Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 2nd, 2005
|Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1974
Director: Mario Bava
Writers: Cesare Frugoni, Alessandro Parenzo
Cast: Riccardo Cucciolla, Maurice Poli, Lea Lander, Luigi Montefiori, Aldo Caponi
|Approximate running time:||96 minutes||93 minutes|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.66:1 non-Anamorphic Widescreen||1.85:1 non-Anamorphic Widescreen|
|Sound:||Dolby Digital mono Italian with English subtitles||Dolby Digital mono Italian & German with no English subtitles|
|DVD Release:||Lucertola Media||Astro Records and Filmworks|
|Region Coding:||Region 0 NTSC||Region
Lucertola Media’s Region 0 NTSC DVD/Playback Frame: 720×540
Astro records and Filmwork’s Region 0 PAL DVD/Playback Frame: 768×576
The Film :
Four criminals pull off a daring daylight bank robber and in the process of getting away from the police the driver of the getaway car is killed which leads to the other three men finding other transportation. The police corner the men in parking garage and when they kill one of two women they are holding hostage they police stand down which allows them to get away once again. To further elude the police the trio decides too switch cars at the next traffic light which places them in a car with Riccardo who is taking his sick son who lays in the backseat to the hospital. What unfolds next is a hellish road trip that will claim a few of the passengers’ lives before all is said and done.
The Lucertola Media release has muted colors and the image lack clarity at times. Besides these two setbacks the overall transfer in pretty good shape as there is no noticeable print damage or problems with compression. Astro Records and Filmworks release restores the colors to there full vibrancy and there is an exceptional amount of detail present in every frame. This release also offers more information on the sides then what was present on the Lucertola Media DVD.
The Lucertola Media release comes with only one audio option the films original Italian language track. There are no problems with hiss or distortion as the audio source appears to have been cleaned up. Despite some minor drop outs the overall quality of this audio track is slightly better then average. English subtitles have been included and because they are smaller in size they might not be as easy to follow as they blend into the background at times. Astro Records and Filmworks release comes with two audio options the films original Italian language track and a German audio track. Both are presented in a Dolby Digital mono that is in pretty good shape considering the limitations of a mono source. There are no problems with hiss or distortion and overall the audio for this release sounds better then the audio track used for the Lucertola Media DVD. One major flaw in the Astro Records and Filmworks release is that it doesn’t come with any English subtitles.
Extras for the Lucertola Media release include Bios/Filmographies for Mario Bava, Lea Lander, Maurice Poli, Riccardo Cucciolla and Luigi Montefiori (George Eastman). Other extras include a trailer for the film and a four page piece titled “About the film” written by Peter Blumenstock. This extra gives an interesting overall about the troubles during and after the film was completed. Rounding out the extras is “Rabid Dogs: The Ironic Eye of Mario Bava” written by Tim Lucas who gives a insightful overall about Mario Bava and his films condensed over 13 pages. Extras for the Astro Records and Filmworks release include a trailer for the film and a photo gallery that includes about twenty pictures. Other extras include the films original opening and closing credits as well as opening credits that were used for the region 1 Lucertola Media DVD. Rounding out the extras is a text piece about the film that is in German. Both releases offer an interesting array of extras with the slight edge going to Lucertola Media release.
Rabid Dogs is one of Mario Bava’s most elusive and coveted titles. Both of these releases have their shortcomings with the slight edge going to the Lucertola Media DVD for including English subtitles and until a definitive release comes along it will remain the only way to watch Rabid Dogs in English.