Rabid Dogs represents the only directorial teaming of the great Mario Bava and his son Lamberto, and it also represents a huge diamond in both directors' filmography. Mario Bava is probably most famous for his work on ...展开Gothic horror masterpieces such as Black Sabbath and Black Sunday, while Lamberto Bava made his name with trashy Giallo's such as A Blade in the Dark, and schlock horror the likes of Devilfish. Rabid Dogs, however, is a crime come exploitation flick, and even though this sort of film isn't either man's forte; it's still hands down one of the best movies of its kind. The film works principally because of the way the director's set up the situation and characters. The central plot is really rather thin, but anyone describing the film as 'deep' wouldn't be wrong, and it's down to the way the directors embellish it. The plot follows three criminals who, after botching a robbery, kidnap a woman, a man and his sick child hostage in the man's car, where they instruct him to drive them to safety. However, it's not going to be a smooth ride as tensions heat up between the guilty and innocent inside the car.
The way that the characters are set up is masterful, and it's thanks to this that the film works so well. After a while, we begin to be able to see the sorts of decisions that the characters are going to make, and the way that they're all so different ensures the action is always interesting. The vast majority of this movie is set inside a car, and Bava makes best use of his claustrophobic location and uses it well in order to rack up the tension. While Mario Bava is responsible for some of Italy's best horror films, it has to be said that a lot of them aren't all that 'nasty' - but here there is an exception. The director seems to delight in the shocking violence and ritual humiliation inflicted upon his lead characters, and several tense scenes are likely to shock and disturb the viewer. Even though the film doesn't have a lot of variation between its scenes, Bava manages to keep it interesting through the relentless pace and the intelligent dialogue between the lead characters. It all boils down to a superb ending, which while not entirely impossible to guess, does succeed in providing a nice shock. I had a rather difficult time tracking down this film - but it really was worth it, and I recommend every Bava fan do the same!