Cinema as a sustained bout of fever, a melancholy defense of Pandora, a world getting forcibly acquainted with new desires and new diseases. The pestilent aftermath is nothing but a quiet gray morning where the heroine is literally thrown in the trash, T.S. Eliot’s "heap of broken images."
Throughout its running time, Rabid works on such a primitive and lyrically allegorical level that we move along with it – curious and horrified and titillated to see where it will go. It’s funny and sad and absurd and a little bit of a turn on, too – which seems strange. But maybe not. Cronenberg does not judge.
By reveling in the underbelly, Cronenberg shows that even respectable public spaces are a breath away from chaos. In one sequence, Rose hits the mall, a lurid, neon-Christmas rush... Cronenberg did more than anyone to make Canada cool, not by creating something new, but by teasing out the dark waves that already color the country. It’s cold up here, and spooky. Cronenberg’s gift in Rabid is exposing just how spooky.