Even after more than 30 years, rabid works as an effective horror film, and it clearly shows Cronenberg's talent for horror without horror cliches. The low budget shows in many scenes, but it is saved by the acting, even in the small supporting roles. Marilyn Chambers is especially good in the lead.
I would have rated this film 4 or even 5 stars, but I can not give more than 3 stars, due to the transfer. It is not bad. It is very, very bad. The picture looks like a grainy VHS transfer from another century, and for the most time, parts of the image are missing: you only see half a face of an actor who is talking, or heads or feet are cut off at the top and bottom. Do not get me wrong, this is a 1:1.78 anamorphic transfer, so the only explanation I have for the cropped images is this: they had a pan-and-scan transfer in 1:1.33, but wanted to release the film in an anamorphic version. Instead of creating a new transfer, they simply cut off the top and bottom of the image until it fitted the 1:1.78 frame. So it looks like a film, that has been pan-and-scanned in both directions. I have never seen anything like it, and I hope I never will again.
But even with these limitations, Rabid is still gripping, fascinating, horrifying.