Lib Owen

Written by Lib Owen

Modified & Updated: 05 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Rabid Dogs is a gripping and intense movie that has captivated audiences since its release. Directed by Mario Bava and released in 1974, this Italian crime thriller is known for its dark and gritty storyline, compelling characters, and edge-of-your-seat suspense. The film tells the story of a gang of criminals who take a group of hostages as they attempt to flee the police. As the tension escalates, the protagonists find themselves facing a series of shocking and unexpected twists and turns.

With its atmospheric cinematography, strong performances, and thought-provoking narrative, Rabid Dogs has earned a reputation as a cult classic. In this article, we will explore 39 fascinating facts about the movie, shedding light on its production, behind-the-scenes stories, and its enduring legacy in the world of cinema.

Key Takeaways:

  • Rabid Dogs, a 1974 Italian crime thriller, faced production challenges but gained critical acclaim for its intense performances, unique storytelling, and enduring influence on the crime thriller genre.
  • With its gritty realism and exploration of human nature, Rabid Dogs continues to captivate audiences, making it a must-watch for fans of crime thrillers and Italian cinema.
Table of Contents

The Origins

Rabid Dogs, originally titled “Cani Arrabbiati,” is an Italian crime thriller film directed by Mario Bava.

The Release Date

The movie was released on September 10, 1974, in Italy.

The Plot

Rabid Dogs follows a group of criminals who embark on a violent and desperate road trip, taking hostages in a bid to escape the law.

Directorial Style

Mario Bava is known for his unique visual style, and Rabid Dogs showcases his talent for creating tension and suspense through innovative camera work and editing techniques.

The Cast

The film features a talented ensemble cast, including Riccardo Cucciolla, Don Backy, Lea Lander, and Maurice Poli.

The Troubled Production

Rabid Dogs faced numerous production difficulties, including financial constraints and legal disputes, which resulted in delays and changes to the original script.

Alternate Title

In some countries, the film was released under the alternate title “Kidnapped.”


In 2015, a remake of Rabid Dogs, directed by Éric Hannezo, was released, featuring a new cast and updated storyline.

Lengthy Post-Production

Due to the financial issues faced during production, the film’s post-production took several years before it was finally completed.

Limited Release

Despite its critical acclaim, Rabid Dogs had a limited release and did not achieve widespread commercial success.

Psychological Thriller

The movie is often categorized as a psychological thriller due to its intense focus on the psychological turmoil of the characters.

Unpredictable Narrative

Rabid Dogs keeps audiences on the edge of their seats with its unpredictable and twist-filled storyline.

Intense Performances

The cast delivers powerful and gripping performances, adding depth to their complex characters.

Minimalistic Dialogue

The film relies on minimalistic dialogue, emphasizing visual storytelling and the characters’ actions to drive the narrative forward.

Influential Film

Rabid Dogs has been noted for its influence on the crime thriller genre, inspiring numerous filmmakers with its gritty and suspenseful style.

Bava’s Legacy

Rabid Dogs is considered one of Mario Bava’s most notable works and contributes to his legacy as a master of Italian cinema.

Limited Setting

The majority of the film takes place inside a moving car, creating a sense of claustrophobia and adding to the tension of the story.


The film’s soundtrack, composed by Stelvio Cipriani, enhances the atmosphere with its intense and haunting melodies.

Critical Acclaim

Despite its initial limited release, Rabid Dogs received rave reviews from critics for its gripping storyline and impressive performances.

Awards Recognition

The film garnered several nominations and awards at various international film festivals, solidifying its status as a significant cinematic achievement.

Cinematic Influences

Rabid Dogs has influenced many notable filmmakers, including Quentin Tarantino, who paid homage to the film in his own work.

Emotional Rollercoaster

The movie takes audiences on an emotional rollercoaster, exploring themes of desperation, survival, and morality.

Suspenseful Pacing

Rabid Dogs maintains a relentless and suspenseful pace from start to finish, keeping viewers engaged and on the edge of their seats.

