Movie fans quite often overlook Canadian films. But for decades Canadian films have had a great impact on every genre with intelligent, brilliantly made stories that would far exceed people’s expectations if they would give them a chance. Canada has produced some of the best directors of all time with the likes of David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Don McKellar, Sarah Polley, Denis Villeneuve, Deepa Mehta, Bruce McDonald, James Cameron, Norman Jewison, Ivan Reitman, Paul Haggis, and Mary Harron. Quebec has been a strong force in film as well with many high profile and well respected films coming out of it such as Jesus of Montreal, Bon Cop Bad Cop, The Barbarian Invasions, Les Boys, Starbuck, and many more. This month Shout Factory releases a new film from Quebec that is the debut feature from director Éric Hannezo, Rabid Dogs.
A remake of the 1974 Mario Bava film of the same name, Rabid Dogs centers around three criminals, Sabri (Guillaume Gouix), Vincent (Francois Arnaud) and Manu (Franck Gastambide) who flee a botched bank robbery with three hostages in tow, a model and a man with a sick daughter on their way for a transplant to save her life. But the aftermath of the robbery may prove to be even more difficult to get through than the robbery as the criminals struggle just to get out alive.
Rabid Dogs is a stylish and tense thriller with great visuals and really retro sensibilities. The electro score is reminiscent of 70s and 80s Italian Giallo films as well as some really inventive lighting that recalls the same era. The entire cast is great including one face you may recognize, Lambert Wilson. Wilson plays the hostage father in Rabid Dogs but is most well known as The Merovingian in two of the Matrix films. Guillaume Gouix is also a real standout here as the head of the robbers. He is equal parts menace and intelligent silence but always has many things going on in his facial expressions. And Rabid Dogs delivers some great story twists along the way as well that are sure to make the film stick in your memory long after its over. Highly recommended.