Amaray keep case packaging, essay by Tim Lucas on
Mario Bava, the film and the reconstruction, stills and original
poster reproductions, trailer, interactive menus, scene access (11
chapters), Italian (mono), English and German subtitles
Wow. That's all I have to say about this movie. Okay, fine -- I'm
lying. I'd never give up a chance to rattle on about a movie, so I
won't start with Rabid Dogs.
But still, wow. If anybody out there loves movies in general, loves
DVD and loves movies that grab on tight and won't let go -- you have
to buy this movie now. The back of the DVD says it best -- "Imagine
Quentin Tarantino remaking Last House On
The Left inside a speeding car". That summation is
quite appropriate, and yet it seems kind of vague -- isn't it.
Especially since some of you out there have no idea what Last
House Of The Left is. So I'll tell you: Last
House On The Left is from horror maestro Wes Craven. It's
about two young girls who are kidnapped, raped and murdered by two
escaped convicts and a woman. Apparently they do these horrifying
acts right next to the home of one of the girls, and when they go to
the house -- they find the girl's parents who enact a painful
revenge. Even if Rabid Dogs
seems more simplified, it's more than Last
House, and it's more than what Tarantino is capable of.
Although, if Tarantino wanted to make a few bucks, he could bang
this remake out in about three weeks with about a $100,000 budget.
Rabid Dogs is a tale told in
real time. Four lowlife criminals rob a bag of payroll cash from a
group of men. The cops are quick to get there so, smartly the
baddies run. Their driver gets shot and killed and their car is
destroyed. What's a group of psycho killers on the run to do? Take
hostages, that's what. And so they do. The rest of the movie takes
place, like the box says, inside a speeding car. In the car are:
Doc, the leader and a man who likes his eyewear. 32, the psycho
killer rapist type, who has a 32 centimeter, uh -- anyway, and Blade
-- the knife wielder of our psycho circus. Their victims are: a
crying woman named Maria who suffers endless torture at the hands of
32 and Blade, a sick child laying comatose in the back seat and a
scared man driving the car. The film is tightly wound and builds to
a shocking conclusion, that I won't spoil.
Directed by Mario Bava, the macabre mind who brought us Black
Sabbath and Diabolik,
Rabid Dogs is the only film
that Bava made that took place in the real world. It's also a film
that's lucky to be seeing the light of day. With the help of
Lucertola Media and the Video Watchdog
himself Tim Lucas, we can all (or at least those of us with DVD
players) witness a mean spirited and well-rounded caper film. It's
great to see a movie that you know nothing about, and no one else
does either. This is a virgin flick, and it was a joy to witness it
unfold. Recently saved from never being seen by one of it's lead
stars (Lea Lander who played Maria), Rabid
Dogs is being seen for the first time since it was
competed almost 25 years ago. There's another "Wow!" for
On DVD, it's quality is even par. There is compression noise
throughout the film, not as much as say Anchor Bay's Halloween
or any of the other Anchor Bay titles, but enough to be noticeable.
Not distracting mind you, but noticeable. The extras more than make
up for it -- they are a film lovers dream. Every aspect of the film
is covered -- its history, the history of its cast and crew, even
the history of its reconstruction are listed in a heavy essay
section. Written by Lucas, it explains his involvement and his
wishes for the audience. It's nicely written, and my hat goes off to
this fine researcher and fellow Bava fan. The sound is a straight
mono and it's crisp and clear. No problem, but then again no big
Like Ganga and Hess, Rabid
Dogs is a movie that only DVD viewers can get. It's also
an example of the great service being done with DVD. Here's a movie,
that if it wasn't saved and put out on DVD, might never have been
seen by audiences. DVD owners are a lucky bunch, and we owe it to
these smaller companies like All Day and the German Lucertola Media.
Viva lost classics. Viva DVD.
THIS DISC IS CURRENTLY
OUT OF PRINT.