Soska Twins to Direct Remake of David Cronenberg’s ‘Rabid’
Apparently, hosting duties on the horror game show Hellevator (which is a real thing, and very silly) haven’t kept Jen and Sylvia Soska sufficiently busy. The twin-sister directorial team behind the gruesome body-horror nightmare American Mary have now taken on a new feature project that’ll play to their penchant for mutilating flesh. In American Mary, a med student hard up for cash takes work performing black-market body modification surgeries. (In the most disturbing scene, the Soskas themselves appear as a pair of twins who wish to be sewed together and made conjoined.) Variety reported last night that the sister-act filmmakers will explore similar territory with a remake of David Cronenberg’s early-period triumph Rabid.
Originally released in 1977, the film starred Marilyn Chambers — then attempting to make the move from pornography to slightly more reputable fare — as a woman disfigured in a motorcycle accident and badly in need of plastic surgery. A typically Cronenbergian quack doctor grafts some tissue here and some tissue there with a cubist’s abandon and in short order, Chambers’ character develops a vaguely phallic stinger in an orifice hidden under her armpit. Firmly in the grip of madness, she amasses an army of undead slaves by stinging them and afflicting them with a rabies-like condition, which they can then pass onto others via bite. Part zombie movie, part body-horror freak show, all feat of DIY ingenuity for a man working on a shoestring budget.
Rabid is held in high esteem around cult-horror circles, and the Soskas expressed as much in a quote for Variety:
The work of David Cronenberg is legendary and Rabid is much more than just a horror movie. The real message of his film is powerful, and even more pivotal as we look at the world around us today. It’s an honor to be involved in this love letter to his original, which we handle with the same respect as Paul Schrader’s Cat People, Alexandre Aja’s The Hills Have Eyes and John Carpenter’s The Thing.
Heartening words these may be, Jen and Sylvia Soska have a weighty task ahead of them. They’ll have to do right by their homeland of Canada, by horror fans, and by Cronenbrg himself.