Tuesday, 30 August 2011



This is a difficult film to put into any kind of context, as it's the first ever Israeli horror movie - specifically a slasher/comedy in which the slasher is the only person who doesn't actually kill anyone. More than anything else it's a black farce in which a bunch of disparate characters run around the woods getting involved in each other's problems but without knowing precisely what's going on. It's a bit of a curious mix of character comedy and crunchy violence.

Rabies actually starts with a girl caught in a killer's trap in the middle of the forest and her brother running off to fetch help. He's hit by a car with four college tennis players inside; the boys go into the woods while the girls wait for the police. Meanwhile the killer has retrieved his captive but is then disabled by a passing wildlife ranger. Elsewhere, a couple of cops have arrived, but one is more interested in patching up his domestic relationship and the other is solely intent on sexually harassing the two girls in their tennis skirts. Back in the woods, the brother has spotted the ranger rescuing the sister but thinks it's the killer. And the two tennis boys are fighting. And there's a minefield.

It's one of those movies for which "interesting" is probably the best word: we just don't have anything to compare it to. It's not massively funny (there is a very traditional bit of "at 3800 shekels a week I should worry" Jewish humour towards the end but it's the only obviously comedic moment in the film), but the plot is perfectly well worked out and it is generally quite well done. Worth a look, but it really isn't a masterpiece.


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