March 3, 2012

Rabies (2012)
(aka- Kalevet)
Release Date: On DVD now.
Written & Directed by: Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado.
Starring: Lior Ashkenazi, Danny Geva and Ania Bukstein

Rabies is Israel's first ever Horror movie. It makes perfect sense to us that a Country that has known so much violence and strife wouldn't be churning out movies full of violence and strife on a regular basis, but we were surprised that they had never even made at least one until now.

If anything, you'd think that young Jewish filmmakers would at least want to make a movie about an angry ex-Mossad ghost that hunts down and kills Nazi war criminals in hiding or something. I'd pay to see that movie. Especially if it starred Liam Neeson. Taken meets Schindler's List meets The Ring... Just think about it. Box.Office.Gold.

See, the angry ghost could creep up behind his victims all silent-like and then... Krav Maga!
Without giving too much away, Rabies is about a brother and sister that run away from home and become ensnared in a backwoods killer's deadly trap, and they must fight for their lives. Enter a gang of young Israeli tennis players on the way to what must be the Jewish equivalent of Wimbledon, who get caught up in the siblings fight for survival. Eventually the Cops get involved, as do some other passers-by, and before you know it all kinds of shit hits the Jewish fan.

Run, bitch, run!
The Directors of Rabies essentially took the premise of a backwoods slasher flick, added layers of subtext to the premise, and made it stand out as an above average flick. There no one with rabies in this movie, nor does the title rabies signify any sort of viral infection in the movie, so don't be mislead. It's a flick that definitely breaks the mold that it was supposed to follow, and that's a good thing.

Hot chick gunfight!
So what was so different about it? For starters, it's kinda witty. It's not a funny movie per se, but the dialogue and interactions between some of the characters are definitely clever and fun. Perfect example is the part in the car where one of the tennis players breaks the others down about his piss fetish, subsequently giving a list of crazy sex acts that he loves. It sounds crude, and maybe it is, but it was fun in the context of the scene and his character.

It was also nice to see the movie start in one place, and then get to where it was going in a much different way than we thought it was going to. Some of the death scenes were fun and quite unexpected, as was the level of creepiness that the Cops brought to the table. It was just a movie that made us say WTF?!? constantly. Its black humor nature was definitely appealing.

This scene was our fave.
I can't personally say that I've seen much in the way of Jewish cinema, but if Rabies is any indication as to what I've been missing, then I'm sorry I haven't seen more of it. I mean, we've seen The Delta Force starring Chuck Norris and loved it, but that was mostly an American film, produced by Menahem Golan and Yoran Globus. Golan-Globus... man that reminds me of why the 80's were so excellent!

That Cop really, really likes her.
Rabies is a departure from the norm as far as backwoods horror/slasher flicks go. It's bloody, clever and effective, managing to not only hold our attention but leave us satisfied by the time it was all over. If this is what we get from Israeli Horror on the first try, we are definitely looking forward to what the filmmakers of the Holy Land come up with next. It's out on DVD now, so see it and enjoy.


A big shout out to Israel for also giving us some more Hotties to gawk at. L'chaim!

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