John Vidette’s Somerville House Releasing has entered into a joint venture with Paul Lalonde and Michael Walker to produce a feature film and original TV series based on the 1977 Canadian horror film.
“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.
The Soskas, who are identical twins from British Columbia, directed “American Mary,” “Dead Hooker in a Trunk” and “See No Evil 2.”
“The work of David Cronenberg is legendary, and ‘Rabid’ is much more than just a horror movie,” the Soskas said. “The real message of his film is powerful, and even more pivotal as we look at the world around us today. It’s an honor to be involved in this love letter to his original, which we handle with the same respect as Paul Schrader’s ‘Cat People,’ Alexandre Aja’s ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ and John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing.'”
“Rabid” was one of Cronenberg’s first films. He followed it with “Fast Company,” “Scanners,” “The Brood,” “Videodrome” and “The Dead Zone,” then scored a major success in 1986 with “The Fly,” which grossed over $60 million.
“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.”
Filming will take place in the summer in Canada. The Soskas are repped by APA and Joel Vanderkloot of Nelson Davis. They are managed by Andrew Wilson of Zero Gravity Management.