Character Development

Despite the film’s intense focus on action and suspense, Rabid Dogs also delves into the psychological development of the characters as their journey progresses.

Cult Following

Over the years, Rabid Dogs has gained a cult following, with fans appreciating its raw and unyielding approach to storytelling.

Realistic Violence

The film does not shy away from portraying realistic violence, adding to its gritty and dark atmosphere.

Unique Perspective

Rabid Dogs offers a unique perspective by often switching between the perspective of the criminals and the hostages, blurring the lines between right and wrong.

Exploration of Human Nature

The movie explores the depths of human nature and the choices people make when faced with dire circumstances.

International Distribution

Rabid Dogs gained international recognition through its distribution in various countries, further solidifying its status as a cult classic.

Genre Hybrid

The film blends elements of crime, drama, and thriller genres, creating a compelling and multi-layered viewing experience.

Character-driven Narrative

Rabid Dogs places a strong emphasis on developing its characters, allowing viewers to form complex emotional connections with them.

Unique Story Structure

The film utilizes a non-linear story structure, providing insights into the characters’ pasts and motivations through flashbacks and revelations.

Impactful Climax

Rabid Dogs builds towards a gripping and impactful climax, leaving audiences stunned by its resolution.

Dark and Disturbing

The movie delves into dark and disturbing themes, challenging viewers’ perceptions of good and evil.

Cinematic Visuals

Rabid Dogs showcases Bava’s mastery of visual storytelling, with each shot beautifully composed and designed to intensify the narrative.

Graphic Violence

The film contains scenes of graphic violence, pushing the boundaries of what was considered acceptable on-screen at the time of its release.

Memorable Moments

Rabid Dogs is filled with memorable moments, from adrenaline-fueled chase sequences to emotional character interactions.

International Critical Acclaim

The film received accolades from international critics who praised its gritty realism and its examination of the human psyche.

Enduring Legacy

Rabid Dogs continues to be celebrated as a groundbreaking and influential film, leaving an indelible mark on the crime thriller genre.

With its intense performances, gripping storyline, and innovative directorial style, Rabid Dogs remains a must-watch for fans of crime thrillers and Italian cinema alike. From the troubled production to its enduring legacy, the film has solidified its place as a cult classic that continues to captivate audiences to this day. So, if you’re in the mood for a thrilling and thought-provoking cinematic experience, don’t miss out on the 39 Facts about the movie Rabid Dogs.


Rabid Dogs is a thrilling and intense movie that captivates audiences with its dark and suspenseful storyline. The film’s unique blend of action, suspense, and psychological thrills keeps viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. With its stellar performances, gripping narrative, and mesmerizing cinematography, Rabid Dogs is a must-watch for any fan of the genre.


Q: What is the plot of Rabid Dogs?

A: Rabid Dogs follows a group of criminals who hijack a car and take its occupants hostage as they try to escape from the police. The tension escalates as the car speeds through the city streets, with unexpected twists and turns along the way.

Q: Who are the main characters in Rabid Dogs?

A: The main characters in Rabid Dogs include the leader of the criminal gang, the driver of the hijacked car, the hostages, and the police officers pursuing them.

Q: Is Rabid Dogs a remake of another film?

A: Yes, Rabid Dogs is a remake of the 1974 Italian film of the same name directed by Mario Bava. The 2015 adaptation stays true to the original’s gritty and intense atmosphere while adding its own modern twist.

Q: What makes Rabid Dogs stand out from other thriller movies?

A: Rabid Dogs distinguishes itself with its claustrophobic setting, relentless pacing, and complex character dynamics. The film’s continuous action sequences and unpredictable plot keep viewers engaged and guessing until the very end.

Q: Can I watch Rabid Dogs with my family?

A: Due to its intense and violent nature, Rabid Dogs is recommended for mature audiences. It is advisable to exercise caution when deciding to watch it with younger viewers.

Q: Is Rabid Dogs available for streaming?

A: Rabid Dogs may be available for streaming on various digital platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu. It is recommended to check these platforms for availability.

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