NYCC ’14 exclusive: “STRAIN” star reveals “RABID DOGS” remake details


While chatting with FANGORIA at this past weekend’s New York Comic-Con about his role as The Master in FX’s THE STRAIN (more on that soon), towering actor Robert Maillet revealed his role in RABID DOGS, the recently wrapped remake of Mario Bava’s thriller a.k.a. KIDNAPPED.

A French-Canadian co-production, the new RABID DOGS (a.k.a. ENRAGÉS) was directed by first-timer Éric Hannezo from a script by Yannick Dahan (co-director and co-writer of the zombie film THE HORDE) and Benjamin Rataud. Describing it as “a loose remake,” Maillet tells us, “You have the bank robbery gone wrong, and the criminals kidnap some hostages, take them in their car and travel cross-country to find a safe haven. Then they come across this village that they try to drive through, but they can’t, because the residents are celebrating the Day of the Bear—which apparently does exist in France somewhere. I’m one of the villagers, and we’re all dressed up in bear costumes; some of us have horns and blackface. These crooks are paranoid, they have guns, they’re dangerous and they want to get through, and we say, ‘No, you wait. [Laughs] You wait around until we celebrate,’ and of course that leads to some confrontations. It was cool, and a lot of fun to shoot.

“There are some well-known French actors in the main cast,” he continues. “Two of them you’ll recognize: Virginie Ledoyen [whose English-language credits include THE BEACH and BACKWOODS], she’s very good, and Lambert Wilson, who was in the MATRIX sequels and was one of the bad guys in SAHARA with Matthew McConaughey. He was also in CATWOMAN, which I’ve seen so many times because it was my daughter’s favorite film! So I knew instantly who he was; he plays one of the villains. All of my scenes were all shot in a heritage village up north of Montreal; we used the whole place, and they built a giant wooden bear so we could celebrate with a fire and everything.”

Maillet adds that he hasn’t seen the original RABID DOGS, but he is aware of its history. “That’s an interesting story, that it was shot in the mid-’70s and it didn’t come out until the ’90s [with new footage filmed by Bava’s son Lamberto]. That’s crazy—to make a film, and then it goes on the shelf for 20 years!”

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Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor. He now serves as editor-in-chief of the magazine while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews, as well as a contributing editor/writer for this website.
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