I never know what to expect from low budget horror films but when I heard I was reviewing Rabid Love, I had to watch the trailer. I was pumped because it looked like a lot of fun. Outside of that trailer, though, I couldn’t find much information on the film besides the cover art, which is great, featuring babes, guns, and a hairy guy with goggles and metal claws on his hands. How could it go wrong?
A group of recent college grads decide to go on one last summer vacation in 1984. Relationships are hot and heavy, but suddenly one of them is infected with a super rabies virus, and now they are forced into full survival mode. It’s a pretty typical plot for this style of film, and the characters are developed for almost 45 minutes before the plot really kicks in, so you get to like them or hate them, and trust me you’ll hate at least one of the characters.
The acting is pretty average all around. Not a single actor stands out but one of the girls, Summer (played by Hannah Landberg). She has a scene talking to her friend outside the cabin that has obviously been redubbed for whatever reason, but she gives a completely lifeless performance in that scene. So much so that it sticks out despite how bland everyone else is.
The film has a rather small budget, and the budget is most obvious when it comes to the kills, which all either happen off-screen, or are quick cuts, and random blood all over. That’s the biggest let down for me with this film: the gore just isn’t as strong or believable as it should be. The kills are all very stilted, and never give us a “money shot”. Speaking of, there is only one single butt shot in the entire movie. There are no boobs, or other sexy moments, which is a total bummer for this type of film.
Rabid Love offers a lot of promise with the idea, but it just falls apart in the end because it doesn’t play into the strengths of the genre. The weird rabies plotline takes a back seat until the finale, and then it feels like a really bad werewolf film. There are a few solid scenes sprinkled throughout, but not enough to make me fully recommend this film. Rabid Love just barely misses the mark on everything the horror genre is about.
The Rabid Love DVD offers stereo sound, and while it’s rather clear, the dialogue was pretty low when compared to the rock music. The DVD also offers no subtitles, which should be a no-no this day and age.
The film is presented in 16:9 Widescreen. It fit my display settings perfectly. The film is grainy, but that’s because it is rolling with the ‘80s theme of low color, and mild grain.
There are three types of special features offered on this DVD release. First up are Outtakes, which are all pretty bad as none made me laugh. There are 8-minutes worth, though, so there’s plenty of them.
Next up is Slates, which is 7-minutes of slates. However, they use horror titles for each take, so it’s more amusing than the outtakes, and while an odd choice for a special feature, it’s fun.
The meat of the special features is Haylsbellztv: On-set Vlogs by Hayley Derryberry. It offers 6 “episodes”, which range from one to three minutes in length. It’s neat seeing the journey through a low-end camera, and her trying to perfect the blood recipe had me giggling. Definitely worth watching if you’ve gotten any enjoyment out of the film.
This DVD was released by Midnight Releasing on March 4, 2014. Rabid Love (2013) was directed by Paul J. Porter, and written by Hayley Derryberry and Paul J. Porter. The film is 93 minutes in length, and is not rated.