Mario Bava‘s 1974 cult classic crime film Rabid Dogs is getting the American remake treatment. Samuel Franco and Evan Kilgore have confirmed that they have acquired the rights to the film which marked an outlier in the Italian director’s filmography, as he was widely renowned for his horror films.
The 1974 film, an adaptation of the story Man And Boy by Michael Carroll, revolves around a trio of violent criminals who take hostages while trying to flee from police after a robbery gone wrong.
The film had an arduous production process, with producer Roberto Loyola declaring bankruptcy in the middle of shooting, resulting in the film being shelved for a time. It stayed on the shelf for two decades before finally getting a screening in Milan in 1995, and then released to DVD in 1998, receiving generally positive reviews and becoming a cult classic.
“Bava was a master at creating these unforgettable moments in film, and Rabid Dogs, which unfolds in the aftermath of a crime is not only suspenseful but filled with fascinating characters,” said Franco.
He and Kilgore have said that the reimagined Rabid Dogs will retain most of the theme of the original, minus the sexist overtones that the film had, and that they’re planning for a present-day trilogy based around the film. Franco and Kilgore will pen the script, and the search for a director is underway.
Bava’s work has been noted for its revolutionary impact on respective genres: Black Sunday was a forerunner of the Italian gothic horror film cycle, The Girl Who Knew Too Much is widely considered the first giallo film, Kill, Baby, Kill heavily influenced the iconography of modern J-Horror, and A Bay of Blood was a precursor to the slasher film.
So while it’s surprising that the Bava film getting a remake is one of his rare non-horror outings, hopefully this remake can be a success and lead people back to his original, seminal works. The Rabid Dogs remake is expected to begin production in 2022, with a 2023 release date tentatively planned.