Rabid Dogs (1974)
Dir: Mario Bava
The high stakes robbery of a pharmaceutical company payroll quickly goes sour for the four men responsible. Doc, Thirty-two, and Stilleto find themselves in hot water after their driver is killed during a getaway chase. Quickly adapting to their new situation, it is decided to car-jack an innocent man and his son. With their new hostages, it seems like the group is going to get away clean. As long as the robbers can maintain in control of both the hostages, and their own tempers, they have a shot at a clean getaway. Only the longer these three radically different criminal minds stay in the same company, the closer the hostages get to escape.
Being Mario Bava's last, and ultimately only unfinished film "Rabid Dogs" it is superisingly potent, graphic, and intense. Once the fast paced action of the robbery takes place things slow down greatly, and become a much more personal affair. The tone is similar to a combination of Italian crime drama, and last house on the left. While Mario Bava is famous for his epic Italian gothic horror films, it was this his final film where he finally took a plunge into a modern genre. Unfortunately Bava senior passed away, and the film was whisked away only to be locked away for many years. Overall, it has a great 70's tone though, tight scoring, and tons of gritty atmosphere and violence. Great innovative film set, as it was filmed almost entirely inside an actual car. Maintains through giallo genre elements Bava's long held tradition of making complex giallo films. Scenic locations shine, but it's the savage criminal minds in "Rabid Dogs" that will haunt the viewers memory. For those who are curious, Lamberto Bava's Kidnapped re-edit is digraceful trash, and loses all impact.
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