Rabid Dogs (1974)

After the heist of the payment of the employees of a chemical industry where the treasurer and a security guard are murdered, the driver of the runaway car of the criminals Dottore (Maurice Poli), Bisturi (Don Backy) and Trentadue (Luigi Montefiori) is shot and a bullet hits the gas tank. The car runs out of gas and the trio is forced to run to the parking lot of a mall where they kill one woman and kidnap her friend Maria (Lea Lander) and use her car to escape from the police. They are chased by the police but they carjack the car of the middle-aged Riccardo (Riccardo Cucciolla), who is driving his unconscious ill son to the hospital for an emergency surgery. They force the calm RIccardo to drive them out of the city using secondary roads to escape from the blocks in the highway. During the trip, the tension increases but Riccardo and Dottore manage to control the situation until an unexpected conclusion.

“Rabid Dogs” is a masterpiece of tension and suspense of Mario Bava. The immediate association that I made was with the famous Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” that is visibly inspired in this movie, but less realistic and tense. This is the first time that I have seen “Rabid Dogs” and the dialogs and situations are still very impressive; imagine thirty-five years ago the impact of this movie. The claustrophobic location inside a car where most of this feature was shot transmits the horror of Maria with the cruelty and sadism of Bisturi (that means scalpel and not blade) and Trentadue. The final twist is totally unexpected but makes a perfect sense to the plot. Now I intend to see the restored version “Kidnapped” also available on the DVD

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