Variety reports that Jen and Sylvia Soska — twin sisters who have made a name for themselves in the horror genre — are going to direct a remake of an early film by their fellow Canadian David Cronenberg. There’s nothing too surprising about that.
What is surprising is that one of the producers of the new film — as well as a TV series based on the film — is Paul Lalonde, a Toronto-based filmmaker and former Bible-prophecy TV host who has spent the past 18 years producing a series of “faith-based” end-times thrillers, including all four films in the Left Behind franchise.
The film they’re remaking is Rabid, a 1977 horror flick that was one of Cronenberg’s first feature-length films. It was produced by Ivan Reitman just a few years before he started directing such popular comedies as Meatballs, Stripes and Ghostbusters.
I have never seen the original Rabid, but here is how Variety describes it:
“Rabid” starred Marilyn Chambers, who was attempting to move from her successful career as a pornographic actress into the mainstream. The film explored the world of experimental plastic surgery with Chambers playing a woman injured in a motorcycle accident who underwent a surgical operation and developed a stinger that she used to feed on people’s blood — triggering an outbreak of a rabies-like epidemic that turned its victims into bloodthirsty zombies.
Variety also has this quote from Lalonde regarding the remake:
“The addition of Jen and Sylvia Soska to the team is a real coup,” Lalonde said. “When you’re remaking a classic horror film like ‘Rabid,’ you have to make sure you don’t compromise when it comes to the director. The Soskas are among the hottest young directors in the horror genre and I couldn’t be happier with our choice.”
The end-times films produced by Lalonde and his brother Peter have made nods to mainstream horror films in the past; e.g., their 1999 direct-to-video hit Revelation had a virtual reality-themed plot and starred The Lawnmower Man’s Jeff Fahey.
But it’s interesting to see Lalonde moving into the mainstream horror genre itself. And it could be interesting to see how Lalonde’s existing fan base responds to this.
— The image at the top of this post is from the original version of Rabid.